Smart Growth News – July 11, 2012

National News:

Don’t Kill the Office of Smart Growth
Next American City – July 9, 2012

“EPA smart growth funding goes to a wide variety of grant funding and technical assistance programs,” says Tom Madrecki, a spokesperson for Smart Growth America. “The grants enable communities to initiate projects that wind up saving taxpayer money and preserving natural resources/the environment, and have been shown to play a role in developing the kind of great smart growth neighborhoods that are a boon to local economies and health. The technical assistance programs help with implementation, project development, and on-the-ground training.”

A Clean New Life for Grimy Gas Stations
New York Times – July 10, 2012

Petroleum brownfields — ground contaminated or thought to be contaminated by fuel — make up half of the 450,000 brownfields in the country, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. As gas stations close, towns must grapple with what to do with this land. If fuel has migrated into groundwater or a neighboring lot, costs can balloon.

Unemployment Problem Includes Public Transportation That Separates Poor From Jobs
Huffington Post – July 11, 2012

In the two months since he lost his job driving a delivery truck for a door company, Lebron Stinson has absorbed a bitter geography lesson about this riverfront city: The jobs are in one place, he is in another, and the bus does not bridge the divide.

Race, Class, and the Stigma of Riding the Bus in America
The Atlantic Cities – July 10, 2012

In 2009, Jacqueline Carr’s public transit experience was limited to bus lines of the “party” variety. Then, Carr lost her talent agency gig, sold her Jetta, and charted out a route to her new job—and yoga class—on the Los Angeles city bus system.

Builder Tells Gen Y: Don’t Rent, Buy
Wall Street Journal – July 3, 2012

One home builder is wooing Generation Y renters with a new line of homes featuring modest prices and open layouts.

Transportation groups to hold congressional briefing about high-speed rail
The Hill – July 9, 2012

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA), American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), American High Speed Rail Alliance (AHSRA) and Association of American Railroads (AAR) will host a hill briefing with executives from high-speed railways within the the International Union of Railways (UIC), the groups said Monday.

Local News

Taxes, outmigration threaten Cuyahoga County, new study by CSU’s Tom Bier finds
Cleveland Plain Dealer (OH) – July 10, 2012

His goal: to raise an alarm about development trends that, if unchecked, could hollow out Northeast Ohio’s cities and spread thinly settled suburbs across the region.

Farms rise again on acres where houses were planned
Minneapolis Star Tribune (MN) – July 10, 2012

Data are scarce, but the assessors’ offices for Carver, Scott and Wright counties — all bridges between city and country — report instances of prospective development sites moving back to farmland. The same sort of shift has been occurring nationwide.

A Shocking Sight In Downtown Detroit
Forbes – July 10, 2012

The problem now is there aren’t enough apartments for all the people who want to live downtown. But that’s attracting more developers who are remodeling old buildings and creating loft apartments as fast as they can.

Investing In Downtown Twin Falls
KMVT (ID) – July 10, 2012

“Downtown is the heart of Twin Falls and the heart of all of us we really want to continue to see the revitalization of downtown which the new Glanbia Headquarters and cheese innovation center is helping move that along a lot that’s a really big game changer” said Melinda Anderson, Economic Development Director, Twin Falls.

Welcome back: Downtown Fort Myers business booming again
Naples News (FL) – July 10, 2012

“Downtown is just prime to become a greater entertainment district than it is already,” Florentine said. “I know many people lived in the area used to go there on a regular basis. It was quite a popular place.”

City launches extensive rezoning initiative
Indianapolis Business Journal (IN) – July 10, 2012

The city of Indianapolis has launched an initiative expected to result in the first major overhaul of its zoning and development regulations since 1969.

Freeway ‘cap’ could reunite downtown with the ocean
Ventura County Star – July 7, 2012

Then in the 1950s came Highway 101. The neighborhood known as Tortilla Flats was dismantled, and Chestnut, Fir and Ash streets dead-ended at the freeway. California Street became a narrow offramp, and the result was a large part of town separated from the beach.

Editorial and Opinion

Why Technology is Driving More Urban Renewal
Business Insider – July 10, 2012

Technology innovation doesn’t occur in a vacuum. It happens in a dialog with society. And sci-fi writers are but one example of the way society impacts technology. I think that’s one of the reasons that many of the most interesting bay area startups are choosing to locate themselves in the city.