Smart Growth News – December 12, 2013

Cul-de-Sacs are Killing America
The Week – December 11, 2013
Poor suburban design means we’re congesting roadways and walking less.

Deputy Transportation Secretary John Porcari to Leave DOT
The Washington Post – December 11, 2013
As deputy secretary, Porcari focused on the key role transportation could play in economic development and future growth.

Big Idea 2014: Goodbye Silicon Valley, Hello Silicon Cities
LinkedIn – December 10, 2013
Innovative companies and talented workers are revaluing the physical assets and attributes of cities. A new spatial geography of innovation is emerging and, in 2014, it will reach a critical mass worthy of recognition and replication.


For a Better Downtown
The Miami Herald – December 10, 2013
Miami has devised an ambitious plan to get residents and visitors walking around on their own two feet instead of cruising in cars downtown.


Smart Growth News – December 11, 2013

Harvard Study Finds: The Rent is Way Too High
Bloomberg Businessweek – December 9, 2013
The problem would get worse if Congress, in its zeal to eliminate loopholes from the tax code, were to get rid of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.

You Can’t Talk about Housing Costs without Talking about Zoning
Slate – December 10, 2013
We’ve so firmly shut the door on the idea of adding housing supply in the neighborhoods that are already the priciest ones in town.

Survey: Most Americans Prefer Smart Growth Communities
Wautauga Democrat (NC) – November 9, 2013
A majority of those surveyed by the National Association of Realtors said they prefer to live in mixed-use neighborhoods with short commutes to work — characteristics of “smart growth” development.


‘Middle-market’ Housing Key to Attracting Diversity of Urban Dwellers
MiBiz (MI) – December 8, 2013
This middle-market housing is typically close to public transportation, is adaptable to a variety of neighborhoods and works well for revitalization efforts.


Top 10 of 2013: Helping state DOTs innovate and excel


This month we’re looking back at some of Smart Growth America’s brightest moments and greatest accomplishments from 2013. Today’s highlight: Our work helping state departments of transportation innovate and excel.

States across the country are facing the same challenges. Revenues are falling and budgets are shrinking. Yet state transportation officials have ambitious goals: improve safety, enhance economic opportunity, improve reliability, preserve system assets, accelerate project delivery, and help to create healthier, more livable neighborhoods, just to name a few.

Technical assistance

Top 10 of 2013: Growing our coalition of smart growth real estate developers and investors


This month we’re looking back at some of Smart Growth America’s brightest moments and greatest accomplishments from 2013. Today’s highlight? The work of LOCUS, our coalition of responsible real estate developers and investors.

Thousands of people live and work in the walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods built by LOCUS developers. And since its inception, LOCUS has advocated for state and federal policies that support a diverse array of development strategies.


SeaTac, WA Deputy Mayor Mia Gregerson on placemaking through transit-oriented development

Tukwila Station
SeaTac’s Tukwila International Boulevard Station, located at the center of SeaTac’s South 154th Street station area. Image by Sean Marshall via Flickr.

SeaTac, WA, is a new, exceptionally diverse city adjacent to both Seattle and Tacoma (as its name suggests) and home to the region’s international airport. So what’s it lacking? Transit-oriented development and neighborhoods that will lure new residents to take advantage of what SeaTac has to offer. Deputy Mayor and City Councilmember Mia Gregerson supports using smart growth strategies to achieve both.

Gregerson is a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, a nonpartisan group of municipal officials who share a passion for building great towns, cities, and communities. Gregerson, who has served as a member of SeaTac’s City Council since 2008 and is also the city’s Deputy Mayor, says that that a main challenge for SeaTac is that its convenient location and new road infrastructure have not been enough to create a compelling sense of place in the young city.

Local Leaders Council

Smart Growth News – December 9, 2013

#ProductionInTheCity Celebrates DC’s Manufacturers and Makers
Elevation DC – December 6, 2013
Roughly 300 people gathered in the Boilermaker building, the future home of ideaspace, last night for Production in the City, a pop-up marketplace and panel discussion about the state of manufacturing in the District.

