Smart Growth News – July 6, 2012

National News

Smart Growth: Fighting sprawl with walkable communities
The Atlantic – July 5, 2012

The result: A boost to the area’s economy, a more environmentally sustainable community and a short walk to the dry cleaners. Smart growth reduces the combined cost of transportation and housing, which currently makes up more than 50 percent of the average household budget, according to Smart Growth America.

The Transportation Bill – Barbara Boxer’s Letter to the Editor
New York Times – July 6, 2012

This legislation actually increases the amount of financing that “transportation alternative” projects like bicycle and pedestrian pathways are eligible for, although in some cases these projects must compete for money.

Street improvements linked to office appeal
Crain’s New York Business – July 5, 2012

The office market in New York is recovering fastest in districts where the city has made improvements to streets and public spaces, according to a recently released study by commercial real estate brokerage J. Liff Co.

Cities Forced To Choose Between Bankruptcy And Foreign Investors
Huffington Post – July 5, 2012

With cities across America on the verge of financial ruin, local governments face two decisions. Like Stockton, California, they can file for bankruptcy. Or, like Chicago, they can dodge that bullet by taking in foreign money.

Cities Consider Seizing Mortgages
Wall Street Journal – July 5, 2012

A handful of local officials in California who say the housing bust is a public blight on their cities may invoke their eminent-domain powers to restructure mortgages as a way to help some borrowers who owe more than their homes are worth.

Can Smart Growth Save Lake Tahoe?
Planetizen – July 5, 2012

Planners in major urban areas have long been touting the virtues of density, mixed use, and public transit. But can these smart growth principles apply in a wilderness area dedicated to seasonable tourism?

California high-speed rail plan nearing key votes
CNBC – July 5, 2012

California lawmakers were nearing a vote on Thursday on a make-or-break $8 billion financing plan to launch the state’s planned high-speed rail system, which has been mired in controversy over its management and cost, now pegged at $68 billion.

New Detroit Farm Plan Taking Root
Wall Street Journal – July 5, 2012

Three years ago, financial-services entrepreneur John Hantz proposed converting as much as 10,000 acres of vacant private and city-owned property here into the world’s largest for-profit urban farm, restoring swaths of land to the tax rolls and changing the face of Detroit’s blighted East Side.

Who’s behind Kay Backer? No answers found
The Times-Standard – July 5, 2012

In fact, local citizens and organizations have been advocating smart growth and sustainable development for more than a decade. We’ve arrived at these views all by ourselves, with no guidance from the UN.

Town Brook groundbreaking marks beginning of Quincy downtown redevelopment
Boston.com – July 3, 2012

A massive environmental and logistical undertaking, the construction, in which a 1,700 section of the brook at the center of Quincy’s downtown is relocated as a 1,200-foot section running along the concourse, marks the beginning of Quincy’s $1.6 billion downtown redevelopment.

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