How walkable is your neighborhood? Check WalkScore.com

As more and more people realize the drawbacks of living in solely auto-centric places—obesity, lost time, high cost of fuel, energy dependence, dangerous emissions—demand is growing rapidly for homes in walkable areas, where it’s not a given that a one-ton automobile is required to get one dozen eggs from the store. But how does one go about finding out just how “walkable” is that new home or apartment?…

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New Report: Sprawl not required to accommodate planned U.K. housing growth

When the United Kingdom announced their goal of adding 3 million new homes by 2020 to relieve pressure on an overburdened housing market, some residents probably had visions of great natural places like the London Greenbelt or Scottish Highlands filling up with new housing developments. In a country where space is at a premium, a new report by the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment makes the case that it’s a more economical and environmentally sounddecision to add these 3 million homes by creating “walkable, mixed use, mixed income developments instead of car-dependent housing estates.”

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Governors' Institute praised for contributions in Delaware

Since 2001, Governor Ruth Ann Minner has been blazing a path for the First State by advocating an agenda known as Livable Delaware — designed to slow sprawl, guide growth to appropriate areas, preserve open space and promote high-quality redevelopment. She is one of many governors who have embraced the power of the state government and budget to help shape the rules of the development game…

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New Report: The built environment's impact on healthy food access

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a report by Barbara McCann about the relationship between the built environment and healthy food access. The report is based on research and interviews with some of the top names in the field, and outlines how transportation infrastructure and land use policy have limited access to healthy food. The … Continued

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NRDC: Gas prices can cripple residents in sprawling communities

As gas costs go up and geopolitical concern over oil supplies rises, many Americans are feeling increasingly vulnerable. But residents in some metro areas are more exposed than others. Places where “affordable” housing lies at the distant fringe no longer look so affordable. Spread-out metros like Atlanta, where Gov. Sonny Perdue cancelled school during the post-Katrina fuel shortage, are especially susceptible to fluctuations in gas prices…

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Foundation funds ambitious initiative in southern Virginia

A local foundation has launched an audacious effort to make the southwest Virginia community of Martinsville/Henry County a paragon of walking, biking and healthful physical activity. The Harvest Foundation is investing $1.56 million over three years to transform the furniture-making town into “a place where bicycling and walking are deeply valued and integral features of vibrant and healthy life in the region…”

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Planning for an aging America: New report shows how to allow older citizens to "age in place"

Much has been made over the last few months about America reaching the 300 mark in population, heading towards 400 million in another 40 years or so. What’s often lost between the lines is how much older that population will be. By only 2030, nearly 1 in 5 Americans will be over age 65. As the Aging in Place Initiative tells us, the largest majority of seniors are not retiring to the beach or moving into a nursing home – they choose to remain where they are and “age in place”. But as many seniors choose to stay where they are, they are realizing that many of our communities aren’t made for such a lifestyle, and find their options to be extremely limited….

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"Restoring Prosperity" to America's older industrial cities

On the whole, America’s central cities are coming back, with growing employment and increasing numbers of young people, empty-nesters, and others choosing city life. Unfortunately, many cities are lagging behind their peers, especially older industrial communities that are still making the transition from manufacturing-based economies to more knowledge-oriented activities…

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California's challenge: "We have to address land use" to reduce greenhouse gases

California paved the way last year for states to take the lead in tackling rising greenhouse gases when Gov. Schwarzenegger signed AB 32, which promises to reduce the state’s greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020. Cleaner energy, efficient cars, and green buildings are all part of the equation, but some state leaders question whether they can make much progress given the increase in driving required by sprawling development…

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