Tag: Businesses moving downtown

Smart growth news – December 22

What the End of the Sustainable Communities Grants Means For Planning
Governing Magazine, December 21, 2011
One reason the program may have suffered is a general lack of appreciation for planning. “It’s a hard thing to defend in the sense that it’s not putting a piece of infrastructure in the ground,” said Geoffrey Anderson, head of Smart Growth America. “But then you think about building a building without planning. The idea is absurd.” Indeed, a different Sustainable Communities initiative, the Transportation Department’s TIGER grants, survived. It provides over $500 million to highways, transit, bridges and ports.

Cities Face Tough Choices as U.S. Slashes Block Grants Program
New York Times, December 21, 2011
The shrinking federal program, called Community Development Block Grants, was devised by the Nixon administration to bypass state governments and send money directly to big cities, which were given broad leeway to decide how to spend it. This year the federal government is giving out just $2.9 billion — a billion dollars less than it gave two years ago, and even less than it gave during the Carter administration, when the money went much further.

Transit as a Stepping Stone to Prosperity
Regional Plan Association Blog, December 21, 2011
Christmas came early to the tri-state region this year. In the span of a week, two high-profile, competitive awards landed on Long Island and in Stamford, Conn. While they have different objectives and scopes, both should help further the twin goals of revitalizing the metropolitan economy and supporting more sustainable, transit-oriented development.

Posted in Blog, SGA News Clips | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smart growth news – December 12

Forget Stadiums, Cities Should Fight For Apple Stores
Forbes, December 9, 2011
The computer stores have become ‘anchors’ for affluent downtown areas, says Robert Gibbs, an urban economic and planning consultant and author of of “Principles of Urban Retail Planning and Development.” “Sports stadiums do not generate much cross shopping: they’re nice to have but greatly overrated,” Gibbs says. “If you have an Apple store on your Main Street, though, that gives you a kind of ‘good housekeeping seal of approval,’ that’s going to attract others.”

$3.7 million in HUD money to help five Central Texas communities with city planning, design
American-Statesman (Texas), December 10, 2011
A $3.7 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant awarded to the Capital Area Council of Governments will provide five Central Texas cities with planning and design consulting services through February 2014. The money, through HUD’s Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grants program, will go to Austin, Dripping Springs, Elgin, Hutto and Lockhart.

Debunking public transportation myths
Detroit Free Press, December 11, 2011
The American Public Transportation Association says the long-term trend is clear: Ridership on the nation’s buses, subways, commuter rail lines and other transit systems grew 34% in 1995-2009, outpacing 23% growth in the number of vehicle miles driven on highways in that period. The number of workers who rely on transit regularly grew by a million, to nearly 7 million nationwide, in 2005-09.

Posted in Blog, SGA News Clips | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Smart growth news – November 21

Gwinnett Among 15 Communities Chosen Nationwide to Receive ‘Smart Growth’ Assistance From the Experts
Curbed Atlanta, November 18, 2011
With the help of forward-thinking officials like Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson (who as Chairman of the Atlanta Regional Transportation Roundtable, was instrumental in getting the TPLOST project list approved), Gwinnett County has quietly become a leader in the sustainability movement in Georgia by pushing its communities toward smarter growth. The county has now been chosen to receive free smart growth technical assistance from Smart Growth America, one of the country’s premier think tanks on community-building and sustainability issues.

Derry Township selected for free tech assistance
Lebanon Daily News (Pa.), November 18, 2011
Derry Township is among more than a dozen communities that have been selected to receive Smart Growth America‘s 2011 free smart-growth technical assistance.

East El Paso sprawl: Boom strains services, city coffers
El Paso Times, November 20, 2011
Sprawl on El Paso’s East Side is putting a strain on city services, such as fire and police protection, water and sewage utilities, roads and recreational areas, a growing number of urban planners said.

Posted in Blog, SGA News Clips | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smart growth news – November 17

High-tech HQ leaving suburbs for downtown
Kansas City Star, November 16, 2011
It’s believed to be the first significant suburban company to make the switch downtown since a multi-billion-dollar revival began a decade ago. The firm said it thought a downtown location would boost the recruiting of younger and more tech-savvy employees.

Data show Maine population growing in suburban areas
The Morning Sentinel (Maine), November 17, 2011
Overall, the state of Maine experienced net growth during the first decade of this century. Richert said many urban areas in Maine had growth of up to 5 percent. But suburban areas grew faster. And that growth poses problems with agriculture and production in Maine

Brady District revitalization helped by TIF status
Tulsa World (Okla.), November 17, 2011
In 1993, when the city introduced “tax increment financing” in the Brady District, officials described it as the spark that would ignite downtown revitalization. And now, 18 years later, redevelopment is raging through the Brady District, where more than $80 million in construction is either under way or planned for the near future.

Posted in Blog, SGA News Clips | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smart growth news – November 4

Poverty tightens its grip in America’s cities, new numbers show
Kansas City Star, November 2, 2011
The population in the nation’s extremely disadvantaged neighborhoods — those where 40 percent or more live below the poverty line — has risen by one-third in the last decade, according to a Brookings report out today.

Blueprint for a New American Home
Wall Street Journal, November 2, 2011
The new American home is taking shape. Tough recent years are leaving their mark on home design, just as the housing-boom years sent square footage soaring and stamped a distinctive “McMansion” style on neighborhoods across the country. Big home builders, smaller architecture firms and even bathroom-fixture makers are adjusting to the shift toward more practical features and away from the aspirational.

