Boulder, CO targets carbon reduction through transportation at smart growth strategy workshop

The Boulder Civic Area is a visionary “community driven” project to rethink and evolve the downtown’s most expansive public space. Image via on Flickr.

Boulder, CO officials and local residents will meet with representatives from Smart Growth America on March 4 and 5, 2013 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The workshops aim to find innovative travel and mobility strategies that will give Boulder the tools to achieve the next level of the city’s ambitious carbon-reduction goals.

Boulder residents are invited to join the workshops first day for an open house on the city’s 2013 Transportation Master Plan Update (from 4:30 to 6 p.m.) and a presentation by Smart Growth America (from 6 to 8 p.m.). The event will be held Monday, March 4, 2013 at the Hotel Boulderado Conference Center, 2115 13th Street, Boulder, CO.

Technical assistance

Buena Vista Charter Township looks to address long-term fiscal and economic goals during smart growth strategy workshop

A rendering of streetscape plans for Buena Vista Township. Image via

Smart Growth America will meet with residents and leaders of Buena Vista, MI next week to help identify new strategies that could attract business investments and stabilize neighborhoods in the township.

Buena Vista Township residents are invited to join the workshop’s first day for a public presentation on March 5, 2013 from 6-8 PM at the Buena Vista Community Center, 1940 South Outer Drive, Saginaw, Michigan.

Technical assistance

Smart Growth News – February 28, 2013

Subsidized Sprawl
The Independent (NJ) – February 27, 2013
Federal spending on real estate is more likely to benefit single-family homes than multifamily housing, advocacy group study shows.

Who Should Pay for Transportation
Atlantic Cities – February 28, 2013
A new generation of funding schemes turns the “user fee” on its head.

Time to renew fight against sprawl
Hartford Courant (CT) – February 28, 2013
“We complain about the cost of government in this state, yet we keep running up our own bill.”

Obama’s Grand Rail Plans: What Went Wrong?
Planetizen – February 27, 2013
Four years after a historic down payment was made on Pres. Obama’s plan to connect 80 percent of Americans to fast trains, “the prospects for a national high-speed rail system seem bleak.”


Join LOCUS in Seattle next month at ULI's annual housing conference

The Urban Land Institute (ULI)’s annual housing conference brings together housing professionals from across the country to discuss current challenges and opportunities for supporting a full spectrum of housing choices in cities and suburbs increasingly challenged by the new economy.

Joining the discussion at this year’s conference is LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors. LOCUS Managing Director Christopher Coes and Steering Committee member John Hempelmann, of Seattle-based business law firm Cairncross & Hempelmann, will join a panel discussion at the conference about federal involvement in real estate and how it might be reformed.

Local Leaders Council LOCUS

Know a project that's creating great neighborhoods? Nominate it for the 2013 National Awards for Smart Growth Achievement

Buffalo, NY’s Larkin District won an honorable mention for the Main Street or Corridor Revitalization category in 2013. Photo courtesy of U.S. EPA.

Do you know of an organization or project that’s using better development strategies to make your community a great place to live? If you do, consider nominating it for the 2013 National Awards for Smart Growth Achievement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

These prestigious annual awards honor projects and policies that use smart growth strategies to improve communities environmentally, socially, and economically. Past winners include some of the most innovative development projects in the country, and a project in your community could be next.


Smart Growth News – February 27, 2013

Look to the Old Confederacy, not the Coasts, for America’s Economic Revival
Planetizen – February 27, 2013
Accounting for 45% of America’s land mass and 30% of its population, the Great Plains, the Intermountain West, the Gulf states, and the Southeastern industrial belt are key to a national revival, says a new report from the Manhattan Institute.

Here’s Barack Obama’s Plan To Fix America’s Crumbling Roads And Bridges
Business Insider – February 26, 2013
Even as Congress remains at a budget impasse, President Barack Obama continues to tout his plans to increase federal investment in the nation’s ailing infrastructure, a $50 billion initiative that the White House claims will spur job creation and economic growth.

Does Light Rail Really Encourage People to Stop Driving?
Atlantic Cities – February 26, 2013
One of the main justifications for building a light rail line is the hope that it will reduce traffic congestion in a corridor, presumably by drawing commuters out of their cars and onto the train.

Columbia: Re-Planning a Planned Community (MD) – February 27, 2013
In the late 1960s James Rouse developed Columbia as a planned, suburban community.


Smart Growth Stories: Mayor Marilyn Strickland on development in Tacoma, WA

Tacoma, WA Mayor Marilyn Strickland considers her city “the best kept secret in Washington State,” and smart growth strategies are helping make the city an even better place to live and work.

“Tacoma kind of got bypassed during the whole urban renewal phase of the late 60s and 70s, so as a result a lot of historic property did not get razed,” Strickland says. “So we have this beautiful stock of old warehouses and historic property.”

Local Leaders Council

Smart Growth News – February 26, 2013

Complete Streets: Traffic program adds pedestrians, bicyclists to the equation
Sun Sentinel (FL) – February 25, 2013
West Palm Beach became a model for the Complete Streets concept even before the term was coined in 2003. With CityPlace, the city showed that a development could have a pedestrian focus while at the same time revitalizing a neighborhood and providing economic vitality, said Stefanie Seskin, deputy director of the National Complete Streets Coalition.

Is the President Just Talk on Infrastructure? – February 26, 2013
It’s becoming a bit of a running gag in the transportation community: President Obama is one of the loudest supporters for spending money on improving the nation’s infrastructure.

Group seeking ‘brownfield’ sites for development
News-Sentinel (IN) – February 24, 2013
The Northeast Indiana Brownfield Coalition has scheduled meetings in each of its seven counties to explain a program to assess potential brownfield properties

Renting your car out to others takes 14 vehicles off the road – February 25, 2013
Conventional wisdom says leaving your car in your garage or office parking lot all day saves fuel, lessens pollution and helps the environment.


Smart Growth News – February 25, 2013

Taking a close look at the federal government’s spending on real estate
US Green Building Council Blog – February 22, 2013
The biggest real estate investor in the United States isn’t Donald Trump, and it’s not a private equity firm.

Kissing Frogs, and Other Smart Growth Strategies
Globe Street – February 22, 2013
Urban development continues to require expert planning and smart growth on the part of cities and developers alike.

Affordability as a transportation planning goal
Planetizen – February 25, 2013
What do transportation system users consider to be the most important problem? Here’s a hint: it’s not traffic congestion.

Bill seeks changes to Calif. environmental law
Tahoe Daily Tribune (CA) – February 25, 2013
California lawmakers on Friday positioned themselves to tackle changes to the state’s landmark environmental regulatory law, which has long been a source of conflict among business, environmentalists, labor groups and local governments.