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

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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

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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.

Join the 2016 LOCUS Leadership Summit for walking tours around Boston

The 2016 LOCUS Leadership Summit will bring together smart growth real estate developers and investors from across the country in just less three weeks in Boston. The event will feature three walking tours around the Boston metropolitan area showcasing neighborhoods transformed by investments in infrastructure—and you’re invited to join us.

One Greenway
One Greenway restored the urban fabric and vibrancy of Chinatown’s Hudson Street neighborhood in downtown Boston after it was destroyed in the 1950’s. The mixed-use, sustainable housing development includes 363 units within walking distance of public transportation, neighborhood retail, and community space. Janelle Chan, Executive Director of the Asian Community Development Corporation, will lead this walking tour on June 14th at 2:00 PM.
Assembly Row 
With over 500,000 square feet of retail space, 2,100 residential units, and 1.75M square feet of office, Assembly Row is an urban mixed-use development designed to compliment the legacy of Boston. Don Briggs, Executive Vice President of Development at Federal Realty Investment Trust, will lead this tour on June 15th at 4:00 PM.
Union Square
In 2012, the redevelopment of Union Square, Somerville’s oldest commercial district, began with the Union Square Revitalization Plan. The first phase of the 20-year plan will produce new Green line transit stations at Union Square and Washington Street. Greg Karczewski, President of Union Square Station Associates, will lead this tour immediately following the Assembly Row tour.

Senate EPW Committee votes to reauthorize EPA's Brownfields program

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The EPA Brownfields program helped to remediate a former railroad line in Greenville, SC. Today that line is the Swamp Rabbit Trail, the backbone of an extensive pedestrian and bicycling trail system in the county. Photo via Flickr.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields program has helped hundreds of communities clean up and redevelop vacant and contaminated land known as brownfields. The program has not been an official part of the federal budget for several years, however. Last week the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) voted to change that.

On May 18, the EPW Committee approved the Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development Act of 2015 (BUILD Act), which would reauthorize the EPA Brownfields program through 2018. Senator Jim Inhofe and Senator Edward Markey introduced the Act on June 2, 2015. Last week the bill passed on voice vote without amendment.

Announcing the winners of the 2016 LOCUS Leadership Awards

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For the past four years, LOCUS has presented our annual LOCUS Leadership Awards to developers and investors who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to public leadership, smart growth development, and furthering our mission of advocating for sustainable, walkable urban development.

We received an unprecedented number of nominations this year, and our decision was no easy task. After careful consideration, we are pleased to announce the following winners of the 2016 LOCUS Leadership Awards.

"Foot Traffic Ahead 2016" comes out on June 14. Which metros will be on top?

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Across the country, demand is growing for walkable neighborhoods. Which cities are well-positioned to meet that demand, and which will miss the boat?

We asked these questions two years ago in Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros. That report, released in conjunction with the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at the George Washington University School of Business, outlined which of the country’s metro areas are the most walkable today and which have the most potential to be walkable in the future.

Next month we’re going to revisit these questions and provide updated analysis in Foot Traffic Ahead 2016. Coming out on June 14, this brand new research will provide unparalleled insights into current and future smart growth development, including the latest rankings of the top 30 walkable urban places (or “WalkUPs”) in the nation’s largest metro areas based on their current and future commercial real estate metrics. Sign up to get your copy when the report comes out next month:

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