Category: Blog

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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Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams on the challenges and opportunities of governing a rapidly urbanizing area

rsz_1rsz_6281804196_d5c3f601f2_bSalt Lake County, Utah. Photo by Photo Dean via Flickr.

Not every mayor can say that they govern nearly half of a state’s population in one single county. But that’s exactly the case for Ben McAdams, Mayor of Salt Lake County, Utah and member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council.

Salt Lake County, with a population of over 1 million people, is located in a narrow valley sandwiched between two mountain ranges. Population growth over the past decade has reshaped the County, particularly following the 2002 Winter Olympics. Throughout the county, isolated pockets of development amidst farmlands and open space has evolved into an interconnected urban area that is populated from north to south and east to west. That population is projected to double in the next 20 to 30 years.

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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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Your questions about “Measuring Sprawl,” answered

We received a lot of great questions during Wednesday’s discussion about our new report, Measuring Sprawl 2014. We got so many great questions, in fact, that we weren’t able to answer all of them during the call. So we’ve collected some of the most common questions and will answer them here.

Q. The first edition of this report was published in 2002. Looking back, is America trending toward more sprawl or less sprawl? What about my particular metro area or county?
Both our methodology and the geographic boundaries have changed significantly since 2002. The bad news is that means comparisons over time are not accurate. The good news is that the 2014 methodology represents an significantly improved measure of sprawl.

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