Partnership in the News: InVision Tampa rolls out master plan

On November 27, InVision Tampa, a 2010 recipient of a Community Challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) revealed for the public its master plan to revitalize Tampa’s downtown core. Emphasizing business and residential connections, the plan hopes to turn downtown Tampa into an accessible and thriving mixed-use area, anchored by the riverfront and transit amenities.


Smart Growth News – December 28, 2012

Today’s stories:

State’s electric-car owners face $100 fee in lieu of gas tax
The Columbian (WA) – December 25, 2012
Owners of electric cars in Washington state don’t pay for gasoline or gas taxes, but they’re soon going to be hit with a $100 fee to own the battery-operated cars.

Memphis-to-Little Rock high-speed rail to be studied
Memphis Commercial Appeal (TN) – December 22, 2012
The State of Arkansas will study the possibility of high-speed trains traveling up to 200 mph between Memphis and Little Rock and Texarkana, reports the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Pittsburgh properties reassessed higher than those in suburbs
Pittsburgh Post Gazette (PA) – December 22, 2012
Reassessment of Pittsburgh properties far outpaced those in Allegheny County as a whole, according to the latest certified numbers released Friday by the county.

Urban planners to unveil long-term framework for Detroit
Michigan Live – December 21, 2012
Urban planners have been crafting maps and strategies for months, and the framework they’ve come up with in long-term component of the Detroit Works Project is set to be revealed on Jan. 9.


Smart Growth News – December 27, 2012

Today’s stories:

Bike-share company plans to start in downtown L.A. this April
Los Angeles Times – December 20, 2012
Bike Nation, the Southern California-based company that has pledged $16 million toward Los Angeles’ first bike-share network, will announce Thursday that it plans to begin rolling out its program in downtown this spring.

$500,000 federal grant for improving 2 Camden neighborhoods
Philadelphia Inquirer – December 25, 2012
Two Camden neighborhoods that surround Cooper University Hospital and the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University could see significant transformation in the next decade.

A Suburban Wasteland in Virginia Gets a Modern Urban Feel
New York Times – December 18, 2012
To see Merrifield, Va., today, with its sleek white Target, its narrow 1920s-style streetscape of specialty food shops along Glass Alley and the rest of the $542 million mixed-use Mosaic District is to nearly forget this unincorporated area’s former life as an uninviting industrial suburban crossroads.

The Future of City Driving: Per-Mile Car Insurance
Atlantic Cities – December 21, 2012
Drivers who are similar in age, gender, and residence pay about the same premium even if some drive 5,000 miles a year and others 50,000 miles. The problem is not only that low-mileage drivers end up subsidizing high-mileage ones — it’s that everyone has an incentive to drive as much as they can.

The Learning Curve of Smart Parking
New York Times – December 22, 2012
In its current state, however, “smart parking” is in some ways little different from regular parking. The term refers to a beguiling technology, now being tested in several cities, that uses sensors to determine whether a particular spot on the street or in a parking garage is occupied or vacant.


Smart Growth News – December 21, 2012

Today’s stories:

Light rail plan for Los Angeles International Airport advances
Los Angeles Times (CA) – December 18, 2012
Plans to build a light rail connection to Los Angeles International Airport advanced Monday with the unveiling of four potential station sites that would link to a people mover serving passenger terminals.

An opportunity for downtown revival – December 19, 2012
A confluence of events is opening a window of opportunity for the town to revive its dormant downtown area.

How to Make Privately Owned Public Spaces Truly Open to the Public
The Atlantic Cities – December 17, 2012
Some of the best privately owned public open spaces in downtown San Francisco are, by nature, a little hard to find.

Derided by critics, Cordova Hills still seeks ‘smart growth’
Sacramento Business Journal (CA) – December 21, 2012
While proponents and opponents of Cordova Hills disagree over whether the project is in the right place, within its boundaries the development includes a number of smart-growth features.


Partnership in the News: Sustainable Berkshires presents first results

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC), a Massachusetts recipient of a Regional Planning grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has completed the first phase of its “Sustainable Berkshires” plan. On Tuesday, December 11th, the BRPC presented to the public the plan for economic development, conservation, and historic preservation. Next spring, the next phase of the plan will address housing and neighborhoods, regional energy, transportation and infrastructure.


