Smart Growth News – December 7, 2012

Today’s stories:

District grows whiter as suburbs grow more diverse
Washington Examiner – December 6, 2012
Whites now make up 34 percent of D.C.’s residents — up from less than 28 percent in 1999 — while the black population has dropped from 60 percent to 51 percent over the same period, according to the 2007-2011 average released by the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey on Thursday.

New census figures show how Chicago, suburbs stack up
Chicago Tribune (IL) – December 5, 2012
The census Wednesday released estimates from its American Community Survey. Collected nationally over five years, it offers the most detailed portrait of Chicago and its suburbs from 2007 through 2011. The voluminous data sets — which offer insight on everything from annual household income to the average number of bathrooms per home — are typically used by retailers, city planners, builders and police departments when mapping out long-term strategies.

Tri-Cities combine for nation’s fastest-growing metro area, boosted by federal money to mop up Hanford
The Oregonian – December 5, 2012
With a population of 258,400, Richland, Pasco and Kennewick made up the nation’s fastest-growing metro area from 2010 to 2011, with a population increase of 4.3 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Soaring Rents Drive a Boom in Apartments
New York Times – December 6, 2012
As residential building recovers from a near standstill after the housing crisis, much of the momentum is coming not from subdivisions with green lawns and two-car garages but from rental apartments. Multifamily construction nationwide is two-thirds of the way back to its prerecession peak, while single-family home construction is still only about a third of the way back to its peak, said David Crowe, the chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders.

Deficit-Reduction Talks May Fuel Gas Tax Increase
Governing – December 6, 2012
Leaders of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will try to introduce a new surface transportation bill at the very onset of 2014, according to a committee aid who outlined the expected timeline of the legislation.

Charlotte’s light rail creates boom in apartments
Charlotte Observer (NC) – December 7, 2012
Of the more than 4,000 new apartment units announced in Charlotte this year, 60 percent are within a 15-minute walk of the light-rail line, according to CoStar, a real estate analytics firm.

East Lansing planning commission rejects City Center II development plan
Lansing State Journal (MI) – December 6, 2012
A proposal to redevelop a portion of the former City Center II site will go to the East Lansing City Council, but with a negative recommendation from the planning commission.

Larkin District remake earns EPA’s Smart Growth award
Buffalo News (NY) – December 6, 2012
The remake of Larkin District, an old manufacturing district a mile from downtown Buffalo redeveloped under Howard Zemsky has been honored with a Smart Growth award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Capital One bringing 350 workers to Chicago, most from suburbs
Chicago Sun Times (IL) – December 6, 2012
Credit card provider Capital One Financial Corp. said Thursday it will bring 350 workers to downtown Chicago, transferring most of them from suburban locations.

Cyclists and Pedestrians Can End Up Spending More Each Month Than Drivers
The Atlantic Cities – December 5, 2012
Kelly Clifton has heard this stereotype a number of times: “Cyclists are just a bunch of kids who don’t have any money,” says the professor of civil and environmental engineering at Portland State University. “They ride their bikes to a coffee shop, they sit there for four hours with their Macintoshes, they’re not really spending any money.”