Complete Streets News – April 2014

Policy Adoption

The Middletown, CT Planning and Zoning Commission voted last month to incorporate a Complete Streets Master Plan as an amendment to the city’s Plan of Conservation and Development. The plan’s development was led by a citizen committee working closely with the Common Council and Mayor Daniel Drew, and its adoption will ensure Complete Streets principles are integral part of the city’s long-term planning process. Read more >>

The city council in Columbus, GA, which had been working toward a Complete Streets policy since the fall, resolved in March to adopt the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Complete Streets design policy as its own guide for all local transportation improvements. Read more >>

The Philadelphia-area community of Cherry Hill, NJ, adopted a Complete Streets policy in late March. The resolution provides additional backing for the commitment to multimodal accessibility the township made in its 2013 pedestrian and bicycle master plan. Read more >>

Chattanooga became the latest Tennessee city to adopt a Complete Streets measure, when city council adopted an ordinance on April 1. The new policy builds on the successful launch of a 33-station bikeshare system in 2012—the largest new system in the country at the time—which galvanized local support for inclusive transportation policy and infrastructure. Read more >>

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Reminder: Nominate an outstanding real estate developer for the 2014 LOCUS Leadership Awards

Know a real estate developer or investor who is creating great, walkable places and has displayed exemplary public leadership to advance smart growth development? Nominate them for the 2014 LOCUS Leadership Awards.

The LOCUS Leadership Awards recognize real estate developers or investors who has demonstrated exemplary commitment to public leadership and development practice for walkable, sustainable development. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase and reward a game-changing developer who is influencing the future of real estate. The 2013 Awards went to HRI Properties, Inc. and Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. The 2012 Award went to Forest City Enterprises as well as Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Warner.

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Smart Growth News — April 16, 2014

People, Investment Continue to Flow to Core Cities Faster Than to Suburbs
The Huffington Post — April 15, 2014
New data confirm that central cities continue to grow faster than their suburbs. This still relatively new trend reverses a century of just the opposite, when city dwellers fled to suburbs and sprawl ate up the countryside.

Roads Versus Rail: The Big Battle Over Public Transportation
Forbes — April 16, 2014
In 2009, the same year that it provided $82 billion for the auto industry bailout, the Obama administration created a grant program called TIGER, for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery.

City life offers better health, bigger ladder
Deseret News — April 15, 2014
“Urban places provide higher likelihood of moving up the social ladder,” says Reid Ewing, professor of city and metropolitan planning at the University of Utah.

‘Complete streets’ allow for safety of all who use roadways
The Orlando Sentinel — April 15, 2014
In 2012, the most recent year for which data are available, 69 pedestrians and cyclists were killed in the Orlando metropolitan area — lives cut tragically short because we have failed to make common-sense, low-cost investments in safety.

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Discounted registration for 2014 LOCUS Leadership Summit now available for young professionals

LOCUS Summit 543One of the participants of the 2013 LOCUS Leadership Summit.

LOCUS is offering an exclusive opportunity to young professionals in the real estate development industry under 35. For a limited time, young professionals can register for the 2014 LOCUS Leadership Summit—taking place on June 17 and 18 in Washington, DC—for the reduced rate of $175 (general registration is $450). This is a limited time offer and prices will go up May 6, 2014. Use code YNGDEV when you register for the Summit to take advantage of this great opportunity.

LOCUS, a program of Smart Growth America, is a national network of real estate developers and investors who advocate for sustainable, walkable urban development in America’s metropolitan areas. The discounted rate for young professionals has been made possible by the 2014 Summit sponsors, who believe the future of sustainable, walkable urban development is in the hands of young developers.

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Making Complete Streets real in Maryland

Maryland local leaders participate in a walking tour to learn about Complete Streets in Mt. Rainier, MDMaryland local leaders participate in a walking tour to learn about Complete Streets in Mt. Rainier, MD.

Maryland members of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council met last Thursday for a workshop titled “Making Complete Streets Real,” sponsored by Smart Growth America and 1000 Friends of Maryland. Councilmember Brent Bolin hosted the event at the Mount Rainer City Hall and gave an insider’s tour of local smart growth initiatives after the workshop.

Many of the leaders who attended the workshop are currently developing new Complete Streets policies, and the conversation focused heavily on how to move from policy adoption to effective implementation and talking publicly about the value of this work. Former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening noted, “It is important to make clear how Complete Streets relate to larger and deeper community goals.”

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A closer look at “Measuring Sprawl”: Street connectivity in Trenton, NJ

trenton-njThe Trenton, NJ MSA has a strong legacy of transportation investment. Photo via Flickr.

Trenton, NJ, received high marks for compactness and connectivity in our recent report, Measuring Sprawl 2014, and stood out as number one overall in street accessibility, one of four key factors examined in the report. As Measuring Sprawl 2014 explores, a high rating for compactness and connectivity correlates to a rise in several quality of life factors, including greater economic mobility, lower combined spending on housing and transportation costs and greater options for the type of transportation to take.

How did Trenton build and sustain its accomplishments in street accessibility? And how can other cities learn from Trenton’s successes?

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Smart Growth News — April 15, 2014

Denser, transit-oriented development keys Utah’s future
The Salt Lake City Tribune — April 14, 2014
Last week, the National Institute of Health and Smart Growth America published research by University of Utah professor Reid Ewing and others that showed that denser, connected urban areas are better than sprawling ones in a number of key metrics.

The world’s cities are gobbling up land faster than they’re gaining people
The Washington Post — April 15, 2014
Throughout the last two centuries, cities across the globe – as you might view them from space – have expanded in a relatively uniform way: first incrementally, then at a breakneck speed.

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Councilman Jon Snyder on how Complete Streets are helping to improve Spokane, WA

Bike lanes in downtown Spokane. Photo by Orin Blomberg, via FlickrBike lanes in downtown Spokane. Photo by Orin Blomberg, via Flickr.

During his first term on the Spokane, WA City Council, Councilman Jon Snyder, a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, experienced a lesson that he has carried with him since. “As a leader, you need to understand the difference between a policy that may take several years to develop, and those that represent a flaw in the system that should be called out and remedied quickly.”

Councilman Snyder worked for two years to pass a Complete Streets ordinance (PDF) in Spokane, a process that took time, perseverance and creativity. Snyder credits a broad coalition of support to the ordinance’s eventual passage in 2011: During the meeting where the City Council approved the ordinance, a diverse group of community members, including representatives from schools, older adults, persons with disabilities, the local farmers’ market, and businesses all spoke in favor of policy adoption.

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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
Planning.org – 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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