When factories close and their buildings are shuttered, they often leave behind a sinister secret.
Toxic chemicals and pollutants left behind from their industrial past can haunt these places. Until the contaminants can be safely cleaned up or disposed of, no one can use these buildings or the land they sit on.
Help land that’s haunted by its past: Send a letter to your Senators today.
When the Langdale and Riverdale textile mills closed in the 1990’s, the residents of Valley, Alabama, not only lost a major employer. They lost part of their heritage.
For years the mills have stood as a reminder of what the town lost. Residents, however, saw potential for transforming the historic buildings into a vibrant, walkable neighborhood. The City agreed—but industrial contamination stood in their way.
Now, a federal brownfields grant is helping Valley clean up the land and achieve their vision, and a bill in Congress could help towns like Valley achieve similar goals.
Bagby Street in Houston, TX used a Complete Streets approach, which will now be a new standard for the city. Photo courtesy of the City of Houston.
The city of Houston, TX, cast its vote for safer, more vibrant streets yesterday when Mayor Annise Parker announced her intention to sign an executive order creating a city-wide Complete Streets policy.
The mayor’s Complete Streets and Transportation Plan will make Houston’s streets safer, more accessible and more convenient for motorists, public transit riders, pedestrians, people of all abilities and bicyclists. The new policy, detailed in a draft executive order from the mayor, will be implemented over time as improvements to existing roadways and redevelopment occur.
LOCUS members gathered earlier this year at the coalition’s winter meeting.
Federal real estate programs could be doing more for families, taxpayers and communities, and a national coalition of real estate developers and investors will convene in Washington, DC next week to advocate for changes to these enormous programs.
LOCUS, Smart Growth America’s coalition of responsible real estate developers and investors, will gather in Washington and meet with members of Congress on October 8 and 9, 2013 to advocate for reforms to federal real estate programs that could broaden housing opportunities, revitalize cities and towns nationwide while saving taxpayers upwards of $33 billion a year.
Until recently, there were only a few choices for how to get around Washington, DC. Today, however, there are over a dozen services that make it easy to borrow a car, hire a taxi, grab a bike or catch a ride, and they’re using mobile web applications to make these choices possible. As a result, getting around DC has never been faster, more diverse or more convenient.
Transportation choices are a big part of smart growth strategies. Traditionally this has meant creating sidewalks, bike lanes and public transportation in addition to roads for driving. But the next generation of transportation choices—things like car sharing, ride sharing and bike sharing—bring a new dimension to that conversation. How will these new options affect where Washingtonians chose to live, work, dine or shop? As it becomes easier than ever to get across town, how will DC’s neighborhoods and development throughout the city change?
Capital Bikeshare is one of the many innovative transportation options now available in the DC area. Photo by James Schwartz via Flickr.
DC-area residents have more choices about how to get around today than ever before. Car sharing, bike sharing and ride sharing—and the apps that make these services possible—are revolutionizing transportation as we know it. DC is a hotbed of transportation innovation that the rest of the nation is watching.
Join transportation entrepreneurs for Transportation in the City, a discussion about new ways to get around and the future of transportation in Washington, DC and beyond. We’ll discuss what’s working and why, market and demographic trends that make these services succeed, the role of public policy in this field and how startup innovations are making a difference.
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Tagged 1776, Bike sharing, Capital Bikeshare, Car Sharing, Events, Hitch, Mobility Lab, myTaxi, Ride sharing, RidePost, RideScout, Startups, Taxi Magic, Transportation, Uber, WAMU, WMATA, Zipcar
New development along the Valley Metro light rail line in Tempe, AZ. Photo of the Hub on Campus building via Facebook.
The City of Phoenix, AZ, is working to encourage development along the Valley Metro light rail line, and it’s getting some help from a region-wide effort that’s working to link Phoenix’s investments to others throughout the region.
The Sustainable Communities Collaborative (SCC) is a unique non-profit partnership working to catalyze development along the Valley Metro light rail in Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa. Started in 2011 with a $20 million private investment from Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Raza Development Fund, SCC aims to create “vibrant urban environments and transit-oriented communities that have it all”: a mix of housing starts, new community health care centers, entrepreneurial start-ups, pedestrian and bicycle friendly neighborhoods, eclectic retail and restaurants, and artistic centered community development connected to the 20-mile light rail line.
A map of income mobility. Mixed-income neighborhoods turn out to be a key indicator of a family’s ability to rise out of poverty. Via New York Times.
A new study from Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley underscores why smart growth strategies are a key part of economically strong regions.
The Equality of Opportunity Project examined economic mobility—the likelihood a family will rise from the bottom of the income ladder toward the top. Schools, civic engagement and two-parent households are all correlated with economic mobility, but the study also considered factors that previous studies of economic mobility could not, including a region’s geography. The study found that where a family lives also impacts their potential to rise up the income ladder.
Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoff Anderson will testify before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works next week to discuss the Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development (BUILD) Act.
If passed, the bill would help communities across the country clean up contaminated and abandoned land and put it back into productive use.
“The BUILD Act is a win for everyone—Congress, local governments, business owners and taxpayers,” said Anderson in March, when the bill was introduced. “Brownfields restoration drives economic growth while giving local governments the flexibility to pursue the projects they need the most. Transforming a community’s financial sinkhole into a new business or residential building is a no-brainer.”
Anthony Foxx at his confirmation hearing on Wednesday. Image via C-SPAN.
Earlier today the Senate voted unanimously to confirm former Charlotte, NC mayor Anthony Foxx as the next U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
Foxx will bring a legacy of support for forward-thinking transportation strategies to the position. “Under Mayor Foxx Charlotte has become a leader in embracing transportation innovations and high-quality, public transportation as key building blocks of a prosperous economy,” Transportation for America Director James Corless said in a statement. “We are glad to see him bring that knowledge to his federal role.”