Our family is a biking family. For us, that means being healthy, active, and having a lot of freedom and mobility. Biking is how our family chooses to get around, but building a family-friendly city means having streets that can help people get around in any number of ways—walking, biking, transit, scooting, or driving.
Our wish list this year is ambitious, but necessary. But we’re working hard to help realize this vision for communities across the country.
This November, we hosted “From vision to implementation: Using an NCI charrette to create a vision for a form-based code,” a joint webinar between the Form-Based Codes Institute and the National Charrette Institute. Speakers shared their experiences using NCI charrette workshops to develop form-based codes in Norman, OK and Arlington County, VA.
Throughout much of 2019, Smart Growth America’s LOCUS team worked hand-in-hand with six Massachusetts communities to harness Opportunity Zone investments to benefit rather than displace their residents, and result in walkable, mixed-use communities with a variety of employment and housing options for everyone. We spent a day earlier this month going overall we learned in … Continued
Whether responding to growing demands for attainable housing, making streets safer in the face of a record number of people killed while walking, or seeking to improve inequities after decades of disinvestment in marginalized neighborhoods, the role of community builders today can be challenging—and contested. But it’s far too easy for local elected officials and planners to default to doing nothing when confronted with challenges or people who vehemently oppose change. When soliciting community involvement and feedback it should not be a matter of if something changes, but how, and whose voices are heard.
While the words “housing” and “city” together may conjure images of skyscrapers and high-rise condo buildings, many cities today are dominated by single-family detached homes. But family-friendly cities need more housing and more housing variety. Cities should re-legalize modest homes and missing middle housing that allows choice and made them attractive places to live in the first place. In fact, creating a family-friendly city is more about going back to the past than about creating something new.
This November, we continued our webinar series, Complete Streets 301: Putting people first, with a Complete Streets federal policy update. A recording of the webinar is now available. You can also download a PDF of the presentation or read the brief recap below.
On October 25, 2019, U.S. Representative Steve Cohen convened a roundtable about Complete Streets in his district, which includes most of Memphis, TN. Local advocates and people from the city, county, and state government attended to discuss the Complete Streets Act of 2019—legislation sponsored by Rep. Cohen—and other ways the federal government could assist communities creating streets that are safer for people biking, walking, or rolling. Below are comments from Sylvia Crum, the Commute Options Program Manager at Innovate Memphis, who spoke during the roundtable.
We took a look at one busy road outside of Orlando where a dozen people have been struck and killed by drivers in recent years. The mix of high-speed traffic with people walking, biking, and taking transit is a dangerous combination; in the event of a crash, people die. The Complete Streets Act of 2019 would go a long way to give local government more resources to redesign these dangerous streets so everyone can travel along them safely.
U.S. transportation policy focuses first and foremost on ensuring that drivers can travel with as little delay as possible. But this laser focus on speed sidelines other more important considerations like the preservation of human life and the health impacts of vehicle pollution. Prioritizing safety in our transportation policy—at the federal, state, and local levels—would be a major step towards a more equitable transportation system.