Author Archives: Craig Chester

Smart Growth News – April 14, 2014

Initiatives can help combat rising cost of medical care in the U.S.
Idaho Statesman – April 14, 2014
Solve for walkability, and you solve for many other issues. A walkable city is a resilient city.

7 Cities Where Poor Neighborhoods Bucked the Trend and Became Wealthier
Next City – April 14, 2014
Since 1980, the nation’s poorest neighborhoods have remained mostly unchanged while high-income areas have seen robust growth.

Developing the First Well-Being Index for Cities
Planetizen – April 14, 2014
Santa Monica, California is working to become the first city to develop a first well-being index for its residents. The index will help the city’s government measure and serve citizen happiness.

WisDOT, pleading poverty, is after more of our money
Journal Sentinel (WI) – April 14, 2014
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has begun a series of statewide meetings to make the case for more tax revenue to fund more road projects, though the agency knows that motorists are driving fewer miles.

Kisco Senior Living Targets Mixed-Use Communities for $160M Pipeline
Senior Housing News – April 14, 2014
California-based senior living owner, operator, and developer is differentiating its $160 million new development pipeline by locating all the projects in mixed-use, master-planned communities.

Gore, experts to gather at UH-Manoa for sustainability conference
KHON (HI) – April 10, 2014
In addition to Gore, world-renowned experts from across the state and nation are expected to attend the invitation-only conference, including U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works; Geoffrey Anderson, president of Smart Growth America.

Redevelop brownfields safely — new state rules will help
Boston Globe (MA) – April 14, 2014
Given its long industrial history and the intense demand for suitable locations for new homes and businesses, Massachusetts needs well-tuned policies that promote the safe redevelopment of polluted properties — and those policies should evolve as science advances.

Study: Atlanta sprawls while Hall County hangs tight
Gainesville Times (GA) – April 14, 2014
The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta region — perhaps not surprisingly — is the most sprawling large metropolitan area in the country.

Louisville ranked poorly in sprawl study
Courier Journal (KY) – April 14, 2014
It will probably come as no surprise to residents and visitors of Kentuckiana that Louisville has ranked poorly in a new study of metropolitan areas looking at sprawl.

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Smart Growth News – April 11, 2014

Transit-oriented development — the future of city planning
Devex – April 11, 2014
As the world population continues to rise and more people move to cities, urban planning will increasingly become a priority in development efforts, which traditionally have focused on other areas such as health, education or food security.

TIGER Grant Funding Now Available – April 11, 2014
The Department of Transportation announced the availability of $600 million in TIGER grants last week. Applications for grants are due on April 28, though applicants are encouraged to submit applications by April 25.

A Tale of Two Travels: Expanding Sprawl vs. Complete Streets
Public News Service (IA) – April 10, 2014
It’s a tale of two travels in Iowa, as some communities have made the list of cities dealing with the most sprawl, while others are being honored for their work on transportation that includes options for pedestrians and bicyclists.

9 Bold ideas to tell your mayor about
Next City – April 11, 2014
In the slideshow below, we offer a look at some of the ideas under discussion in our Innovative Americas pavilion.

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Smart Growth News – April 10, 2014

Global Survey Maps Out Growing Trend of Transit-Oriented Development in Six Continents – April 10, 2014
A global catalog of 50 urban developments on six continents maps out the growing trend of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD).

Is Chicago Still the Urban Development Promised Land?
Next City – April 10, 2014
For pro-development types, Chicago is often thought of as something of a promised land. While it may not have Houston’s complete lack of a zoning code, the Second City is known as a much easier place to build than its coastal counterparts.

America’s Most Sprawling Cities Are Also the Most Republican
The Atlantic Cities – April 10, 2014
Hickory, a small industrial city in western North Carolina, lies within the state’s 10th congressional district, one that the Washington Post has called “one of the most Republican in the nation.”

4 little-known real estate opportunities near SunRail stations
Orlando Business Journal (FL) – April 10, 2014
If you’re a SunRail follower — and a real estate junkie — you’re familiar with something known as TOD.

