Smart growth news – December 21

Morning Read: Smart Growth, or “War on Rural Maryland”?
Baltimore Sun, December 19, 2011
Glendening, 69, praised Plan Maryland as a “major movement ahead.” The plan spells out criteria for judging which types of development projects are viewed as desirable — and worthy of state infrastructure spending. “Land use planning is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it for people who are anxious to get things done quickly,” said Glendening.

Maryland To Offer Preferential Funding For Smart Growth
WAMU (DC), December 21, 2011
The rate of land consumption in Maryland is three times the rate of population growth, according to the state’s department of planning. That’s a lot of urban sprawl for a small state. Governor Martin O’Malley issued an executive order for a strategy called PlanMaryland, which is designed to limit sprawl, but it’s set up tensions around the state.

The Future of Retail
BusinessWeek, December 20, 2011
Modernize our nation’s aging infrastructure: It is critical that the US transportation infrastructure — including our ports, airports, rail lines and roads — can meet future demands. We need a national freight policy that will support US competitiveness, economic growth and job creation.

New Leader for Urban Institute
New York Times, December 20, 2011
Sarah Rosen Wartell, a housing expert and economic policy analyst, will become the president of the Urban Institute in February, the Washington-based research organization said Tuesday.


What’s up downtown?
Chicago Sun Times, December 19, 2011
Last week, Ian and Betsy Kuhn signed a lease for space at 17 N. Grove Ave. downtown, where, come February, they will be opening Elgin Knit Works, a shop for all things related to fiber arts. The couple said they like the vibe of downtown, the architecture, the affordable rents — and that the city and Downtown Neighborhood Association worked with them to help get their business off the ground. Betsy also said the shop will give her Elgin friends who knit a place closer to home to shop.

Other cities try to gain from Troy’s rejection of transit center cash
Detroit Free Press, December 21, 2011
The Troy City Council’s vote Monday night to refuse more than $8.5 million in federal funding for a regional, rail-focused transit center had other community leaders in metro Detroit buoyant Tuesday about the prospect that they might get some of the money instead, and a U.S. congressman pledging to see the money spent in Royal Oak and Pontiac.

Mass. commuters spend more time in cars than most in U.S.
The Patriot Ledger (Mass.), December 21, 2011
For most Massachusetts workers, commuting is a slow, solitary task…The new information on commutes will play a role in planning transportation projects and development in the region, said Eric Bourassa, transportation manager at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.

$1M Payment Paves Way for 211-Acre, Mixed-Use Development
Globe St., December 20, 2011
One million dollars may not seem like a whole lot in the overall scheme of things. However, when it is directed toward the city of Dallas’ North Oak Cliff’s Davis Garden Tax Increment Financing District for improvements along Davis Street, it represents one of the final infrastructure pieces necessary for the 211-acre, mixed-use Canyon in Oak Cliff. Davis Street is a main thoroughfare on this city’s south side.