Smart growth news – October 12

Obama selects D.C. project, 13 others to help spur jobs
Washington Post, October 11, 2011
A mixed-use development in the District’s Shaw neighborhood is one of 14 infrastructure projects across the country that the Obama administration has selected to be put on the fast track to help create jobs, the White House announced Tuesday.

Quicken welcomes 1,500 suburban workers to Detroit
The Detroit News, October 11, 2011
As Gilbert and Bing noted, the latest group of workers means another 1,500 people dining in downtown restaurants, walking along the RiverWalk, staying after work for ball games or concerts and, possibly, taking advantage of new incentives to move to the greater downtown area.

Mayor Swearengin unveils Fresno Downtown Neighborhoods Community Plan
ABC 30 (Calif.), October 12, 2011
Fresno residents voiced their concerns Tuesday as city leaders revealed their plan to revitalize Downtown and its surrounding areas. The 150-page document has been two years in the making.

Homebuyers flocking to downtown high-rise developments
Las Vegas Review-Journal, October 12, 2011
Despite the economic ups and downs of the past few years, Sam Cherry, the pioneering downtown developer who opened the first residential high-rise within Las Vegas city limits, remains as committed as ever to the area. Today, he and other downtown, high-rise condominium owners are ecstatic to see the area not only recovering, but thriving.

Fighting obesity with urban planning
SmartPlanet, October 11, 2011
This week, the L.A. County Department of Public Health released the “Model Design Manual for Living Streets,” essentially a contribution to the fight against obesity from an urban planning perspective. The aim is to make the streets more active and efficient, and as a result, healthier.

Bloomington looks to rehabilitate, market ex-Wildwood building
The Pantagraph (Ill.), October 10, 2011
A vacant building once used by the now-defunct Wildwood Industries will be added to the list of properties slated for marketing by the Economic Development Council of the Bloomington-Normal Area.

Our coalition in the news

Most New Jerseyans support protection of farmland, open space and drinking water, poll shows
The Star-Ledger (N.J.), October 11, 2011
Peter Kasabach, executive director of the nonprofit New Jersey Future, one of four advocacy groups that commissioned the study, said while people think the state should guide new growth, it should not dictate where people can and can’t live. “But people recognize there’s issues bigger than towns,” Kasabach said. “Water doesn’t respect political boundaries. Transportation doesn’t respect town borders.”

Road report: Study examines cost to taxpayer
WQOW (Wis.), October 10, 2011
How far are you willing to go to cover the cost of roads in Wisconsin?  That’s a question coming out of a new report.  An environmental group, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, has released the report.

Opinion

Protecting the county’s rural charm
Southern Maryland Newspapers, October 10, 2011
It is not too late to turn things around. For the first time ever, the comprehensive plan process encourages citizens to choose a land use preference. And for the first time ever, it offers a Smart Growth plan in Scenario 1 that would provide a sustainable framework for county prosperity.

Neighbors Should Support Positive Development
South End Patch (Mass.), October 11, 2011
A linchpin of Washington Gateway Main Street’s revitalization strategy has been mixed-use development. Simply put, mixed-use means that buildings function in a number of ways – they contain residences, typically on the upper floors, and commercial space on the ground floor. Having a variety of uses ensures there are a number of people around at any given time of day, creating a vibrant streetscape; it creates safer areas than those that are either all commercial or residential. Recently, two mixed-use development proposals – the Hite TV site and 35 W. Newton St. – were met with opposition from a small but vocal group of residents. Trash, noise, smells, sightlines and privacy were issues that the residents said would negatively impact their homes and the neighborhood. In other words, they were saying, “not in my backyard.”

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