Smart growth news – November 23

That Thanksgiving dinner? Mostly from out of state
Baltimore Sun, November 22, 2011
According to a survey by the land preservation group 1000 Friends of Maryland, 48 percent of our Thanksgiving staples overall are produced in-state.  Just 44 percent of the turkeys eaten are raised here, 41 percent of the potatoes (that seems high to me, frankly), 32 percent of the apples, 17 percent of the sweet potatoes and only one-half of 1 percent of the carrots.

Gwinnett to Receive Smart Growth Assistance
Norcross Patch (Ga.), November 23, 2011
Smart Growth America has selected Gwinnett County as one of 15 to receive free technical assistance, it announced last week. The program, which includes a workshop that will be held in Gwinnett sometime in 2012, was made possible from a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.

TEDx: The economic power of great places, November 17, 2011
Making great places is key to turning around our economy. In this passionate talk, Ilana Preuss shows us why we need to do this better and why these places are in high demand.

Planning for a smaller future
Financial Times, November 23, 2011
With thousands of houses lying empty and industrial buildings deserted, parts of Youngstown, Ohio, look like a ghost town. Its population has fallen from 170,000 in the 1930s to less than 67,000 today. But rather than moving aggressively to attract industry back or fill vacant homes with new residents, the city has been following a different plan – to shrink itself in a way that improves life for those residents who remain.

Kalispell moving ahead with urban renewal plan
KAJ18 (Mont.), November 22, 2011
Kalispell residents will see some positive changes along the railroad corridor in the future after city officials decided to move forward with a West Side Urban Renewal Plan to revive the downtown Kalispell along the tracks where there are many vacant properties, abandoned buildings and limited transportation access.

Canton: Once thriving downtown is shrinking
NBC 11 (Ga.), November 21, 2011
Canton now has a downtown commission trying to attract more specialty stores, restaurants and events with special incentives. “We’ve got to make downtown a destination; it has to be a place where people want to go,” said Mayor Hobgood.

Trending: HUD grants to help communities

For Once, the Federal Government Gets Sustainability Right
Atlantic Cities, November 22, 2011
This is exactly how the federal government should be supporting sustainability: helping communities who want to do the right thing for their environments, economies, and residents.  Congress in its stupidity wisdom may have just used the federal budget to zero out the sustainability assistance program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development but, in what may be its last round of major grants for a good while, HUD yesterday awarded $97 million dollars for planning and other efforts in 27 regions and 29 communities across 32 states.

HUD grant to aid St. Charles Parish corridor
The Times-Picayune (La.), November 22, 2011
Plans to revitalize the Paul Maillard Road corridor on St. Charles Parish’s west bank got a boost from a $442,000 federal grant to improve transportation and housing opportunities in the area. The 2.6 mile-long state road, which runs through Old Luling and Boutte, once was a vibrant business and retail corridor. But the area has been in a slow decline since the west bank leg of Interstate 310 was completed in 1988.

Buffalo Earns Sustainable Community Grant
WNED (N.Y.), November 22, 2011
“This grant will leverage with local funds and more than double the investment that we’re making and help to create a new vision on the how the community and the region plans (for improving) housing, transportation, workforce development and quality of life,” said HUD’s Regional Administrator Adolfo Carrion.

Big Grant To Build On
WBNG (N.Y), November 22, 2011
“The project will impact the community for years to come,” said Tarik Abdelazim, City of Binghamton’s Director of Planning, Housing and Community Development. Binghamton identified the program as a way to carry out some of its land-use recommendations in the city’s 2009 Sustainable Development and Smart Growth Commission report. It also saw the program as a way to provide funding to create programs that include housing, home ownership, urban agriculture, green jobs, park beautification and safer intersections and streets.

Opinion and Editorial

Controlling sprawl requires strong state plan, November 22, 2011
Governor Christie recently released a new “state strategic plan” for economic growth, with the aim of replacing our current state plan. As the most densely populated state in the country, New Jersey has had to implement land use limits and constraints that other states could not imagine. In fact, our state has had some sort of statewide land use plan since the 1930s.

Bad Idea: Don’t skew delicate balance between urban planning, politics in Syracuse
The Post-Standard (N.Y.), November 23, 2011
The blighted intersection of Midler Avenue and James Street in Syracuse needs help. But sidestepping the orderly planning process and putting politics ahead of the long-term interests of both residents and businesses alike is too high a price to pay for any development.