‘Urban Experiential Displays’ Proposed for Philadelphia’s Center City
Planetizen – April 9, 2014
“Called urban experiential displays, or UEDs, they would communicate advertising, news and public service announcements. These UEDs are also being proposed as a revenue generator for the city as well as a place making mechanism.”

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Smart Growth News – April 9, 2014

Density Isn’t a Hipster Conspiracy, Ctd.
D Magazine (TX) – April 9, 2014
Yesterday I wrote about how those who are starting to make the argument that tearing down I-345 is bad for poor people are indulging in crazy talk. Today we have some new numbers to back up that claim from Smart Growth America’s recently released Measuring Sprawl report. According to their research the compactness of cities has a direct relationship on economic mobility.

America’s Apartment Shortage: 8 Million Units
Planetizen – April 9, 2014
Consumer preference surveys have always been fairly useless when it comes to determining actual housing preferences.

‘We Razed 270 Houses and All We Got Was This Lousy Boat Shop’
Next City – April 9, 2014
Hitching the city’s hopes to a Bass Pro shop (boats are sold in a showroom, not in the water) is just the start.

Grassroots Miami group brainstorms to transform transit to and from work
Miami Herald – April 9, 2014
Hate your drive to and from work? Most of us do, and a group of Miami-Dade County activists is brainstorming to turn the daily commute from drudgery to “delightful.”

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Smart Growth News – April 8, 2014

Urban Sprawl: Get Fat, Stay Poor, And Die In Car Crashes
Fast Co. Design – April 8, 2014
That urban design improves the quality of people’s lives is an old idea. A new study, Measuring Sprawl 2014, now finds that people who live in densely populated regions benefit in many ways. In brief, they have greater economic mobility, they’re healthier, and they live longer.

Reversing Sprawl Through Connectivity
Memphis Daily News (TN) – April 8, 2014
This is why the work we’ve done over the last few years, starting with Sustainable Shelby, to create a more sustainable city and region is so important for our future.

The Search for Affordable Housing Is Pushing the Middle Class to the Exurbs
The Atlantic Cities – April 8, 2014
New data and maps from the real estate research firm Zillow shed light on the uneven nature of housing prices across several major U.S. cities and metros.

Having kids walk to school comes with risks, benefits
My Fox Philly (PA) – April 8, 2014
The likelihood of an accident depends more on the environment kids have to travel through — such as high-traffic areas — and they’re calling on policymakers to do more to make sure kids can safely walk or bike to school.

National media take aim at Dallas’ traffic, lack of walkable accessibility for Final 4
Dallas Morning News (TX) – April 8, 2014
“It’s not a knock on Dallas, but you need to have these events in places where you can walk and be downtown and have it all in one place,” Greer said.

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Smart Growth News – April 7, 2014

Saving the planet, one old building at a time
Boston Globe (MA) – April 7, 2014
Why a tax reform proposal is raising alarms for historic preservationists and environmentalists.

Housing is the Key to Family-Friendly Cities
Planetizen – April 7, 2014
Why housing should take priority in the effort to attract families back to the city (and welcome them to stay awhile).

Building the Facebook of neighborhoods
Next City – April 7, 2014
Having her bike yanked from the utility closet of her San Francisco apartment building reminded Sarah Leary why she had spent the last three years building an online social network for neighbors.

Housing code
Times-Union (NY) – April 7, 2014
Realty ads have their own special way of using words

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Smart Growth News – April 4, 2014

Residents of compact metro areas do better financially: Study
Voice of Russia – April 4, 2014
A report released this week by Smart Growth America and the University of Utah’s Metropolitan Urban Center shows that “People in compact, connected metropolitan regions are more likely to move up the economic ladder.”

There’s a difference between sprawl and smart growth
Spokesman-Review (WA) – April 4, 2014
Does Spokane have a bad case of sprawl? Or is the condition in check?

Strategies for Big Cities to Streamline Development Services
Planetizen – April 4, 2014
Kevin Keller, Director of Planning and Housing Policy under Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, provides insight into the city’s development services reform.

