Smart growth news – June 17, 2011

‘Walkability’ key to an age-friendly city
Hamilton Spectator, June 16, 2011
Walkability was identified as a key to sustainable growth by Hamilton’s Economic Summit. But it is much more than that. It is also a key to an age-friendly city — an inclusive and accessible urban environment that promotes active aging and improves the quality of life for all members of society. As defined by Christopher Leinberger in an opinion editorial in the Hamilton Spectator on May 12, walkability is “basically the ease of meeting daily needs on foot.” One measurement tool used to identify walkable neighbourhoods is the “Walk Score,” which measures distances to stores, and services in the neighbourhood.

Smart Growth to Blame For the Housing Crash? Not By a Long Shot.
Streetsblog DC, June 16, 2011
The Wall Street Journal yesterday posed the question of whether smart growth policies and land use restrictions were to blame for the housing boom and bust. The hypothesis comes from Wendell Cox, a long-time critic of smart growth, who, in a recent paper, recycled a specious argument that land use regulations caused housing prices to increase unsustainably, creating the real estate bubble and, eventually, the collapse of the housing market. Cox claims to show that differences in how metro areas regulated development explain the recent housing crisis.

Population growth to drive more compact housing
Inman News, June 16, 2011
We need to find homes for 150 million more people. With the U.S. population projected to grow that much in the next 30-40 years, that will necessitate “more compact, more mixed-use development,” and coordinated transportation planning, said Patrick Phillips, CEO for the Urban Land Institute, who spoke during a National Association of Real Estate Editors annual conference Wednesday.

How to fix crumbling U.S. roads, rails and airways
MarketWatch, June 17, 2011
If America’s prosperity depends on its roadways, the future looks pretty rough.
After more than a decade of declining tax revenue in the United States, highways are crumbling, rail lines are overburdened and airline corridors are congested. Factor in the economic weakness, the public’s tax-cutting mindset and geopolitical instability, and an already shaky situation looks ready to worsen for commerce, jobs and several industries that are crucial for transportation infrastructure.

Using, improving public transit key, Sierra Club rep says
The Times Leader (Penn.), June 16, 2011
An area representative of the Sierra Club says today’s observance of Dump the Pump Day is a great way to save money on gas and help improve the environment, but it should also be a reminder for people to let their elected officials know they want an improved public transportation system.

LI leaders honored for smart growth
Long Island Business News, June 16, 2011
Civic leaders, developers and elected officials from across Long Island will be among the 600 people expected to attend the 10th annual Smart Growth Awards from Vision Long Island on Friday.

Report criticizes KC area for older people’s lack of public transportation options
Kansas City Star, June 16, 2011
Among metropolitan areas its size, the Kansas City area has the most neighborhoods with poor access to transportation options for senior residents who no longer drive.
In its size group — of 1 million to 3 million — Kansas City ranked worse than Oklahoma City; Fort Worth/Arlington, Texas; Nashville, Tenn.; and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

Dump the Pump Day promotes public transportation
San Francisco Chronicle, June 17, 2011
There are hundreds of gleaming, comfy machines zipping all over the Bay Area every day that save you money if you ride them, a batch of experts wanted everyone to know Thursday.

Planners Look to Attract Businesses
Seacoast Online (New Hampshire), June 17, 2011
Planning Board members met on Tuesday, June 14 to discuss an update to the town’s Master Plan.
The Planning Board tries to update a section of the Master Plan each year, said Town Planner Diane Hardy, to take a fresh look at areas in town. Their aim in the revision and rewrite of Chapter 6 is to create a more economically feasible town, which would draw in business and provide opportunity for economic growth.

Multi-Family Is The Future Of CA Housing
KPBS (San Diego Public Radio) “On-Ramp” blog, June 16, 2011
The crummy housing market may be the biggest drag on the U.S economy. And the one glimmer of hope in California is not what the housing industry was hoping for. Living in multi-family houses close to jobs, of course, isn’t such a bad thing. Some people even call it “smart growth.” Whether you like it or not, we might have to start getting used to it.