Federal Involvement in Real Estate: A Call for Examination

Smart Growth America and its coalition of real estate developers and investors LOCUS, which represents private-sector development interests from across the United States, present a series of reforms to federal real estate programs. Taken together, these reforms could save the federal government an estimated $33 billion per year while updating outdated programs to achieve better … Continued

Somerville Union Square Briefing Book

This briefing book has been put together to summarize the extensive research, planning, and visioning work that has taken place over several years during the process of planning for Union Square’s redevelopment.

USDOT wants to make it easier to find funding for innovative transportation projects

build-america-bureauTransportation Secretary Anthony Foxx at the launch of the Build America Bureau last month. Photo via USDOT.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) offers a number of different grant and loan programs for innovative transportation projects. But navigating the application process for these programs—or even knowing exactly what types of projects are eligible under each one—can be complicated.

To help cities and state navigate and better utilize all these programs, last month USDOT launched the the Build America Bureau, a one-stop shop for information about how to apply for federal transportation grants and loans. As Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx explained at the launch, the Bureau will “streamline credit opportunities and grants more quickly and transparently, while providing technical assistance and encouraging innovative best practices in project planning, financing, delivery, and monitoring.”

10 reasons to become a LOCUS member today

The 2016-2017 LOCUS membership season is right around the corner, but we’re still missing one thing — your voice! With great opportunities to connect, advocate, showcase your work, and learn new ideas, there’s no better time to join LOCUS. Here are ten reasons to become a LOCUS member today. 1. Network with leading smart growth experts LOCUS … Continued

In wake of Senate action, Representatives Pallone and Tonko introduce House version of Brownfields authorization bill

EPA Brownfields funds helped transform the site of a former tin manufacturing and can factory into a mixed-use office and retail hub in Canton, Baltimore, MD. Photo via EPA.

Earlier this month, the Senate passed a bill to authorize and improve the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields program. Now the House of Representatives is moving to do the same.

Last week Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-6) and Paul D. Tonko (NY-20) introduced the Brownfields Authorization Increase Act of 2016 (H.R. 5782). The legislation would amend the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act to enhance EPA’s Brownfields program and include it as a formal part of the federal budget.

A recap of the 2016 LOCUS National Leadership Summit


The 2016 LOCUS National Leadership Summit took place last week at the Algonquin Club of Boston, MA, bringing together the nation’s leading real estate developers, investors, and local elected officials from around the country. Participants shared ideas, created new business deals, discussed smart growth issues, and prepared themselves for the future of smart growth development.

Introducing "Foot Traffic Ahead 2016"

There are 619 regionally significant, walkable urban places (or “WalkUPs”) in the nation’s 30 largest metro areas.

Foot Traffic Ahead 2016, released today by LOCUS in conjunction with the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at the George Washington University School of Business, looked at all of them.

The new report ranks the country’s 30 largest metropolitan areas based on the amount of commercial and multi-family rental development in WalkUPs, and uses a series of forward-looking metrics to predict how walkable their future development might be. The research also uses social equity metrics like housing costs, transportation costs, and access to jobs to understand the relationship between walkability and social equity.

The research found that walkable urban market share growth in office and multi-family rental increased in all 30 metro areas between 2010-2015, while drivable sub-urban locations have lost market share.

Not surprisingly, New York City, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle ranked at the top of current areas for walkable urbanism. But the research points to other cities including Phoenix, Los Angeles, and metro Detroit as best-positioned for future growth of walkability given current efforts in those the communities.

Download the full report to see the full rankings, including which metros are getting the most out of their current development, which have the greatest momentum, and which rank the highest for social equity.

Foot Traffic Ahead: 2016

The end of sprawl is in sight. For perhaps the first time in 60 years, walkable urban places (WalkUPs) in all 30 of the largest metros are gaining market share over their drivable sub-urban competition—and showing substantially higher rental premiums.

Foot Traffic Ahead: 2016 shows that metros with the highest levels of walkable urbanism are also the most educated and wealthy (as measured by GDP per capita)— and, surprisingly, the most socially equitable.