Cul-de-Sacs are Killing America
The Week – December 11, 2013
Poor suburban design means we’re congesting roadways and walking less.
Deputy Transportation Secretary John Porcari to Leave DOT
The Washington Post – December 11, 2013
As deputy secretary, Porcari focused on the key role transportation could play in economic development and future growth.
Big Idea 2014: Goodbye Silicon Valley, Hello Silicon Cities
LinkedIn – December 10, 2013
Innovative companies and talented workers are revaluing the physical assets and attributes of cities. A new spatial geography of innovation is emerging and, in 2014, it will reach a critical mass worthy of recognition and replication.
For a Better Downtown
The Miami Herald – December 10, 2013
Miami has devised an ambitious plan to get residents and visitors walking around on their own two feet instead of cruising in cars downtown.
A former train station and brownfield site will become home to a restaurant, café and a flexible space for events as part of the Depot Park project in Gainesville, FL. Photo via the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency.
Thomas Hawkins, a Commissioner for the City of Gainesville, FL and member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, is helping using smart growth strategies to attract economic development while protecting Gainesville’s quality of life.
This month we’re looking back at some of Smart Growth America’s brightest moments and greatest accomplishments from 2013. Today’s highlight: Our work uniting municipal officials from across the country who are passionate about smart growth strategies through our Local Leaders Council.
The Local Leaders Council shares and promotes effective policies and programs, and connects elected officials from across the country with one another. Council members share tips and ideas for development with one another, and advise Smart Growth America about how state and federal decisions affect local communities.
Harvard Study Finds: The Rent is Way Too High
Bloomberg Businessweek – December 9, 2013
The problem would get worse if Congress, in its zeal to eliminate loopholes from the tax code, were to get rid of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.
You Can’t Talk about Housing Costs without Talking about Zoning
Slate – December 10, 2013
We’ve so firmly shut the door on the idea of adding housing supply in the neighborhoods that are already the priciest ones in town.
Survey: Most Americans Prefer Smart Growth Communities
Wautauga Democrat (NC) – November 9, 2013
A majority of those surveyed by the National Association of Realtors said they prefer to live in mixed-use neighborhoods with short commutes to work — characteristics of “smart growth” development.
‘Middle-market’ Housing Key to Attracting Diversity of Urban Dwellers
MiBiz (MI) – December 8, 2013
This middle-market housing is typically close to public transportation, is adaptable to a variety of neighborhoods and works well for revitalization efforts.
This month we’re looking back at some of Smart Growth America’s brightest moments and greatest accomplishments from 2013. Today’s highlight: Our work helping state departments of transportation innovate and excel.
States across the country are facing the same challenges. Revenues are falling and budgets are shrinking. Yet state transportation officials have ambitious goals: improve safety, enhance economic opportunity, improve reliability, preserve system assets, accelerate project delivery, and help to create healthier, more livable neighborhoods, just to name a few.
This month we’re looking back at some of Smart Growth America’s brightest moments and greatest accomplishments from 2013. Today’s highlight? The work of LOCUS, our coalition of responsible real estate developers and investors.
Thousands of people live and work in the walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods built by LOCUS developers. And since its inception, LOCUS has advocated for state and federal policies that support a diverse array of development strategies.
SeaTac’s Tukwila International Boulevard Station, located at the center of SeaTac’s South 154th Street station area. Image by Sean Marshall via Flickr.
SeaTac, WA, is a new, exceptionally diverse city adjacent to both Seattle and Tacoma (as its name suggests) and home to the region’s international airport. So what’s it lacking? Transit-oriented development and neighborhoods that will lure new residents to take advantage of what SeaTac has to offer. Deputy Mayor and City Councilmember Mia Gregerson supports using smart growth strategies to achieve both.
Gregerson is a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, a nonpartisan group of municipal officials who share a passion for building great towns, cities, and communities. Gregerson, who has served as a member of SeaTac’s City Council since 2008 and is also the city’s Deputy Mayor, says that that a main challenge for SeaTac is that its convenient location and new road infrastructure have not been enough to create a compelling sense of place in the young city.
#ProductionInTheCity Celebrates DC’s Manufacturers and Makers
Elevation DC – December 6, 2013
Roughly 300 people gathered in the Boilermaker building, the future home of ideaspace, last night for Production in the City, a pop-up marketplace and panel discussion about the state of manufacturing in the District.
Companies Say Goodbye to the ‘Burbs
The Wall Street Journal – December 4, 2013
Companies now want urban amenities, proximity to public transit and sense of community—the same qualities young workers prize when deciding where to live and work.
Gas Tax Proposal Too Steep, but the Sentiment is Correct
The Oregonian – December 8, 2013
A reasonable answer would have to include at least some increase in the gas tax. Santa’s not going to drop $170 billion down the chimney, after all.
Four Ways Mel Watt Could Change Housing Policy
The Wall Street Journal – December 5, 2013
There are important ways Mr. Watt could shift the agency’s direction at the margins.
This month, we’re looking back at some of Smart Growth America’s brightest moments and greatest accomplishments from 2013. Today’s highlight? Our work to get thousands of square miles of brownfields sites cleaned up and redeveloped through a bill introduced in Congress this year.
The Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development (BUILD) Act of 2013 would help communities across the country clean up brownfields sites and get them back into productive use. Senators Lautenberg (D-NJ), Inhofe (R-OK), Crapo (R-ID) and Udall (D-NM) introduced the bill in March, and since then Senators Hirono, Merkley, Brown, Schatz, Whitehouse, Gillibrand and Levin have all signed on as additional cosponsors.
Later this month planners in Washtenaw County, Michigan will unveil a plan for a re-imagined Washtenaw Avenue, a 4.5-mile corridor connecting Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, MI. The corridor will undergo a makeover to better support all modes of travel and mixed-use development, thanks in part to a $3 million grant from the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.
Washtenaw Avenue is the busiest corridor in in the county, averaging between 28,000 to 40,000 vehicle trips per day. However, the auto-centric pattern of parking lots and strip malls lacks mixed-use development and is not safe for pedestrians and bicyclists using the roadway. Planners evaluated different strategies for improvements to the corridor and will reveal their detailed plan to the public on December 11, 2013.
County planners took a careful look at redeveloping the corridor through a mixed-use, transit-oriented development lens in order to capitalize on the avenue’s potential for economic development. Their strategy is to promote infill development at key locations, foster new mixed-use neighborhoods, revitalize existing neighborhoods, improve alternative transit choices, and promote an active urban setting. They will also make significant roadway improvements including dedicated bus lanes, buffered bike lanes, wider sidewalks and landscaped green spaces that will make for a more attractive and safer roadway for all users.