Smart Growth News – July 5, 2012

National News

This is a win? After Dems cave, transportation bill creates no new jobs
MSNBC – July 3, 2012

But that estimate assumes that the funding will otherwise disappear. If you use the current funding level as a baseline, the bill creates no new jobs at all. The number of jobs being created “is basically zero,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy Research. “We would lose jobs if nothing had passed and Congress let funding lapse. Even then Boxer and Obama are hugely exaggerating the effects.”

US Cities Score Poorly On The Economist’s New Livability Index
Business Insider – July 5, 2012

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and Buzzdata selected the “spatially adjusted living index” as the best new tool for evaluating quality of life. This method, selected in a competition, looks at green space, urban sprawl, pollution, isolation, cultural assets and other “spacial” aspects. The new index ranked Hong Kong as the best city, followed by Amsterdam, Osaka and Paris. The highest ranked US city was Washington DC at 14.

Live and let live: The Best City in the World
The Economist – July 4, 2012

HOW to measure the immeasurable? Trying to rank the world’s best cities is like trying to quantify the finest mother on mother’s day—most of us have a biased interest. Even the most wordly cosmocrats place different emphasis on different features of a city.

States Steal Federal Foreclosure Funds at Their Own Peril
Bloomberg – July 4, 2012

Here’s the problem: many states — including some hardest hit by the housing bust — are diverting more than $1 billion of that settlement money to fill budget gaps, fund public universities and even bankroll litigation against defective Chinese drywall, according to a Bloomberg Government report. In doing so, states are robbing troubled borrowers of assistance and jeopardizing their housing recoveries in the process.

Local News:

Would-Be Landlords Covet a Landmark
The New York Times – July 3, 2012

The Kansas City Power and Light Building is a widely celebrated Art Deco skyscraper that instantly became a city landmark when it opened 81 years ago. The 30-story building stood as Missouri’s tallest for 40 years, and its six-story lantern tower, enclosed in sunburst windows and topped by a steel-framed glass cupola, still cuts a distinctive profile on the downtown skyline.

Booming business – Downtown Green Bay sees rebirth as business headquarters take root
Insight Magazine – July 1, 2012

Twenty-five years ago, downtown Green Bay was the place to shop with the Port Plaza Mall beckoning patrons. As consumers’ shopping patterns changed, the downtown found itself struggling to find its footing. Today, the downtown is seeing a rebirth that’s becoming a business nexus – with companies setting up their headquarters, and local retailers and restaurants growing as hundreds of employees provide a ready customer base.

Saving Gastonia’s Loray Mill: ‘…a gift from heaven’
Charlotte Observer – July 5, 2012

The future of the vacant building troubled many. For nearly 100 years, the towering plant had been a part of the community’s fabric – employing thousands, providing recreation, social activities, instilling pride in the surrounding mill village.

Funding OK’d for smart growth projects
Lancaster Journal – July 5, 2012

The $960,613 Elizabethtown project and three others projects deemed the “smartest” of local smart-growth initiatives will be the first to be funded under the county’s new Smart Growth Transportation Program

Apple’s $1-billion Nevada Project Closer To Becoming Reality
Area Development Online – July 5, 2012

Reno Mayor Bob Cashell said “Reno has been working to diversify its economic base. This is a project in which we can all work together for the good of the whole. Apple will create jobs and brings millions of dollars to our community which will help everyone. The project will provide an economic boost to Washoe County, City of Reno, City of Sparks, the Washoe County School District, and the State of Nevada.” The Mayor added Apple’s presence in the Tessera area of the city will give the downtown an economic boost and help attract other tenants.

Hail the collaborators
Missoula Independent – July 5, 2012

The fiery rhetoric that periodically consumes rural communities in the West is smoldering again. Some environmentalists berate those of us who try to collaborate to solve contentious public-lands issues; meanwhile, conspiracy theorists spread scary stories about the U.N. subverting our government through its Agenda 21.

Rehberg blames housing bust on federal government
The Times Picayune – July 3, 2012

One of U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg’s talking points on the campaign trail has been to blame the housing crash on the federal government for making it too easy to get credit.