Time for Nashville to grow smart
Tennessean – April 4, 2014
The Nashville metropolitan area is growing fast. But is it going to grow smart?

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Smart Growth News – April 3, 2014

Sprawling Cities Face More Car Wrecks and Higher Obesity
Wall Street Journal – April 2, 2014
The U.S. on average became slightly more sprawling from 2000 to 2010, and residents in sprawling cities are more likely to suffer from societal ills such as fatal car wrecks, high transportation costs and obesity, according to a study to be released Wednesday.

A Ranking of the Most Sprawling U.S. Metro Areas, and Why You Should Care
Atlantic Cities – April 2, 2014
Sprawl may not be a four-letter word, but to many people it might as well be. You can include in that group the researchers at Smart Growth America, the national nonprofit coalition that advocates for “smart” development in U.S. metro areas—i.e., cities and towns with neighborhoods where people can walk or bike or use mass transit to get things done, rather than driving everywhere.

Does sprawl matter for social mobility?
Washington Post (DC) – April 2, 2014
It seemed to hint that the American dream of low-density suburban development — a vast lawn for every family — was actually holding some Americans back.

San Francisco Cuts ‘Cruising’ for Parking in Half With Market-Clearing Prices
Next City – April 3, 2014
For years UCLA professor Donald Shoup has pushed the idea that to stop drivers from aimlessly circling around our dense urban cores in search of underpriced parking, cities should simply start charging market-clearing rates to park your multi-ton hunk of metal.

Aloha! Complete Streets
AARP Blog – April 2, 2014
To tourists and aspiring tourists, Hawaii typically means tropical beaches, balmy breezes, beautiful scenery and, perhaps, pineapple. To residents, Hawaii is all those things, as well as being a place where it’s sometimes a challenge to safely cross the road.

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Smart Growth News – March 28, 2014

The 5 Cities Where It’s Easiest — and Hardest — to Walk to the Grocery Store
Streetsblog – March 27, 2014
Walk Score has put together a new ranking of the best and worst American cities for walkable access to food. The above visualization contrasts New York, city with the best access, and Indianapolis, which brought up the rear in Walk Score’s ratings.

Walkability for ‘real Americans’
Twin Cities Daily Planet (MN) – March 28, 2014
It’s common in autocentric polemics to dismiss walkability as a plaything of chic-chic urban elitists, having nothing to do with real Americans’ modes of (motorized) living. As usual, this kind of ad hominem attack is but a lame attempt to mask the weakness of the fundamental argument.

APTA defends its ridership report
Progressive Railroading – March 28, 2014
In response to recent criticism, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is standing by its report on public transportation use in the United States, according to a statement posted on the association’s website.

Oil and Blood: Census Says Energy Boomtowns Are the Fastest-Growing Metro Areas
Next City – March 28, 2014
Thee interior of the country is booming with oil and natural gas, and so it goes with population.

What Street Grids Reveal About a City
Planetizen – March 28, 2014
Author and blogger David Prowler takes a lighthearted and pictorial look at what the layout of a town’s streets unveils about a city’s history and aspirations.

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Smart Growth News – March 27, 2014

Study: American suburb in steady decline
Detroit Free Press – March 27, 2014
Driven by young professionals and retiring Baby Boomers who like living in cities, the trend is “180 degrees” from the last decade’s rush to the exurbs, says William Frey, a demographer at Washington’s Brookings Institution, a research and policy group.

The Fuzzy Math in the Road Lobby’s Memo to Congress
Streetsblog – March 27, 2014
Don’t know what to make of the news that U.S. driving rates have dropped for the ninth year in a row?

Economic Impact Report or ‘Siren Call’?
Planetizen – March 27, 2014
Marlys Harris describes a simple way to overcome the default opposition setting that determines most local politics: “the sweet yoo-hoo of the economic-impact study.”

Council approves complete streets proposal (TN) – March 27, 2014
The Chattanooga City Council gave the Transportation Department a green light to begin drafting a complete streets policy to guide future transportation projects.

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