Smart Growth News — April 24, 2014

Survey: Millennials Willing to Relocate for Better Transportation Options
Streetsblog — April 23, 2014
Young people want to live in cities that give them a variety of transportation options and make it easy to get around without a car.

U.S. Rep. Esty to introduce bill offering tax incentives for brownfield remediation
The Register Citizen — April 22, 2014
U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5, announced Tuesday plans to introduce an act to help encourage investment in cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites.

U.S. EPA Administrator McCarthy, HUD Secretary Donovan, and DOT Secretary Foxx To Tour Joint Federal Investments and Sustainability Sites in Memphis
EPA.Gov — April 23, 2014
On Friday, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy will join U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx to conduct a tour highlighting joint agency investments in Memphis through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

Here’s the Right Way to Build the Futuristic Cities of Our Dreams
Wired — April 23, 2014
To help push the industry forward and achieve those trillion dollar market projections, we need to spend as much time and energy creating policy blueprints as we’ve spent researching and marketing new technologies. Smart policies must match smart technologies.

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LOCUS to unveil new rankings of walkable urban places in America


LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors along with The George Washington University’s Center for Real Estate & Urban Analysis will release an updated report ranking the 30 metropolitan areas with the most walkable urban places in the country at the 2014 LOCUS Leadership Summit.

This new ranking is an updated version of a 2007 survey by the Brooking Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program comparing the economic performance of metropolitan areas that have the most walkable urban places based on selected commercial real estate metrics. The ranking will highlight which metropolitan areas are transitioning away from sprawl, which are in the process of transition, and those that are continuing to sprawl outward.

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Smart Growth News — April 23, 2014

Access To Public Transportation A Top Criterion For Millennials When Deciding Where To Live, New Survey Shows
Digital Journal — April 22, 2014
A large majority of Millennials wants access to better transit options and the ability to be less reliant on a car, according to a new survey of Millennials in 10 major U.S. cities, released today by The Rockefeller Foundation and Transportation for America.

HUD’s Donovan: This is the worst rental crisis in this nation, ever
HousingWire — April 22, 2014
Speaking Tuesday at an event hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan called on members of Congress to pass housing finance reform now because “this might be the only chance we have to get something done in this decade.”

Sprawling Toward Gomorrah: Is Las Vegas Capable of Changing its Growth?
Vegas Seven — April 22, 2014
The Clark County population officially passed the 2 million mark recently after a slow-down during the recession—a fact I was chatting about as I drove on U.S. 95 toward Downtown with my nephew, a graduate student living in San Francisco.

What Other Cities Learned: These five tore down highways and reaped the rewards
D Magazine — April 23, 2014
On December 15, 1973, a dump truck carrying 60,000 pounds of asphalt, which was needed to repair New York City’s West Side Highway, crashed right through the road.

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Smart Growth News — April 22, 2014

Earth Day: Promoting Urban Revitalization and Green Cities
The Huffington Post — April 21, 2014
April 22nd is Earth Day — an annual celebration of the planet’s biodiversity and an important opportunity to highlight solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental and social challenges.

Opinion: Want green cities? Lose the cars
CNN — April 22, 2014
If you really want to strike a blow for the environment during Earth Day on Tuesday, do yourself and everybody else a favor and stop driving your car in town. Really — who needs it?

Here’s how the media is getting the story on cities & millennials wrong
GRIST — April 21, 2014
Last week, the New York Times informed us that there has been a precipitous decline in the number of 25- to 44-year-olds moving into some of the Big Apple’s affluent suburbs in Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk counties.

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A closer look at Measuring Sprawl: Land use mix in Santa Barbara, CA

Santa Barbara, CA

Santa Barbara, CA’s high score for land mix use—the diversity of jobs, homes, and services within its neighborhoods—helped it land near the top of our recent Measuring Sprawl 2014 report’s rankings for American cities. As Measuring Sprawl 2014 explores, a high overall rating for connectivity and compactness is linked to improved health outcomes, greater economic mobility, and lower combined spending on housing and transportation costs.

Santa Barbara’s outstanding level of land use mixture is the result of 25 years of planning, design, and implementation driven by both community and local government leaders. But the city’s key policies and strategies hold lessons for every community, no matter what size or how far along in the process.

Factor in focus: Land Use Mix
Measuring Sprawl 2014 used four factors to evaluate development: density, land use mix, street connectivity and activity centering. Every major metro area in the country was evaluated on these factors, which were then combined to create a metro area’s overall Sprawl Index score.

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Alderman Jane Grover is working to make Evanston, IL “the most livable city” in America

A cycle track on Church St. in Evanston, IL.A cycle track on Church Street in Evanston, IL. Photo by Steven Vance, via Flickr.

“Our vision is to be the most livable city,” says Alderman Jane Grover of Evanston, IL. A member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, Grover is full of enthusiasm for her city and the work being done there.

Evanston, IL is an urban community with a population of 74,000 located north of Chicago on Lake Michigan. Northwestern University, a major institutional anchor in the city, has helped spawn businesses and contributes to the culture and demographics of this progressive community.

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Smart Growth News — April 21, 2014

Opinion: U.S. must get over its favoritism for suburbs
The Dallas Morning News — April 18, 2014
After over a half-century of depopulation, cities have been filling up — and not just with young millennials, but with families and even with older workers and retirees.

Bikers, walkers make for healthier cities, report finds
USA TODAY — April 17, 2014
Levels of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes are lower in cities where a higher percentage of commuters bicycle or walk to work, and cities where drivers get used to sharing the road with bikers and walkers generally have lower rates of pedestrian and bike fatalities.

Tearing Down an Urban Highway Can Give Rise to a Whole New City
The Atlantic Cities — April 21, 2014
As depicted in the recent and excellent documentary film The Human Scale, it’s a movement that now stretches from Melbourne to New York City, from Copenhagen to Chongqing.

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Smart Growth News — April 18, 2014

CBO: Highway fund will face shortfall under Obama budget
The Hill — April 17, 2014
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said Thursday that the Department of Transportation’s Highway Trust Fund will not have enough money under President Obama’s proposed 2015 budget, despite an infusion of cash that has been suggested by the president.

Ben Ross’ ‘Dead End’ chronicles the fall of suburban sprawl
The Washington Post — April 18, 2014
The world is made up of two types of people. Determining which kind you are doesn’t require a whole BuzzFeed quiz. Just answer one question: What do you think about a road that terminates in front of a cluster of homes?

Affordable Housing Takes On a Different Look
The Wall Street Journal — April 17, 2014
With the scaffolding slowly coming down from a retrofitted P.S. 109, East Harlem residents are getting their first view at an affordable-housing project that stands in contrast to other such digs in the neighborhood.

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Smart Growth News — April 17, 2014

Suburbs try to prevent an exodus as young adults move to cities and stay
The New York Times — April 16, 2014
A recent report on the suburb-dotted New York counties of Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk, based on United States census data, found that those young people seem to be lingering longer in New York City, sometimes forsaking suburban life entirely.

HUD’s Donovan says U.S. Senate housing bill is best chance of reform
Reuters — April 16, 2014
President Barack Obama’s top housing official on Wednesday said a proposed Senate bill provides the best chance to overhaul the mortgage finance system this decade, but more debate over down payment requirements for government-backed loans is needed.

U.S. Transportation Sec. Foxx tours Atlanta projects Wednesday
Atlanta Journal-Constitution — April 16, 2014
Amid a nationwide tour to promote transportation investment, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx met with Atlanta leaders Wednesday to visit the city’s flashiest federally funded transit projects: the Atlanta Streetcar and Atlanta Beltline.

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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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