Detroit native Dan Gilbert bets big on the city’s rebound
Reuters, November 2, 2011
In all, Gilbert controls 1.7 million square feet in Detroit, including four office buildings and two parking platforms in a four-block area of Woodward Avenue. His plan: To leverage his wealth and connections to create a cluster of entrepreneurial companies in downtown that will lure other start-ups away from Chicago, New York and Silicon Valley. He calls his vision “Detroit 2.0.”

Posted in Blog, SGA News Clips | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smart growth news – October 19

Study ranks Louisville area high for use of ‘deficient’ bridges
The Courier-Journal (Ky.), October 18, 2011
Among metropolitan areas with populations between 1 million and 2 million people, the Louisville area ranked third in average daily traffic on deficient bridges, according to the Metropolitan Bridge Rankings from the Washington, D.C.-based Transportation for America.

Zappos putting its stamp on downtown Las Vegas
Las Vegas Sun, October 18, 2011
Hundreds of his employees are donating time to brainstorm ideas for new music venues and restaurants. They’re looking at ways to improve schools — a key to convincing families to live downtown — and attract tech companies, with the unspoken goal of developing a mini-Silicon Valley near City Hall.

More Than 300 Public Transit Projects Receive Federal Funds
Governing, October 17, 2011
In all, $928.5 million was awarded for fiscal year 2011 transit improvements. Projects include new buses, equipment, garages and bike programs for various municipalities and transportation authorities.

Posted in Blog, SGA News Clips | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Smart growth news – October 12

Obama selects D.C. project, 13 others to help spur jobs
Washington Post, October 11, 2011
A mixed-use development in the District’s Shaw neighborhood is one of 14 infrastructure projects across the country that the Obama administration has selected to be put on the fast track to help create jobs, the White House announced Tuesday.

Quicken welcomes 1,500 suburban workers to Detroit
The Detroit News, October 11, 2011
As Gilbert and Bing noted, the latest group of workers means another 1,500 people dining in downtown restaurants, walking along the RiverWalk, staying after work for ball games or concerts and, possibly, taking advantage of new incentives to move to the greater downtown area.

Mayor Swearengin unveils Fresno Downtown Neighborhoods Community Plan
ABC 30 (Calif.), October 12, 2011
Fresno residents voiced their concerns Tuesday as city leaders revealed their plan to revitalize Downtown and its surrounding areas. The 150-page document has been two years in the making.

Posted in Blog, SGA News Clips | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smart growth news – September 21

Officials eye federal money for vacant homes
Baltimore Sun, September 18, 2011
While most of the debate on President Barack Obama’s jobs bill has focused on taxes, spending on infrastructure and unemployment insurance, housing officials in Baltimore and across the country are monitoring a little-remarked proposal to revitalize vacant and abandoned properties. Though housing officials generally praise the $15 billion program, called “Project Rebuild,” they say its impact will depend in large part on whether it is geared to address recent foreclosures or the more chronic abandonment of the sort found in cities such as Baltimore and Detroit.

Good news and bad on federal funding
New Urban Network, September 20, 2011
As Congress turns its attention to appropriations, advocates of smart growth and New Urbanism see the results so far as mixed. Reconnecting America expressed satisfaction Tuesday (Sept. 20) with one of the most recent Congressional decisions.

Daemen Summit Features Speakers on Smart Growth and Climate Smart Communities
Buffalo Rising (N.Y.), September 20, 2011
The term “Smart Growth” was coined by former Maryland Governor Parris Glendenning during his first gubernatorial campaign. Glendenning used the phrase to describe a “smarter”, more sustainable alternative to sprawling development. Subsequently, in 1997, Maryland passed the first comprehensive state Smart Growth law, which became the prototype for Smart Growth reforms today.

Posted in Blog, SGA News Clips | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smart growth news – September 20

Top federal urban programs face the ax
New Urban Network, September 19, 2011
Smart Growth America alerted its members today that funding for the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities is in imminent danger of being discontinued.

Federal Support for Smart Planning Is on the Line Tomorrow
Streetsblog, September 19, 2011
Tomorrow, a Senate panel will vote on two budget bills for FY2012, one of which is for transportation and housing programs. The draft of the bill isn’t available until after the subcommittee markup tomorrow, but Smart Growth America is calling attention to the fact that it’s important to make sure the bill includes funding for the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, the partnership between USDOT, the EPA, and HUD.

How a small community is becoming greener – with help from some important friends
NRDC Switchboard, September 19, 2011
The small city of Ranson, West Virginia – population about 4000 – has taken some very important steps toward a more sustainable future. In particular, it is cleaning up its contaminated sites; reconceiving its streets and stormwater management; and encouraging walkable, in-town redevelopment, all at the same time. That Ranson had the initiative to do this is immensely significant, since we need more and better examples of green initiatives in small, rural communities. But just as significant is that none of this would be possible without the assistance of the federal government’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

Posted in Blog, SGA News Clips, West Virginia | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Companies migrate from suburbs to downtown Chicago

During the past five years, at least 10 companies have relocated some or all of their business to downtown Chicago, including United Airlines, BP, Thomson Reuters and Willis Group Holdings. Now, according to a story in this weekend’s Chicago Tribune, other major employers like Acco Brands, Sara Lee Corp. and Barilla are also considering moving back to the city – and they’re not alone.

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment