Smart growth news- May 25, 2012

Top Stories

EPA Announces $69.3 Million to Clean Up Contaminated Sites and Revitalize Communities
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Press Release – May 24, 2012
Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $69.3 million in grants for new investments to provide communities with funding necessary to clean and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and create jobs while protecting public health.

Young People Chasing The Urban Lifestyle Are Settling In Smaller Cities
Business Insider- May 24, 2012
Just yesterday we reported that the next trend in urbanization will revolve around small cities. It looks like millennials agree.

Infographic: The United Bike Lanes of America
GOOD – May 24, 2012
Within urban areas, more people are traveling to work or running errands on two wheels thanks to safer and more well-designed bike routes. Whether people are using them for work, exercise, vacation, or just a leisurely Sunday afternoon backcountry ride, bike lanes are thriving as thoroughfares in our bike nation.


Urban expert tells suburban officials central city is key
Sun News (OH) – May 24, 2012
An expert on urban sprawl warned suburbs in Cuyahoga County their fiscal lives depend on the success of the inner city.

Half of Detroit’s Streetlights May Go Out as City Shrinks
Bloomberg- May 24, 2012
Detroit, whose 139 square miles contain 60 percent fewer residents than in 1950, will try to nudge them into a smaller living space by eliminating almost half its streetlights.

Could drivers be able to pay their way out of traffic congestion?
Chicago Sun-Times (IL) – May 24, 2012
Drivers could be given the option of paying more for a less-congested commute as part of a plan to rebuild and widen I-90 from O’Hare to Rockford.

Santa Monica Sees a Flurry of Mixed-Use Development Activity
The Real Estate Rama (CA)- May 23, 2012
Torrance, CA – You can’t throw a stone without hitting a mixed-use development underway or in planning in Santa Monica, Calif. these days. At least eight mixed-use projects combining residential and retail are either under construction or in planning stages as Santa Monica readies for the completion of the Expo Light Rail line and works to increase the available stock of housing, according to Christine Deschaine, a principal of Lee & Associates-LA North/Ventura, Inc. who is preleasing one of the projects underway and advising on another.

BART prepares for riders of 2052
SF Examiner- May 22, 2012
The Bay Area’s population is expected to increase by more than 2 million people over the next 40 years, and the overwhelming majority of those residents are projected to live near transit centers such as BART stations.

Beverly Hills subway approved after fiery films
The Associated Press- May 24, 2012
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Flames, explosions, sophisticated soundtracks, slapstick comedy with harmonizing hillbillies.

How many railcars does it take to run Metro?
Greater Greater Washington- May 24, 2012
Every day dozens of Metro trains crisscross the region. How many cars does normal weekday service require? And where do those cars run? We asked the agency, and they were happy to provide the numbers.

Miami flair on Main Street
The State (SC) – May 24, 2012
“The Millennials are coming of age and there’s a pent-up demand for housing among that demographic,” Arnold said of the 20-something professionals who are the main tenants for downtown housing. “They are coming out of school, and they want to get out of the house and live in urban areas.”

Tulsa planning commission needs more training on land-use issues, councilor says
Tulsa World (OK) – May 25, 2012
Councilor Blake Ewing is calling for the 11-member Tulsa Area Metropolitan Planning Commission to receive more training, saying its recommendations to the council have been “inconsistent.”

Editorial and Opinion

Our Views: A city fit for living
The Advocate (LA) – May 24, 2012
Geoff Anderson, president of Smart Growth America, recently spoke in Baton Rouge at the invitation of the nonprofit Center for Planning Excellence. He called this census number striking, with significant implications for economic development.

The Seattle area’s scandalous lack of adequate transit capacity
The Seattle Times- May 24, 2012
Research shows that the combined cost of housing and personal transportation is reduced, not increased, in metro regions with higher density. However, the Seattle area lags behind, perhaps scandalously, in providing needed transit infrastructure, writes guest columnist Eric Bruun.

Coalition Members in the News

National Trust for Historic Preservation Files Brief in Support of Federal Lawsuit Challenging Honolulu’s Rail Project
Hawaii Reporter (HI) – May 24, 2012
A powerful ally with more than 300,000 members nationwide and thousands of preservation partners in all 50 states has filed an amicus brief yesterday in support of a federal lawsuit challenging the validity of the city’s Environmental Impact Statement for its $5.3 billion elevated steel on steel rail project.