Smart Growth News – December 12, 2012

Today’s stories:

Health Centers Find Opportunity in Brownfields
New York Times – December 11, 2012
The community health center rising on a derelict corner here in West Philadelphia never would have broken ground if not for the asbestos inside the building that was demolished to make way for it. Because of the contamination, Spectrum Health Services received a $2 million federal cleanup grant, the first piece of a $14 million construction financing puzzle.

Jersey Shore Development Failures Exposed By Hurricane Sandy
Huffington Post – December 11, 2012
Sandy is now testing the merits of the absolute right to rebuild like never before, resurrecting long-expressed concerns that it sets up homeowners and the government for future disasters. As New Jersey confronts the question of how and where to reconstruct its battered shore, experts warn that the state’s land-use laws are likely to perpetuate what has played out here for decades: cycles of reckless development followed by storm-inflicted devastation.

Top 10 Small U.S. Cities Growing Faster Than Their Suburbs
Atlantic Cities – December 11, 2012
A new study released Monday by Smart Growth America, the national community-development advocacy organization, expanded on Frey’s work to examine the population growth rates in the center cities of small U.S. metros (those with under one million people) between 2010 to 2011.

10 Reasons Millennials Might Abandon Big Cities
Business Insider – December 11, 2012
Cities face a new demographic reality: The young and single are aging and having children. If the pattern of the past 50 years holds, they might soon set their sights on suburbia.

Community Health and the Competition for Jobs
Governing – December 10, 2012
In some respects, a community’s health index is like an individual’s credit score. It tells those considering doing business with you how big a risk you are. And just as an individual ought to know his or her credit score and how it stacks up and is being used, so also should any public official concerned about economic development know his or her community’s health score.

Amtrak launches service this morning in Norfolk
Virginian-Pilot – December 12, 2012
The first passenger train to serve South Hampton Roads since 1977 pulled away from its platform at Harbor Park early this morning with an over-sized crowd on board for the inaugural trip.

Appraisal firm latest company to move from suburbs to downtown Detroit
MLive – December 11, 2012
Metro-West Appraisal announced today that it is moving its national headquarters from Northville to downtown Detroit.

Opinion and editorial:

Gov. McDonnell faces a challenge on gas taxes
Washington Post – December 11, 2012
As Virginians wait to discover what the governor will propose ahead of the legislative session starting next month, the cost of inaction is clear.