Smart Growth News – December 20, 2012

Today’s stories:

Is the state giving money to ‘well-off’ suburbs at expense of urban areas?
Bangor Daily News (ME) – December 19, 2012
Nearly all of Maine’s population growth in the last decade, as well as nearly 70 percent of the state’s economic activity, has taken place in metropolitan areas. Yet state policies governing funding for education and transportation, state aid to local communities and economic development programs have not caught up to this new reality, according to economists and planners who have studied Maine’s communities and the state’s economy.

Nashville values, development rise with form-based code
Better! Cities & Towns – December 7, 2012
An improved and more workable zoning code was approved by Nashville’s Planning Commission and combined city/county council after more than two years of staff work and public input, in tandem with a new community plan for the downtown area.

Decision clears way for Ill. high-speed rail line
The Pantagraph (IL) – December 18, 2012
The Federal Railroad Administration has taken action that will allow the full build-out of a high-speed rail corridor between Chicago and St. Louis.

Is 2013 the Year of New Transportation Funding?
Governing – December 19, 2012
The 2013 legislative session hasn’t even started, but state lawmakers across the country are already touting the need to find new sources of transportation revenue in the upcoming year.


New EPA report fills in story of housing trends

The popularity of infill development and walkable neighborhoods continues to grow, according to a new report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Residential Construction Trends in America’s Metropolitan Regions focuses on 209 metropolitan regions between 2000 and 2009 and offers a look at trends in residential infill development, i.e. new homes built in previously developed areas. The main findings during that period:

Nearly three out of four large metropolitan regions saw an increased share of infill housing development during 2005-2009 compared to 2000-2004. Among the 51 large metropolitan regions (population one million or greater) examined in this study, 36 saw an increased share of infill housing development during 2005-2009 compared to 2000-2004. In many regions, this increase was substantial. Miami increased from 40 percent infill to 49 percent infill. Providence, Rhode Island, increased from 20 percent to 29 percent. Several medium-sized metropolitan regions (population 200,000 – one million) saw even greater shifts towards infill housing.


Smart Growth America's Top 12 of 2012: Connecting mayors and city leaders from across the country

The Local Leaders Council’s Advisory Board convened in Washington, D.C. in October.

We’re doing a special blog series this month highlighting some of Smart Growth America’s favorite accomplishments from 2012. This is the eleventh of twelve installments.

In October we proudly launched Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, a nonpartisan group of local elected officals who share a passion for building great towns, cities and communities.

Local Leaders Council

Smart Growth News – December 19, 2012

Today’s stories:

Downtown property owners fight MTA subway tunnel plans
Los Angeles Times (CA) – December 15, 2012
As the MTA moves closer to starting construction on a subway tunnel in downtown Los Angeles, some property owners have dug in for a fight.

Staten Island Landfill Park Proves Savior in Hurricane
New York Times – December 17, 2012
uring Hurricane Sandy, the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island absorbed a critical part of the storm surge. Its hills and waterways spared nearby neighborhoods like Travis, Bulls Head, New Springville and Arden Heights much worse flooding. The 2,200-acre site, which closed a decade ago and is being turned into a park, was also temporarily reopened as a transfer station, helping officials and relief agencies clear debris from around the city.

Miami-Orlando passenger train project clears key hurdle
Reuters via Yahoo News – December 18, 2012
A Florida company cleared a major hurdle on Tuesday to move ahead with a project to build a new $1.5 billion passenger train service linking Orlando and Miami that is being billed as the first privately run rail link between two major U.S. cities.

D.C. preparing to open new highway link
Washington Post – December 18, 2012
New ramp from the 11th Street Bridge to D.C. 295 North, which will have a 16-foot-wide pedestrian and bike path that connects with the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail when all is said and done, prepares to open.


Smart Growth America's Top 12 of 2012: Telling the story of smart growth

The Cabinet Mountains in northern Montana. Photo by Daniel Liu via Flickr.

We’re doing a special blog series this month highlighting some of Smart Growth America’s favorite accomplishments from 2012. This is the tenth of twelve installments.

In 2012, we spoke with people across the country who are using better development strategies to create great places. We highlighted towns and cities that are seeing new residents and businesses after years of decline. And we shared plans about new projects yet to be built. Here are a few of these Smart Growth Stories from 2012.