Economic growth through transit-oriented development in Kansas City

As Kansas City prepares for a special election on a proposed downtown streetcar line, KCPT and the Mid-America Regional Council‘s Imagine KC series examines the impact of transit-oriented development on Kansas City’s metro. KCPT’s Randy Mason and LOCUS President Chris Leinberger toured some of Kansas City’s streetscape along the proposed line, and discussed the commerce and development streetcar proponents predict will follow.


Smart growth news- May 31, 2012

Top Stories

Fate of Bike-Ped Compromise Still Unknown as House Reconvenes
Streetsblog DC – May 30, 2012
The Senate has left town for their traditional late-May nine-day weekend, while the House has just returned from their own week off. Amid these comings and goings, work continues on the transportation bill, which has been concealed inside the conference committee’s secret underground lair since the beginning of May.

‘The Great Inversion’: Cities are the new suburbs, suburbs the new cities
Grist- May 30, 2012
For nearly 20 years, Alan Ehrenhalt served as the executive editor of Governing magazine, examining and writing about a variety of local and state-level trends and policies. In his new book, The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City, Ehrenhalt outlines at length what he dubs “a major change in American urban life” over the last decade: namely, that “living patterns are rearranging all throughout a metropolitan area,” something he calls a “demographic inversion.”

Bringing the Urban to the Suburbs – May 30, 2012
Donald Monti, president and CEO of Renaissance Downtowns, probably put it best during the Alternative Investment Summit’s “The Next Wave of Urban Investment in Suburbia” on Wednesday afternoon in Midtown: future suburban development should be defined as “urban nodes in suburbia.”

MD eyes growth pollution “offsets”
Baltimore Sun’s Baltimore Green blog (MD) – May 30, 2012
Maryland officials are drawing up plans to require potentially costly water pollution “offsets” for new development to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay.


Upcoming Webinars: June 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 1:00-3:00pm ET. Communication Strategies for Planning Processes. Register here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2:00-3:30pm ET. A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies. Register here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2:00-3:00pm ET. What Public Transit Means for Public Health. Register here.

Wednesday, June 13, 3:00-5:00pm ET. How PHAs Can Keep Housing Affordable By Controlling Transportation Costs. Register here.


Smart growth news- May 30, 2012

Top Stories

Study says Americans prefer walkable neighborhoods
NPR’s Marketplace – May 29, 2012
New research from the Brookings Institution says Americans will pay up to $1,500 more in rent every month to live in a “walkable” neighborhood — say, a place near their dry cleaners or grocery store or favorite restaurant. Christopher Leinberger of the Brookings Institution was one of the lead researchers on the study and he spoke with us about the new urbanized suburb and the rise in singles home buyers.

Home prices rise in most major US cities for first time since last August
The Washington Post/Associated Press- May 29, 2012
WASHINGTON — Home prices rose in March from February in most major U.S. cities for the first time in seven months. The increase is the latest evidence of a slow recovery taking shape in the housing market.

Building Bridges Out of Plastic
Audubon Magazine- May 25, 2012
Once destined to live eternally in landfills and landscapes, plastics are now getting second—and third and fourth—lives as recycled products that range from clothing to furniture. One of the newest reincarnations of discarded bottles and Tupperware: bridges. These plastic passageways are so strong they can support the weight of trucks, trains, and even tanks.

Making Rural Transit Work
DC Streetsblog- May 25, 2012
Transit in rural areas is tricky. Folks need to go farther, the passengers are more dispersed, and there’s less money to go around.


NPR: Study says Americans prefer walkable neighborhoods

Visitors at the Chattanooga, TN farmers’ market. Chattanooga is one of the smaller cities seeing a rise in walkable urban neighborhoods. Photo by Flickr user Larry Miller.

Chrisopher Leinberger, President of LOCUS and coauthor of the new report “Walk this Way:The Economic Promise of Walkable Places in Metropolitan Washington, D.C.” sat down with NPR’s Marketplace‘s David Brancaccio and Stacey Vanek Smith earlier today to talk about the report’s findings and the rising popularity of walkable neighborhoods. Listen to the audio or read a full transcript after the jump.


Smart growth news- May 29, 2012

Top Stories

Now Coveted: A Walkable, Convenient Place
New York Times – May 25, 2012
Until the 1990s, exclusive suburban homes that were accessible only by car cost more, per square foot, than other kinds of American housing. Now, however, these suburbs have become overbuilt, and housing values have fallen. Today, the most valuable real estate lies in walkable urban locations. Many of these now pricey places were slums just 30 years ago.

Gridlock, on roads and in highway bill talks, marks Memorial Day weekend
The Hill – May 28, 2012
“We have a huge infrastructure crisis that’s going to be on a lot of people’s minds this weekend and all they see is that Congress can’t do anything about it,” said Parris Glendening, president of the Smart Growth America Leadership Institute and a former governor of Maryland.

It’s costly, but Los Angeles is getting its rail mojo back
The Sacramento Bee (CA)- May 27, 2012
LOS ANGELES – It took more than a half-century, but this megalopolis that long ago turned its back on cheap street trolleys like the Red Car in favor of car-choked concrete superhighways is finally getting its rail mojo back.

Why America’s Love Affair with Cars Is No Accident
Scientific American- May 24, 2012
Drivers may feel spooked by seeing the first self-driving cars appear in coming years. But the new era could prove far less disruptive and bloody than the automobile’s 20th-century battle to push pedestrians off U.S. streets.


Partnership in the News: HUD Staff Visits Two Grantees in Minnesota

In rural Baxter, Minnesota, HUD staff met with 175 community members representing area youth, seniors, business leaders and residents who had gathered to help guide the Region 5 Resilient Region planning process. The HUD team also visited the Twin Cities and a meeting of 200 community leaders and foundations to look at the progress that has been made on the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative, a group of local and national funders that support the Central Corridor Light Rail Line.