Companies Say Goodbye to the ‘Burbs
The Wall Street Journal – December 4, 2013
Companies now want urban amenities, proximity to public transit and sense of community—the same qualities young workers prize when deciding where to live and work.

Gas Tax Proposal Too Steep, but the Sentiment is Correct
The Oregonian – December 8, 2013
A reasonable answer would have to include at least some increase in the gas tax. Santa’s not going to drop $170 billion down the chimney, after all.

Four Ways Mel Watt Could Change Housing Policy
The Wall Street Journal – December 5, 2013
There are important ways Mr. Watt could shift the agency’s direction at the margins.


Smart Growth News – December 6, 2013

Thomas Named to Smart Growth Group
Columbia Daily Tribune (MO) – December 5, 2013
“I’m just pleased that Columbia is a regional leader in smart-growth policies and practices,” Thomas said.

Proposal to Raise Gas Tax Has Allies Outside Congress
WNYC – December 5, 2013
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is also supporting the proposed gas tax increase.


A Game-changer for Somerville
The Boston Globe – December 6, 2013
Somerville is already deep into shaping the post-Green Line Union Square.

New Streetcar Hailed for Delivering Development
The Salt Lake Tribune – December 5, 2013
“It just completely rejuvenates and revitalizes and charges forward our communities,” Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker told the crowd.


Smart Growth News – December 5, 2013

Earl Blumenauer Tries to Break Highway Funding Gridlock
Politico – December 5, 2013
With some of the top players in next year’s transportation bill stuck in a staring contest over how to raise billions of dollars, the Democrat introduced two simple bills on Wednesday to address what he calls the upcoming “infrastructure cliff.”

Smart Growth: Creating Sustainable Cities Through Higher Education
The Huffington Post – December 4, 2013
The pace of attainment, then, has huge implications for every city in America. Communities that focus and invest in higher education, keeping the talent they have and bringing even more educated people in, will have far greater chances of being competitive, vibrant places to live and work.

Should Drivers be Charged for Every Mile Driven?
PBS Newshour – December 4, 2013
Oregon was the first state in the union to impose a gas tax nearly a century ago … and in two thousand six it set up an experiment to see whether it might be able to lead the nation again.

Driving Is Going Out of Style
Slate – December 5, 2013
The real gains are to be made in rolling back the implicit subsidies to parking and barriers to multi-family apartments, leveling the regulatory playing field between private cars and private transit, and looking at operational issues that prevent cost-effective transit operations in the United States.


Top 10 of 2013: Building better budgets through new, original research

38 percent

This month, we’re looking back at some of Smart Growth America’s brightest moments and greatest accomplishments from 2013. Today’s highlight? Our July report that showed just how much smart growth strategies can benefit municipalities’ bottom lines.

Building Better Budgets: A National Examination of the Fiscal Benefits of Smart Growth Development set out to find how much cities and towns have saved, on average, by using smart growth strategies. The report collected 17 studies from cities across the country that compared two or more development scenarios. The majority of these studies found that a smart growth approach would improve the city’s finances, whether by saving money on upfront infrastructure, reducing the cost of ongoing services or by generating greater tax revenues in years to come.


Smart Growth News – December 4, 2013

Foxx Calls Charlotte’s Progress a National Model
The Charlotte Observer (NC) – December 3, 2013
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Charlotte’s former mayor, touted the Queen City as a model for a nation that he said must move beyond partisan squabbles to fix its crumbling infrastructure.

St. Louis is Not Alone in Resurgence of Streetcars
St. Louis Post-Dispatch – December 4, 2013
Hutcheson said the project is showing signs of stimulating development as well. She explained, “The streetcar is already doing a lot of what we want it to be doing.”


Velocity Adds Momentum to Improving Downtown Indianapolis
The Indianapolis Star – December 3, 2013
[City and community officials] unrolled a multiyear effort Tuesday, aptly named Velocity, to strengthen neighborhoods, improve amenities and attract new businesses and residents.

Why I’m for Finishing the Streetcar
Cincinnati (dot) com – December 3, 2013
I want to keep Cincinnati on the move – generating jobs, development and economic growth.