Smart Growth News – January 8, 2013

Study: Shorter blocks may be the key to cutting traffic in small cities
Streetsblog – January 8, 2013
It’s well-established that density and mixed-use development reduce driving. Right? But strategies like those don’t work the same way everywhere, according to new research published in the Journal of Transport and Land Use.

Top 10 Trends for Senior Housing in 2013
Senior Housing News – January 8, 2013
While many fears may have subsided with the passage of the Fiscal Cliff legislation regarding individual taxes and other issues, fear, uncertainty and doubt remain over what it means to grow old in America—and how to pay for it.

7 uses for failing shopping malls
Atlantic Cities – January 8, 2013
If the American-style shopping mall is dying, we could easily be left with an awfully big pile of useless real estate. What should become of these empty retail shells?

The Best Bike-Sharing Program in the United States – How D.C., of all places, made it happen.

Slate – January 7, 2013
If you had been handed, a decade ago, a map of the U.S. and asked to predict where the novel idea of bike sharing—then limited to a few small-scale projects in a handful of European cities, might first find its firmest footing, you probably would have laid your money on a progressive hub like Portland or Seattle or the regional poles of walkable urbanism, New York or San Francisco—all of which were scoring higher, those days, in surveys like Bicycling magazine’s list of most bikeable cities.

Businesses make the move from the suburbs to downtown
YNN (NY) – January 8, 2013
It wasn’t that long ago that businesses were moving out of downtown Syracuse, but it looks like the tide is turning.

America’s ‘greenest street’ provides a blueprint for sustainable urban development
Gizmag – January 7, 2013
A streetscape that includes natural landscaping, bicycle lanes, wind powered lighting, storm water diversion for irrigation, drought-resistant native plants and innovative “smog-eating” concrete has earned Cermak road in Chicago the title of “greenest Street in America” according to the Chicago Department of Transport (CDOT).

Sustainable living: What were the top five stories from 2012?
Guardian (UK) – January 8, 2013
From mainstreaming sustainable behaviour to considering the environment within everyday product design, the sustainable living hub has been awash with thought-provoking content aimed at challenging the role of business in positive behaviour change.

Local News

Affordable housing in the suburbs hard to come by
Democrat and Chronicle (MI) – January 8, 2013
Affinity Orchard Place in Greece hosted a pumpkin-decorating event in October, a picnic in June and a seminar on renter’s insurance in May.Affinity is a complex of apartments and townhouses for low- and moderate-income tenants and families. But according to affordable housing experts, not everyone pictures such a family-friendly environment when they think of low-income housing.

Broader housing choice is town goal
The Westerly Sun (RI) – January 8, 2013
No matter what you call it — affordable or subsidized housing — the town’s comprehensive plan update will include a strategy to broaden the town’s range of housing stock to make it more accessible to those of low and moderate income.

Making State Street walkable, pretty: Saginaw Township leaders look at long-range plan

MLive (MI) – January 8, 2013

State Street could see some changes this year if the Saginaw Township Board adopts the State Street Corridor Improvement District Development Plan later this month.

Transit expansion plans gain ground
Augusta Chronicle (GA) – January 8, 2013
A plan to expand Augusta Public Transit across south and west Augusta and to Fort Gordon gained traction Monday as an Augusta Com­mission committee decided to hold a work session on the topic.

$16 million mixed use town center development planned in Mequon
BizTimes (WI) – January 8, 2013
An investment group led by Milwaukee-based WiRED Properties plans to build a $16 million, five-building, mixed-use town center style development at the northwest corner of Mequon and Cedarburg roads in Mequon.

Challenge to design sustainable transportation begins
MSU News Service (MT) – January 7, 2013
Montana State University’s Campus Sustainability Advisory Council, Western Transportation Institute and the City of Bozeman are sponsoring a challenge beginning this month to promote more sustainable transportation choices in the greater Bozeman area.

Mixed use project includes affordables
Ridgefield Press (CT) – January 7, 2013
A mixed-use development on Route 35 with ground floor commercial space and 12 apartments above — four of them “affordable” — gets a public hearing this week.