Smart growth news – December 1

Rethink College Park Awarded for Smart Growth Advocacy
College Park Patch (Md.), November 30, 2011
An advocacy group for development in College Park has been awarded by the state for its role in the community. … And the governor is recognizing the group for their contributions in smart growth. Rethink College Park was set to receive the Florence Beck Kurdle Award for Community Activism and Achievement this morning.

Holly Brinda wants city involved in land bank
The Chronicle Telegram (Ohio), November 30, 2011
Mayor-elect Holly Brinda wants Elyria to take the lead in the creation of a county land bank through the Thriving Communities Initiative, a program of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy.

Planning Advocates Call For Amendments to Economic Development Bill
New Jersey Future, December 1, 2011
The New Jersey Assembly Appropriations Committee will today consider passage of a bill (A4306) that, in its current form, will undermine the goals of the state’s Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit (UTHTC) program and weaken the state’s long-term economic competitiveness.

Plan envisions White Flint Mall becoming a ‘town’
Maryland Community News, November 17, 2011
White Flint Mall will be replaced by a 5 million-square-foot collection of apartments, shops and office buildings in a plan proposed by its owners. “The mall is going to be deconstructed,” said Mike Cohen, the project’s architect. “It’s not going to be a mall. It’s going to be a town.”

City wants more input for urban renewal plan
Daily Inter Lake (Mont.), November 30, 2011
The city wants feedback and ideas from property owners in a Core Revitalization Area that runs from the western city limit to the eastern city limit, bordered to the north by Washington Street and to the south by Center Street. “There’s been a lot of under-investment in that area over the last 25 years,” Thompson said. “We want to know what the community would like that area to look like, and what kind of development the city should be encouraging in that area.”

Local Group Looks To Revitalize Downtown Framingham
Worcester Business Journal (Mass.), November 29, 2011
Historically the area has been vibrant, but, like many core urban centers around the country, the advent of malls have decreased the luster of downtowns as a shopping destination. “Thankfully for us, a lot of new businesses have moved in, so we haven’t seen a large number of empty storefronts,” Hamel said. “But we’ve got to always keep working.”

Opinion and Editorial

Is Suburbia Doomed? Not So Fast.
Forbes, November 30, 2011
Perhaps no theology more grips the nation’s mainstream media — and the planning community — more than the notion of inevitable suburban decline. The Obama administration’s housing secretary, Shaun Donavan, recently claimed, “We’ve reached the limits of suburban development: People are beginning to vote with their feet and come back to the central cities.” Yet repeating a mantra incessantly does not make it true.