Join the 2016 LOCUS Leadership Summit for walking tours around Boston

The 2016 LOCUS Leadership Summit will bring together smart growth real estate developers and investors from across the country in just less three weeks in Boston. The event will feature three walking tours around the Boston metropolitan area showcasing neighborhoods transformed by investments in infrastructure—and you’re invited to join us.

One Greenway
One Greenway restored the urban fabric and vibrancy of Chinatown’s Hudson Street neighborhood in downtown Boston after it was destroyed in the 1950’s. The mixed-use, sustainable housing development includes 363 units within walking distance of public transportation, neighborhood retail, and community space. Janelle Chan, Executive Director of the Asian Community Development Corporation, will lead this walking tour on June 14th at 2:00 PM.
Assembly Row 
With over 500,000 square feet of retail space, 2,100 residential units, and 1.75M square feet of office, Assembly Row is an urban mixed-use development designed to compliment the legacy of Boston. Don Briggs, Executive Vice President of Development at Federal Realty Investment Trust, will lead this tour on June 15th at 4:00 PM.
Union Square
In 2012, the redevelopment of Union Square, Somerville’s oldest commercial district, began with the Union Square Revitalization Plan. The first phase of the 20-year plan will produce new Green line transit stations at Union Square and Washington Street. Greg Karczewski, President of Union Square Station Associates, will lead this tour immediately following the Assembly Row tour.


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Now Hiring: Transportation for America Policy Program Intern

Transportation for America, a project of Smart Growth America, seeks a Policy Program Intern to support its emerging Mobility on Demand/Smart City efforts and its 2016 Capital Ideas II Conference. The intern will be a core member of the T4America team and provide direct support for both the Policy and Smart City teams.

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Senate EPW Committee votes to reauthorize EPA’s Brownfields program

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The EPA Brownfields program helped to remediate a former railroad line in Greenville, SC. Today that line is the Swamp Rabbit Trail, the backbone of an extensive pedestrian and bicycling trail system in the county. Photo via Flickr.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields program has helped hundreds of communities clean up and redevelop vacant and contaminated land known as brownfields. The program has not been an official part of the federal budget for several years, however. Last week the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) voted to change that.

On May 18, the EPW Committee approved the Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development Act of 2015 (BUILD Act), which would reauthorize the EPA Brownfields program through 2018. Senator Jim Inhofe and Senator Edward Markey introduced the Act on June 2, 2015. Last week the bill passed on voice vote without amendment.

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Announcing the winners of the 2016 LOCUS Leadership Awards

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For the past four years, LOCUS has presented our annual LOCUS Leadership Awards to developers and investors who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to public leadership, smart growth development, and furthering our mission of advocating for sustainable, walkable urban development.

We received an unprecedented number of nominations this year, and our decision was no easy task. After careful consideration, we are pleased to announce the following winners of the 2016 LOCUS Leadership Awards.

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Complete Streets News — May 2016


Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Photo Credit: Downtown Indy

Read

Registration is now open for Street Lights — Join the National Complete Streets Coalition at Street Lights: Illuminating Implementation and Equity in Complete Streets, our first-ever Complete Streets conference, taking place on November 15, 2016 in Sacramento, CA. This day-long conference will be a chance for transportation planners and engineers, community, equity, and health advocates, local officials, and Complete Streets practitioners to share ideas, brainstorm solutions, and celebrate the success of the Complete Streets movement nationwide together. Conference registration is $150 for National Complete Streets Coalition partners and $195 for non-partners. Become a partner today and one complimentary registration is included!

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Ask USDOT to #MakeMeCount this Bike to Work Day

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Don and his co-pilot asked USDOT to #MakeMeCount last week. Photo by @KostelecPlan.

This Friday, thousands of people across the country will put on their helmets and take to the streets for National Bike to Work Day, an annual event promoting active commuting options and safer streets.

Will you be joining the event? If so, make your ride even more impactful by telling USDOT to #MakeMeCount when it comes to measuring how well a street works.

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Five things to read and share during #InfrastructureWeek

This morning kicked off this year’s Infrastructure Week, a chance for political leaders and advocates to talk about how to make our nation’s roads, bridges, sidewalks, water, and digital infrastructure better for everyone.

Looking for ways to get involved? Here are five things to read and share this week:

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1. Two big moves for safer, more complete streets

Federal Highway Administration has a lot of influence over our nation’s infrastructure, and last week the agency made two big moves to clear the way for states, metro areas, and local communities to use federal dollars to design safer, more complete streets. Read more >>

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2. Mapping structurally deficient bridges

Do you drive across a bridge each day? There’s a good chance it’s structurally deficient. That’s according to The Fix We’re In For, our report about bridge conditions across the country. Find structurally deficient bridges in your area with our interactive map or get an overview of the national findings with this infographic.


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Feds get out of the way of communities that want to design safer, more complete streets

The Federal Highway Administration made two big moves this last week to clear the way for states, metro areas, and local communities to use federal dollars to design safer, more complete streets.

Both of these updates are great news for anyone advocating for streets that better meet the needs of everyone that uses them, as well as better serving the goals of the surrounding community. FHWA deserves a big round of applause for making these changes.

If you are working on a local transportation project and your DOT or some other agency cites vague federal rules when refusing to build a safe and complete street, show them the FHWA memo below. Their guidance makes it extremely clear: there’s wide latitude to design streets to best suit local needs, and old regulations that treat all roads like highways have been rolled back.

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Introducing Street Lights, our first-ever Complete Streets conference

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A Complete Streets approach can help Americans improve our health, our daily commutes, our local economies, and our communities. 

How can advocates encourage Complete Streets, and work with engineers and practitioners to get these projects built?

Join us to answer these questions at Street Lights: Illuminating Implementation and Equity in Complete Streets, the first-ever Complete Streets conference, taking place on November 15, 2016 in Sacramento, CA. 

We want you to join us. This day-long conference will be a chance for transportation planners and engineers, community, equity, and health advocates, local officials, and Complete Streets practitioners to share ideas, brainstorm solutions, and celebrate the success of the Complete Streets movement nationwide together.

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What’s the value of a great downtown? Joe Minicozzi can tell you exactly, in dollars and cents.

minicozzi-joe-300x225One of the main reasons Smart Growth America advocates for compact, walkable urban development is because this approach can greatly benefit the finances of municipalities. Smart growth strategies can reduce infrastructure costs and ongoing expenses for cities while also boosting tax revenues. Smart Growth America’s own work has shown that, and we know this to be true too because of the outstanding work of others in the field like Joe Minicozzi, AICP and the principal at Urban3, LLC, a consultancy based out of Asheville, NC. We’re fans of their work and and cite it often as yet another illustration of how good smart growth can be for city finances. We want to take this opportunity to highlight some of the evidence Minicozzi has amassed over the years demonstrating smart growth’s fiscal benefits.

Urban3 has been hired by cities and towns across the United States and Canada to analyze the financial implications of their development strategies. Most city planners and elected officials understand that a city brings in more tax revenue when people shop and eat out, Minicozzi explained in 2012, but they often underestimate just how much more valuable this economic activity is when it happens downtown rather than on a city’s outskirts.

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