Smart growth news – October 14

Suburban Welfare Surge
Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2011
“It’s another example of how this is not your mother and father’s suburbs,” said Lawrence Levy, executive dean at Hofstra University’s National Center for Suburban Studies…The causes are a stubborn unemployment rate, the high cost of living in the suburbs and a rash of home foreclosures that sent many working families into poverty, experts said.

Interest in downtown
Desert News (Utah), October 13, 2011
The most common story line from a recent Downtown Alliance survey on the level of interest in downtown Salt Lake City is that young people, particularly those in the 18-24 age group, are the most interested in what the city has to offer.

Federal grants fund 11 public transportation projects in Michigan
Michigan Radio, October 13, 2011
Nine public transportation systems in Michigan have won competitive grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The grants announced Thursday total nearly $44 million.

New downtown Plano development proposed
Pegasus News (Texas), October 13, 2011
The continuing redevelopment of downtown Plano took another step forward as developers released plans for a 316,000-square-foot mixed use development at the corner of 15th Street and I Avenue.

Meriden to receive $850,000 in transit funds
The Record-Journal (Conn.), October 13, 2011
The city will receive $850,000 from the state to help promote development in the area around the State Street train station downtown, part of efforts to encourage “transit-oriented development,” or the clustering of housing and other resources near transportation hubs.

A spectacular green neighborhood is brewing in Milwaukee
NRDC Switchboard, September 22, 2011
Milwaukee’s newest trendy neighborhood is likely to become one of its best, and almost certainly its greenest.  The Brewery, an environmentally sensitive restoration and adaptation of historic structures among the decaying wreckage of the former Pabst Brewing Company, is already home to striking residential lofts, a great beer hall, a range of offices, Cardinal Stritch University City Center, and a small urban park.

Our coalition in the news

Environmental group awards Housing Authority for North Philly development
WHYY (Pa.), October 12, 2011
It’s not even built yet and a Philadelphia Housing Authority development is already winning awards. The LEED certified Norris Apartments units at 11th and Norris streets in North Philadelphia are PHA’s first, and their eco-friendliness has gotten the attention of the environmental group 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania.

Proposed parking taxes meant to decrease congestion
Chicago Tribune, October 13, 2011
Asked whether $2 of extra tax on daily garage parking was high enough to spur more transit use and discourage driving, Peter Skosey, vice president of the Metropolitan Planning Council, said, “You have to try it and see.” … Skosey said a next step might include extending the congestion premium to Chicago parking meters downtown and in the neighborhoods. “Parking meter rates could be adjusted so that drivers pay less to park when plenty of spaces are available and more to park when demand is high,” he said.