To what degree does the choice of development pattern impact costs for a local government? How do these decisions affect a municipality’s budget and tax revenues, and the cost of infrastructure and services it must provide?
The new model was unveiled yesterday morning, and as part of the kickoff Chris Zimmerman, Smart Growth America’s Vice President for Economic Development, and Patrick Lynch, Smart Growth America’s Research Director, presented an overview of the new resource at an event in Madison, WI. The presentation was webcast live yesterday afternoon and a recorded version of their discussion is now available above or on YouTube.
Dean Ledbetter, a Senior Engineer at the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), joined the panel to discuss the Complete Streets project in downtown West Jefferson, NC. There were so many questions about working with transportation engineers, and for Dean specifically, that we said down with him for a follow-up conversation.
Alex Dodds: You mentioned that you initially thought that Complete Streets was a “crazy idea,” but that eventually you changed your mind. What convinced you? Dean Ledbetter: I don’t know if there was one specific thing. I think I had to go through the [Federal Highway Administration’s] training several times for the reality of something new to overpower the existing “knowledge” I had about what my job was supposed to be. And I have to admit that we only went to those classes to get the free Professional Development Hours not because we really expected to learn anything useful.
Transit-oriented development (TOD) can make it easier for people to live and work near public transportation. These places are in high demand and real estate developers are eager to build them, but because they’re often complicated TOD projects can be difficult to secure financing for.
Most notably the proposal includes significant investment in transportation and infrastructure programs (there’s even a photo of a bridge on the cover). Building on the Administration’s GROW AMERICA Act, the budget proposes $94.7 billion in discretionary and mandatory funding for the Department of Transportation and sweeping improvements to its programs as part of a six-year, $478 billion surface transportation reauthorization. That would be a $176 billion increase over the last authorization, and $76 billion more than the four-years of funding proposed in the GROW AMERICA Act last spring.
Young Drive an Urban Rebound Wall Street Journal — January 2, 2015
America’s biggest cities have seen a resurgence as employers and residents show a growing preference to live and work in urban areas. Experts expect the trend to continue—and even spill over into midsize and small cities.
Maine’s small businesses, like these in Bar Harbor, will get new help thanks to yesterday’s passage of Question 3. Photo by Duluoz via Flickr.
On Tuesday, voters across America passed statewide, county-wide, and citywide measures in support of smart growth and better development strategies. Here’s a short roundup of what passed, what failed, and what it means for community development.
Do the Most Hipster Thing Possible—Move to Des Moines National Journal — October 16, 2014
Ambitious minds are in the process of building a new Des Moines, a tech hub in Silicon Prairie, an artistic center in the Heartland, a destination for people who want to create something meaningful outside of the limits imposed by an oversaturated city like Chicago or New York.
A Chat with Amtrak’s CEO on the State of U.S. Passenger Rail City Lab — October 16, 2014
Year after year, Amtrak sets ridership records along with the pace of intercity travel in the all-important Northeast Corridor from Washington to Boston via New York, where it reaps big profits. And year after year, Amtrak gets hammered for needing huge amounts of federal taxpayer money to maintain costly (yet mandatory) long-distance operations—even as highways require far, far greater subsidies.
The Conservative Case Against the Suburbs The American Conservative — October 15, 2014
America’s suburban experiment is a radical, government-led re-engineering of society, one that artificially inverted millennia of accumulated wisdom and practice in building human habitats.
TOD biggest trend of century, says new report Real Estate Weekly — October 15, 2014
Transit Oriented Development (TOD) has emerged as the most substantial development trend of the early 21st century, according to real estate experts.
Foxx: Lame Duck Session An Opportunity To Fix Highway Trust Fund WAMU (DC) — October 16, 2014
The Obama administration’s top transportation official said the coming lame duck session of Congress will present an opportunity to pass an elusive multi-year road and transit funding bill to end the cycle of short-term patches that keep the Highway Trust Fund from going broke.
Scrunched in Seattle Politico — October 14, 2014
The country’s fastest growing city (population 640,500), Seattle is the pioneer of micro-housing—tiny, one-room dwellings that are in turn hailed as an affordable, sustainable alternative to the high cost of city living, and disparaged as an inhuman experiment in downsizing.
In latest U.S. Census figures, cities continue growing USA Today — October 7, 2014
Americans’ growing love affair with cities shows few signs of abating, with several large cities, including this one, growing last year at several times the national rate, suggest new findings from the U.S. Census Bureau.
NLC releases its City Fiscal Conditions report National League of Cities — October 14, 2014
This year’s survey reveals that although the worst is behind, cities’ fiscal conditions have not yet returned to full recovery following the Great Recession.
The economics of building a factory in Brooklyn Washington Post — October 13, 2014
MakerBot built a 150-employee, 3-D printer factory down the street in Brooklyn – one of the most expensive places to live and work in the United States.