Category: SGA News Clips

Smart Growth News — October 24, 2014

‘New Urbanism’ Hits the Suburbs
The Wall Street Journal — October 23, 2014
Long Island, whose neat rows of single-family homes came to symbolize the American dream in postwar suburbia, is showing signs of change. For 36 years, Marlene Leichter and her husband, Morty, have lived in the same sprawling three-level house in Great Neck, but now they have had enough of traditional suburban life.

EPA Invites Communities to Apply for Assistance to Build Resilience, Pursue Revitalization
EPA.Gov — October 23, 2014
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday invited communities to apply for technical assistance to implement smart growth development approaches. EPA is offering this technical assistance through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program to help communities across the country, including underserved communities, coastal communities, small cities and rural areas, adopt sustainable growth strategies.

The Case for Trailer Parks
The Atlantic — October 24, 2014
The snobs among us may judge these pre-fab homes as shoddily built, cheap eyesores in a country that’s increasingly eschewing the suburbs for walkable urban areas. But pre-fabricated homes just might be part of the solution to America’s affordable housing crisis.

Six Ways to Free Up Land for Desperately Needed Housing
Businessweek — October 23, 2014
Perfectly good lots aren’t being developed for homes, even though hundreds of millions of people worldwide live in homes that are unsafe, inadequate, or barely affordable, says a new report by McKinsey Global Institute. Even in densely populated New York City, the report says, one of every 10 acres of land zoned for residential development is vacant. “Unlocking land supply at the right location is the most critical step in providing affordable housing,” the report’s authors write.

Amtrak Considers Selling Real Estate for Development
Bloomberg — October 23, 2014
Amtrak will consider selling or leasing real estate it owns in New York, Washington, Baltimore, Chicago and Philadelphia as part of a plan to raise money, the U.S. passenger rail operator’s chairman said. The intercity railroad needs funds to keep up with a system that has seen record ridership, Chairman Anthony Coscia said during a panel discussion at a Manhattan conference sponsored by the Urban Land Institute. Among the sites under review is Sunnyside Yard in western Queens, which is used by Amtrak, the Long Island Rail Road and New Jersey Transit.

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Smart Growth News — October 23, 2014

No Picket Fence: Younger Adults Opting to Rent
The New York Times — October 22, 2014
On a recent sunny afternoon, a half-dozen grinding and spinning cement trucks helped lay the foundation for what many real estate developers see as the most promising housing opportunity in postrecession America: apartment living. Here in suburban Vienna, about 16 miles west of downtown Washington, Joshua Solomon’s DSF Group is remaking a congested but nondescript intersection into a haven for young adults of the millennial generation.
 
6 Common Mistakes Made By Cities and Towns in Urban Renewal
The Ocean Beach Rag — October 21, 2014
For the last half century, cities have attempted to repair the damage to their urban cores from migration to suburbs and exurbs. However, while cities get the big picture, too often in my 25 years as a land use attorney, I have seen the same mistakes repeated.
 
Redfin Buys Walkability Startup to Make Online Home-Hunting a Little Less Maddening
Wired — October 23, 2014
If you’ve ever spent time looking at houses, you know how wildly a listing can differ from reality. In many cases, the text exaggerates the charm of decaying old homes. Photos make rooms look bigger than they actually are, while deftly avoiding problem areas. And the “great neighborhood” promised by a listing turns out to be anything but.
 
Bullet Trains Aren’t Magic
Bloomberg View — October 22, 2014
Forget the ideological arguments about cars versus mass transit, sprawl versus density: These cities are getting to the point where it is lot less physically possible to move more people around without putting in dedicated bus lanes or more rail.

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Smart Growth News — October 22, 2014

Climate-Friendly Communities, Made Possible Through Empathy
Forbes — October 22, 2014
Communities will be impacted by warmer global temperatures (on average), changing precipitation patterns, and observed increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme events like heat waves, leading to food shortages. Honest collaboration toward better planning and risk mitigation must be the new normal. If we don’t learn to work together … well, we’re going to be in a world of hurt, facing greater risks of civil conflict over increasingly scare resources.

Downtown Syracuse’s residential growth is part of a national trend
Syracuse.com — October 22, 2014
The residential building boom in downtown Syracuse isn’t happening in vacuum. Young people are moving to downtowns even in Rust Belt cities like Cleveland and Buffalo, according to the Times. The number of college-educated people between 25 and 34 living within three miles of city centers is up 37 percent since 2000.

These conservatives make the case for vibrant cities. Most of their friends ignore them.
Grist — October 21, 2014
At first glance, smart growth and New Urbanism would seem like issues that break down along typical partisan and ideological divides. But urbanism is actually growing in popularity among a small cadre of conservative intellectuals.

Experts discuss technology’s role in future of transportation
The Washington Post — October 21, 2014
Ask a transportation expert what America needs right now and you’ll get a fairly simple answer: better roads and bridges, enhanced public transit and improved rail lines, ports and airports. Ask a transportation expert how Americans will get from place to place in 20 years, and often the answer is a lot less certain.

