Smart growth news- June 21, 2012

Top stories

Optimism sparks up as transportation bill talks get a fresh start
The Hill- June 20, 2012
A new sense of optimism was in the air at transportation negotiations Wednesday as the leaders of House-to-Senate talks resumed their work.

Home Resales Drop
The Wall Street Journal- June 21, 2012
Sales of previously owned homes in the U.S. fell in May, suggesting that economic headwinds and a lack of available lower-priced properties may be holding back housing market’s recovery.

Can You Get People To Walk More, Simply With Smart Signage?
Fast Co Design- June 2012
It all started with a series of unsanctioned signs in Raleigh, North Carolina. Matt Tomasulo wanted to encourage residents to rediscover the joys of walking around town, so he put up notices that stated how long it took to get from here to there–“here” and “there” being any number of specially selected locations–on foot. People paid attention, and Walk [Your City] was born.

America’s Housing Shortage
Slate Moneybox- June 21, 2012
One of the most tenacious myths of the Great Recession is the idea that the downturn is some important sense caused by an oversupply of houses built up during the great boom. In fact, construction activity fell off the cliff in 2006 years before we started being plagued by mass unemployment. And as new Census data (PDF) confirms, America is substantially under-housed at this point:

Coalition Members in the news

Green light for Scappoose growth goals
South County Spotlight (OR)- June 20, 2012
Officials are anticipating a big future for the small town, which recently received final approval – pending further appeals – from the state’s land-use agency to grow its urban growth boundary by an additional 378 acres. That land is mostly around the Scappoose Industrial Airpark where high-profile developers have taken an interest in building.

Local news

Kansas City misses out on $25M federal streetcar grant
Kansas City Star- June 29, 2012
Despite losing out on a crucial $25 million federal grant, Kansas City Mayor Sly James and other city officials vowed Tuesday to press on with the downtown streetcar plan.

Alpharetta OKs master plan for downtown project
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA)- June 19, 2012
Alpharetta City Council voted 6-1 to move forward with a master plan for its City Center Project that includes some mixed-use structures to accompany a new city hall, a library and parking deck on 22 acres.

City of Flint kicks off community-wide master planning for the first time in decades
Michigan Live- June 20, 2012
The city’s master planning team is reaching out to the community in search of individuals to help craft a document outlining the vision for Flint’s future.

Quincy to accelerate revitalization June 21, 2012
Quincy city councilors have endorsed a plan to accelerate the downtown revitalization, which will build a residential/retail section in the city center before other promised private development.

Editorial & opinion

To Drive or Not to Drive, That Is the Question: June 21 Is Dump the Pump Day 2012
The Huffington Post- June 21, 2012
In Washington, D.C., too many leaders haven’t gotten the word that our nation’s love affair with oil is on the rocks. But across the nation, Americans who have access to public transportation aren’t waiting — they’re making the break from oil and voting with their feet by “dumping the pump” in favor of solutions like public transit.