Smart Growth News – December 17, 2012

How American Cities Can Thrive Again
US News and World Report – December 13, 2012

From Tampa to Tulsa, U.S. cities are fighting to attract and retain new business, especially young, entrepreneurial talent. Urban planner Jeff Speck says it boils down to one factor: walkability. Speck has worked on about 75 plans for villages, towns, and cities across America. In his latest book, Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time, the former director of design for the National Endowment for the Arts outlines a 10-step strategy for making cities more walkable.

Lynchburg Recognized for Recent Growth in City
WSET ABC 13 – December 13, 2012

Lynchburg, VA- Lynchburg has been recognized on a national level for its most recent growth spurt. According to Smart Growth America, Lynchburg is one of the fastest growing cities in small, metro areas. Lynchburg city officials say the growth is coming from opposite ends of the spectrum. Graduates from Lynchburg colleges are creating roots there, and retirees are relocating there. And city officials say all this growth is sprouting from one place in particular–downtown.

A tale of two cities: Tampa area’s economic upturn off-kilter
Tampa Bay Online – December 16, 2012

Areas that were well-off and well-educated before the crash — places such as FishHawk and Trinity in southeast Pasco — are seeing their economic fortunes come roaring back. At the other end of the economic and education spectrum, places such as the Tommytown community and Trilby in east Pasco, Moon Lake in west Pasco and the areas near the University of South Florida are still hurting. In some ways, they’re worse off than they were before things fell apart.

The G.O.P. on Infrastructure: A View From the House
The New York Times – December 13, 2012

This summer, a Republican House worked with a Democratic Senate to pass a multiyear transportation measure. Republicans were the force behind reforms to cut project red tape. “Shovel ready” will cease to be a national joke; two years after the stimulus, half of infrastructure dollars were still in the Treasury. Since Lincoln’s transcontinental railroad and Eisenhower’s Interstate, Republicans have been at the vanguard of investing in infrastructure.

Streetcar News:

Mark Mallory: No bus money for streetcar – December 17, 2012

Let me make something crystal clear: The city of Cincinnati is not going take money from the Metro bus system to pay for any part of the streetcar project or its operation.

Charlotte breaks ground on streetcar
Charlotte Observer – December 13, 2012

Charlotte and federal officials broke ground Wednesday on the city’s streetcar project, saying it will create another transit option and spur development along the line.

D.C. to Start Testing Streetcars Next Spring
Transportation Nation – December 14, 2012

The first three streetcars to roll downs tracks in the District of Columbia since 1962 will be ready for testing next spring, DDOT officials said at a news briefing on Thursday.

Local News:

State transportation budget faces $250 million annual funding shortfall
VT – December 16, 2012

Maintaining and operating Vermont’s transportation infrastructure will cost the state $250 million more per year than it can afford, according to a draft report headed for legislators’ desks in January.

Trenton planning board has big plans for old Roebling Steel complex
The Times of Trenton – December 15, 2012

The planning board has approved a major redevelopment plan for a former Roebling Steel complex, giving the green light to an ambitious mixed-use lofts project its developers say could breathe new life into Trenton and bring back some of the middle class who have left the city.

Holyoke to state: Urban renewal plan ‘Connect. Construct. Create’ unanimously approved and applauded
The Republican – Decemer 17, 2012

The plan is titled “Connect. Construct. Create. – A plan to revitalize Center City Holyoke.” It outlines a 20-year effort with three schedules for the various steps — short-, medium- and long-term — and an estimated cost to accomplish everything of $128.3 million.

Cities: Rather Than Patronizing Young People, Give Them What They Ask For
Rustwire – December 10, 2012

In one example that really sticks in my mind the guilty party was Columbus, Ohio. Perhaps eight years ago the city got some kind of grant and they spent $30,000 to have some self-styled “Gen Y” expert come tell them how they could retain and attract young people. All I could think was why didn’t they just ask they young people that live there what they want and maybe put the $30,000 toward that?