Smart growth news- June 6, 2012

Top Stories

Reid, GOP brawl over highway bill
The Hill- June 5, 2012
Congressional negotiations over a highway bill took an acrimonious turn on Tuesday as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) accused House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) of thwarting the legislation in a bid to harm the economy.

The office is shrinking as tech creates workplace everywhere
USA Today- June 5, 2012
Technology, the urge to go green, telecommuting and a generation of workers who grew up with smartphones in their hands and computers in their laps are revamping the work culture. Companies are knocking down walls, even dismantling cubicles to create a free-flowing layout that many believe gets the creative juices flowing and encourages collaboration.

Sharp Transit Cuts Pinch Riders and Employers
Wall Street Journal- June 4, 2012
Public transport plays a central role in local economies, but tight budgets and hefty pension obligations are pressuring transit systems, just as the economic recession and sluggish recovery have depressed the state sales-tax receipts that fund many transit systems around the country.

The 9 billion-person question: What kind of cities will we build?
Grist- June 5, 2012
“We now see, in the Anthropocene, that even the wilderness is a product of human forces and is very much shaped by human ideas,” Christensen says. “The city is also full of nature.” These insights will be crucial as Earth’s population continues to grow to the 9 billion people we expect in 40 to 50 years, and as we continue to cluster in urban areas. In this brave new world, the frontiers will be urban ones, where humanity and nature mix and interact.

An Ohio River City Comes Back to Its Shoreline
New York Times- June 5, 2012
The shoreline of this Ohio River city, which in the 19th century hummed with 30 steamboat visits a day but faded in the 20th as pollution and industrial disinvestment pushed people and businesses inland, is emerging again as a hub of civic and economic vitality.

AARP wants more public transit funding
Legislative Gazette- June 4, 2012
By 2030, some 26 million baby boomer households expect to sell their homes and retire, according to a recent Bipartisan Policy Center report. Meanwhile, the numbers of Americans in their late 20s and early 30s angling to buy homes has slipped significantly over the last decade and even more so in the wake of the housing bust.

Coalition Members in the News

Smart Growth Tough To Get Going
Banker & Tradesman- June 5, 2012
Any growth has been difficult in this economy, and smart growth more than most, admitted organizers at the first annual Great Neighborhood Summit sponsored by the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance.

Hammonton honored with NJ Smart Growth Awards
The Daily Journal (NJ)- June 5, 2012
A diverse group of innovative development and redevelopment projects located in cities, towns and townships across New Jersey were honored on June 7 at the Newark Club with 2012 Smart Growth Awards from New Jersey Future.

Local News

Vote on Silver Line’s future looms
Washington Post- June 5, 2012
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is expected to cast a pivotal vote Wednesday on the future of Metro’s Silver Line, barely a day after the project’s supporters and opponents faced off in Leesburg over bringing the rail line to Loudoun County.

New rules may help you find not-so-public spaces
SF Gate (CA)- June 5, 2012
If you’re someone who enjoys the solitude of downtown San Francisco’s hidden public spaces, your secret rooftops and interior nooks soon may be secret no more. The signs that announce their presence may soon be bigger, bolder and more plentiful. There even could be a city website mapping all the locations – the first official guide since the program requiring such spaces kicked off in 1985. A list of spaces, including corporate plazas from before 1985, compiled by the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, is at

Californians turn against high-speed rail project, poll finds
Los Angeles Times’ L.A. Now blog – June 3, 2012
A controversial $68-billion high-speed rail project in California has lost support from a majority of Californians, a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll found.

City Offers Preview of the New Zoning Ordinance
Buffalo Rising (NY)- June 4, 2012
The Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning unveiled a preview of the new zoning ordinance this morning. A series of Green Code neighborhood open houses starts tonight at Lafayette High School at 6 pm to discuss emerging details about the new form-based code, which is being written to build upon smart growth and sustainability principles.

Youthful energy stirs in Nampa, Caldwell downtowns
Idaho Press-Tribune (ID)- June 4, 2012
CANYON COUNTY — Vacant stores still haunt the streets of downtown Caldwell and Nampa, reminders of a harsh economy that has sent several business owners packing.

Planning for the future: Land-use makeup back on the table
Gasparilla Gazette (FL) – June 2, 2012
On Monday, during the city council’s workshop meeting, officials will hear and discuss the latest build-out analysis which shows a city, while still largely residential, loaded with open spaces with very little area dedicated to industrial.