Smart growth news- June 18, 2012

Top stories

Transforming historic buildings into magnets for future growth
Buffalo News (NY) – June 17, 2012
Renovation of historic buildings is gaining momentum in downtown Buffalo, as derelict buildings like the AM&A warehouse, Hotel Lafayette and others are revived by developers to meet demand for innovative living and office space.

30-year growth blueprint approved
KXAN (TX) – June 15, 2012
A plan to shape the city’s growth and development throughout the next 30 years has been set into motion after Austin City Council unanimously approved — very early Friday morning — the comprehensive blueprint for growth.

Highway negotiations approaching a dead end
The Hill’s Transportation blog – June 18, 2012
The congressional negotiations about a new transportation bill are entering their sixth week with most observers thinking there is no longer hope for lawmakers to reach a deal on a possible compromise.

Stop thinking big
Salon – June 16, 2012
For a long time, tactical urbanism was associated with guerrilla gardeners and fly-by-night pop-up parks, whereas large-scale “city planning” was seen as the job of bureaucrats with blueprints. But more and more often, City Hall is taking a more active (as opposed to purely reactive) role in these types of smaller, cheaper, localized efforts, and sometimes even leading them.

Boston looks to transform parking spots into small parks
Boston Globe – June 15, 2012
As a business owner, Hassett said he likes adding a colorful, informal swath of outdoor seating near Wholy Grain, tucked into the first floor of a classic brick rowhouse at Shawmut Avenue and Hanson Street. As a resident who lives a few paces away, he likes what it promises to do for pedestrian life.

Failing U.S. Transportation Infrastructure
TIME- June 15, 2012
A top-notch economy requires a top-notch infrastructure. Yet in the U.S., roads are crumbling. In the past 25 years, miles traveled by car or truck have doubled, but total highway length has barely budged–one reason the World Economic Forum ranked American infrastructure a troubling 24th out of 124 nations.

A boon for Downtown’s urban parents
Crosscut (WA)- June 15, 2012
Many cities, faced with increasing populations and a growing demand for urban living, are moving toward making their downtowns welcoming residential neighborhoods for families with children. Seattle is no different. In the last year, a new and exciting effort among government and private sector leaders has emerged to respond to downtown Seattle’s changing demographics.

Coalition members in the news

Light rail plan stalls along party lines in Wake Co.
News 14 (NC)- June 15, 2012
WAKE COUNTY – Light rail could soon be speeding through the Triangle, but the regional transit plan has stalled in Wake County.

Newton to Receive Free Assistance to Study Defunct Railbed
Newton Patch (MA)- June 16, 2012
Newton has been selected to receive free technical assistance this year to help create a more sustainable community and study options for an old railbed in the city.

Local news

Missoula’s Mayor John Engen featured on Smart Growth America
Bike Walk Missoula (MT) – June 14, 2012
An interview by Smart Growth America with Mayor Engen was posted to their website in May and featured in the June 14 newsletter with 3 other Western cities. View this interview and read the accompanying text at Smart Growth America.

Denver leaders see the chance to build tech haven
Denver Post (CO) – June 17, 2012
The downtown partnership wants to map where every tech-related company in downtown is based, which could address Lorang’s point about how most of the city’s tech startup workers are strangers. The partnership also wants to make Denver more bikeable and walkable and add other amenities that would help attract the future workforce, the 25- to 35-year-olds.

Hollywood population density at issue in development fight
Los Angeles Times (CA) – June 17, 2012
“Hollywood has the great capacity to be a livable, urban city. We envision a place you could live, conceivably, without a car. It’s intended to be a land-use plan that unites the neighborhoods,” said Kerry Morrison, who for 16 years has led the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance and managed a pair of Hollywood business improvement districts.

Denver leaders see the chance to build tech haven
The Denver Post (CO)- June 17, 2012
Overlooked in national tech circles, Denver business leaders and entrepreneurs are quietly working together to bolster the city’s profile.

Sussex tops among rural counties losing population
New Jersey Herald- June 16, 2012
Sussex County lost population at a higher rate than any other county in New Jersey during the three-year period ending Dec. 31, according to a new report based on U.S. Census statistics.