Tag: walkable

CNBC: Walkable neighborhoods key to revitalizing America’s struggling suburbs

Bethesda Row
Bethesda Row in Bethesda, MD, is a walkable area amidst a suburban community. Photo by ehpien via Flickr.

Suburbs around the country are reinventing themselves by adopting pedestrian-friendly streets and amenities, according to a new special report by CNBC. The growing demand for neighborhoods where people can walk to shops, restaurants, parks and schools is outpacing supply—but creating walkable communities goes beyond simply building sidewalks. Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America spoke to CNBC about the new trend.

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Mayor Ralph Becker on building a prosperous Salt Lake City, UT

TRAX SLC
Salt Lake City’s TRAX light rail line, one of Salt Lake City’s many innovative transportation projects. Photo by Matt Johnson via Flickr.

Mayor Ralph Becker, a charter member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, is turning Salt Lake City, UT into one of this nation’s most prosperous urban centers. And he’s doing it by building accessibility, sustainability and livability into many city policies.

Becker’s efforts are evident across Salt Lake City. He has spearheaded one of the most ambitious rail systems in the country, building new light rail, bus rapid transit, streetcar AND commuter rail systems. He’s also made the city accessible for all users by more than doubling the number of bike lanes, launching a bike share program and focusing on walkability and pedestrian safety.

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“Walkable Living Stories” profiles those living “Car-Lite” in the greater Washington area

NehaWalkableLifestyle

Smart Growth America Coalition Member Coalition for Smarter Growth, which works to make the case for smart growth in and around the nation’s capital, recently launched a new feature series “Walkable Living Stories”. The series will profile Washington, DC residents who use a car never or infrequently – a portion of the population that continues to grow.

The trend of opting for a transit-oriented, walkable lifestyle is particularly encouraging when one considers that some District of Columbia policies still favor a car-centric lifestyle. These policies include mandatory parking requirements for new buildings in areas with public transportation options.

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Walkability increasingly drives developers and real estate market

What makes a town or city desirable? What makes a neighborhood a great place to raise a family or start a new job? And what characteristics drive local economic growth and drive the real estate market? It all starts with …

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Smart growth news – December 7

Walkable Neighborhoods Gaining Popularity — Even in the Suburbs
Huffington Post, December 6, 2011
Last week, my colleague Chris Leinberger wrote a provocative op-ed in the New York Times titled “The Death of the Fringe Suburb.” Leinberger, who is president of LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors, which is a project of Smart Growth America, highlighted the convergence of a number of factors in heralding the decline of far flung, auto-dependant exurbs. Rising gas prices, demographic changes, and shifting consumer preferences have all made these areas less attractive to homebuyers — a fact reflected in the financial troubles and foreclosure crises many of these communities face.

What the 2012 TED Prize Means for ‘The City 2.0’
Atlantic Cities, December 7, 2011
The organization behind the high-profile uber-conference TED has announced an unusual winner for the 2012 iteration of its TED Prize. The award is formally presented at the annual TED conference in February, when the winner announces his or her “wish” – a project that builds off the $100,000 prize money and the enthusiasm of the TED community to participate in somehow making the world a better place. This year’s winner, though, is a little different. It’s not a person, but rather an idea – and a big one: The City 2.0.

House, Senate Not Likely to Agree on Long-Term Transportation Bill This Year
Nation’s Cities Weekly, December 5, 2011
In remarks at a transportation meeting in Washington, D.C., last week, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) announced that the House would not move on a long-term surface transportation bill before the end of the year. Mica cited the lack of time on the House calendar as the reason for the delay after House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) had promised to pass a transportation bill before the end of the year. The current short-term extension of federal transportation programs expires in March 2012.

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Smart growth news – September 9

Infrastructure Spending Builds American Jobs
Center for American Progress, September 8, 2011
Academic, private-sector, and nonpartisan government studies alike confirm the positive effects of infrastructure and transportation investments on private-sector employment. Data collected and published by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the House of Representatives show that every $1 billion in additional funds committed to highway projects between 2009 and 2010 produced 2.4 million job-hours, according to an analysis by Smart Growth America.[3] The return on investment on transit projects was even higher, with 4.2 million job-hours produced by every $1 billion in investment. With $21.5 billion in highway funding alone, the Recovery Act put Americans to work on our nation’s roadways for 51 million hours—time they may have otherwise spent idle and unpaid.

Former governor reflects on role as chief executive on Sept. 11
Maryland Community News, September 9, 2011
Cellular communications, which effectively froze in the hours after the terrorist attack, still present problems during emergencies, as evidenced by last month’s earthquake in which cell phone lines jammed as people reached out to loved ones, said Glendening, who now leads Washington, D.C.-based Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute, an organization that advocates for anti-sprawl planning policies

Walkable Urbanism creates wealth, real estate expert says
Press-Register (Ala.), September 9, 2011
When it comes to the production of walkable environments and downtown redevelopment, other cities in the Southeast have far outpaced Mobile, Christopher Leinberger, a real estate expert and developer, told a packed auditorium Tuesday.

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Smart growth news – August 19

More homebuyers want walkable, transit-served communities
Greater Greater Washington, August 18, 2011
New research shows that a growing number of homebuyers are interested in walkable, transit-served communities, and are willing to sacrifice a bigger house for a better neighborhood.

Car, bus or rail: for some Americans none of above
Reuters, August 19, 2011
More than half a million households in the 100 largest U.S. cities do not have cars or any access to public transportation, according to a study released on Thursday by the Brookings Institution.

Seattle, After Decade of Debate, Approves Tunnel
The New York Times, August 18, 2011
On Tuesday, voters here gave what amounts to a final blessing to a $2 billion, 1.7-mile, 56-foot-wide, deep-bore highway tunnel that will run below downtown skyscrapers and behind a sea wall that holds back Puget Sound.

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“An increasing movement toward more walkable cities”

CNBC released its list today of the top 10 most walkable cities in America, and includes in it a discussion of the growing trend among towns and cities to create neighborhoods with pedestrian-friendly streets and bustling downtown shopping districts. These features are a key part of smart growth development strategies and, as CNBC writer Cindy Perman explains, walkable neighborhoods have benefits beyond street-level charm. Walkable neighborhoods feel safer and more social, and help build exercise into daily routines. But even more importantly, walkable neighborhoods bring economic benefits:

You wouldn’t spend much time hanging around in the parking lot of a strip mall in a car-dependent suburb. But, you would linger in a very walkable city, which means you’re more inclined to spend more. Quite a bit more, in fact. The Urban Land Institute studied two Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC, one walkable and one not. They found that the Barnes & Noble book store in the walkable suburb made 20 percent more in profits than the one in the driving-dependent suburb.

“We call that a place-making dividend,” McMahon said. “People stay longer and come back more often and spend more money in places that attract their affection.”

There’s an economic benefit for homeowners, too: Homes in walkable cities hold their value better than those that were heavily reliant on driving, according to Smart Growth America, a group that promotes “smart growth” instead of suburban sprawl.


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New poll shows strong support for sustainable communities

(Cross-posted from Smart Growth America.) A recent poll by Smart Growth America has found that in the midst of a struggling U.S. economy, support for smart growth strategies remains high among Americans across the country and on both sides of …

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New report shows bike and pedestrian projects create more jobs

USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood blogged recently about the significant job creation that results from bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects when compared to typical roadwork.

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