Smart Growth News – September 10, 2012

Top stories:

How Amtrak Might Redefine Downtown Philadelphia
The Atlantic Cities – September 7, 2012
The big pricetag received most of the attention when Amtrak released its updated vision for passenger rail in the Northeast Corridor earlier this summer: $151 billion. But it was a quieter announcement, relegated to tiny font on a service map, that’s making the most noise in Philadelphia at the moment. There Amtrak suggested that Market East Station — and no longer 30th Street Station — should become the city’s main rail hub in the high-speed era.

First Phase of the Atlanta BeltLine Nears Completion
Public Broadcasting Atlanta (GA) – September 7, 2012
The first phase of the Atlanta Beltline is almost finished. Construction on the Eastside Trail, which stretches from 10th and Monroe in Midtown to the border of Inman Park and the Old Fourth Ward is supposed to be completed ahead of a dedication for the trail that’s scheduled for October.

District police embrace concept of preventing crime through design
Washington Post – September 3, 2012
Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy L. Lanier is embedding police commanders with developers in the belief that the way things are built can influence the behaviors of criminals and potential victims, much as speed bumps can slow cars.

Land-use disputes can put cities on shaky financial ground
Los Angeles Times (CA) – September 9, 2012
Mammoth Lakes’ bankruptcy over $43 million in damages awarded to a developer is an extreme example. Trees, a radio antenna and a landslide have all sparked high-profile cases.

Can city life be exported to the suburbs?
Washington Post – September 7, 2012
Instead of building more typical suburban developments, in the past two decades builders increasingly have been bringing city life to the suburbs and exurbs.

Local news:

It doesn’t have name, but more move into downtown area
The Baltimore Sun (MD) – September 7, 2012
In a city that suffered depressing population declines in neighborhoods such as Oldtown, Middle East, Park Heights, Irvington and Westport, a population gain is something to toast.

After 10 years, RiverCenter for the Performing Arts still keeping downtown Columbus’ momentum alive
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (GA) – September 8, 2012
After the decision was made by city and community leaders to build the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, Frank Brown recalls Columbus businessman and philanthropist Bill Turner saying the project needed to be more than bricks and mortar and glass that people visited only on performance nights.

Let’s think smart about growth in Kansas City
Kansas City Star (KS) – September 8, 2012
The challenge is to revitalize existing neighborhoods and leave the open land to serve several purposes.

Open houses in Oregon City, Lake Oswego will help plan future high-speed rail service
The Oregonian – September 7, 2012
Upcoming open houses in Oregon City and Lake Oswego will explore the possibilities of high-speed passenger rail service between Portland and Eugene.

Opinion and editorial:

Do Democrats hate cities?
Salon – September 8, 2012
Obama hasn’t failed cities — far from it. He’s done a lot, as have many other Democrats. And lord knows he’s working in a nearly impossible political climate. But while the Democrats may be the party of urban America, a party that’s quietly and apologetically pro-city is not really a pro-city party at all.