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Smart Growth News — October 21, 2014

Where Young College Graduates Are Choosing to Live
The New York Times — October 20, 2014
When young college graduates decide where to move, they are not just looking at the usual suspects, like New York, Washington and San Francisco. Other cities are increasing their share of these valuable residents at an even higher rate and have reached a high overall percentage, led by Denver, San Diego, Nashville, Salt Lake City and Portland, Ore., according to a report published Monday by City Observatory, a new think tank.

Millennials Continue Urbanization Of America, Leaving Small Towns
North Carolina Public Radio — October 21, 2014
It turns out the millennial generation is only accelerating the demographic shift toward urban living. In fact, this may be the most “bright lights, big city” generation in history. While the number of millennials is ticking slightly upward in small towns and rural areas, it’s nothing compared with the growth of their numbers in suburbs and cities.

When Planning for Retirement, Consider Transportation
The New York Times — October 17, 2014
According to the American Journal of Public Health, Americans are outliving their ability to drive safely — a woman, on average, by 10 years, a man by seven. Over all, the ability to drive safely as one ages depends on health. Some people can drive into their 90s while others begin to cut back at 65.

In Texas, Toll Roads Proliferate—and a Backlash Builds
The Wall Street Journal — October 20, 2014
Toll roads are experiencing a growth spurt around the U.S. as states strapped for cash look to relieve traffic congestion without raising taxes. But a political backlash is rising in Texas, one of the states that most aggressively encouraged toll-road construction, as residents realize that many major urban freeways are increasingly no longer free.

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Smart Growth News — October 20, 2014

How Walkable Communities Are Good for Us
The Huffington Post — October 20, 2014
We know from exhaustive past research that walkable neighborhoods and cities reduce driving, associated emissions, and living costs. Three important academic studies published earlier this year demonstrate that they are good for our health, too.

Cities Left Behind By Economic Change
Forbes — October 20, 2014
When I was a child, my family visited the Calico ghost town in the California desert. A half century after the silver mines closed, Walter Knott (founder of Knott’s Berry Farm) purchased the town, restored the buildings, and operated it as an amusement park.

Housing First: the ‘counterintuitive’ method for solving urban homelessness
The Guardian (UK) — October 20, 2014
Despite the Great Recession, the gutting of the auto industry and the city’s much-publicised bankruptcy, homelessness in Detroit has actually fallen (albeit by less than 1%) since 2010, according to the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries. Nor is it the only city. Across the US, homelessness in cities is dropping almost across the board.

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Smart Growth News — October 17, 2014

Do the Most Hipster Thing Possible—Move to Des Moines
National Journal — October 16, 2014
Ambitious minds are in the process of building a new Des Moines, a tech hub in Silicon Prairie, an artistic center in the Heartland, a destination for people who want to create something meaningful outside of the limits imposed by an oversaturated city like Chicago or New York.

The link between housing policy and student achievement
Washington Post — October 16, 2014
It is impossible to divorce a student’s life outside of school with how well he or she does in class.

A Chat with Amtrak’s CEO on the State of U.S. Passenger Rail
City Lab — October 16, 2014
Year after year, Amtrak sets ridership records along with the pace of intercity travel in the all-important Northeast Corridor from Washington to Boston via New York, where it reaps big profits. And year after year, Amtrak gets hammered for needing huge amounts of federal taxpayer money to maintain costly (yet mandatory) long-distance operations—even as highways require far, far greater subsidies.

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Smart Growth News — October 16, 2014

The Conservative Case Against the Suburbs
The American Conservative — October 15, 2014
America’s suburban experiment is a radical, government-led re-engineering of society, one that artificially inverted millennia of accumulated wisdom and practice in building human habitats.

TOD biggest trend of century, says new report
Real Estate Weekly — October 15, 2014
Transit Oriented Development (TOD) has emerged as the most substantial development trend of the early 21st century, according to real estate experts.

Foxx: Lame Duck Session An Opportunity To Fix Highway Trust Fund
WAMU (DC) — October 16, 2014
The Obama administration’s top transportation official said the coming lame duck session of Congress will present an opportunity to pass an elusive multi-year road and transit funding bill to end the cycle of short-term patches that keep the Highway Trust Fund from going broke.

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Smart Growth News — October 15, 2014

The Return of the American Streetcar
WNPR (Conn.) — October 14, 2014
Could streetcars be the mass transit solution we’ve been waiting for?

Scrunched in Seattle
Politico — October 14, 2014
The country’s fastest growing city (population 640,500), Seattle is the pioneer of micro-housing—tiny, one-room dwellings that are in turn hailed as an affordable, sustainable alternative to the high cost of city living, and disparaged as an inhuman experiment in downsizing.

Crumbling U.S. Fix Seen With Global Trillions of Dollars
Bloomberg News — October 15, 2014
“America needs the upgrade and modernization of our infrastructure, and I don’t think you’ll get there if you keep excluding, or at least discouraging, private capital.”

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