Smart growth news – September 12

Earlier Stimulus Offers Lessons For A Second Round
NPR, September 9, 2011
Geoff Anderson, president and chief executive officer of Smart Growth America, a nonprofit, says some projects create more jobs for the money. Work on public transit and repairs to existing roads, for example, generated 50 to 70 percent more jobs than did work on new roads.

Focus on infrastructure earns associations’ approval of Obama’s Jobs Act
American City & County, September 9, 2011
SGA, which advocates for increases in transportation spending, contends that AJA should focus on streets and roads projects. “Investments in smart growth infrastructure like public transportation and repairing deteriorating infrastructure in existing communities will best achieve the goals outlined in [AJA],” SGA President and CEO Geoff Anderson said in a statement. “Rather than spending millions on land and equipment and obligating taxpayers to additional maintenance, these investments will reduce future costs and put a larger proportion of funds directly into the pockets of American families.”

‘I-69 equals jobs’ a persistent myth
Bloomington Alternative (Ind.), September 9, 2011
According to the article’s author, Keith Barry, figures from Smart Growth America show public transportation produces more jobs because it requires less acquisition of land; buses, trains and subways “need people to operate them and maintain the infrastructure”; and the workforce for public transit has more-diverse skills than does the workforce needed for highway construction.

Area cities kick off weeklong workshop
The Journal (W.Va.), September 10, 2011
Parris Glendening, a former democratic governor of Maryland with experience in helping areas weather new challenges, spoke to the audience about the importance of sustainable communities. “Creating sustainable communities means creating places where people can afford to live. … Creating sustainable communities means creating opportunities and building a strong, local economy,” Glendening said. “In this time of serious national challenges … it would be easy to look only for national solutions. Instead, we are lucky to be working with an administration that has directed its agencies to focus on place-based outcomes.”

In bicycle friendly D.C., going car-free is increasingly common
Washington Post, September 11, 2011
Houston is a bit urban, too, but it sprawls across 8,778 square miles, compared with the District’s 68.3 square miles. And in Texas, the car is king. The District and its immediate suburbs are crisscrossed by subway and bus lines, downtown swarms with taxis, and the expanding network of bike lanes has increased the popularity of cycling.

Blue Cross opens Lansing headquarters (Mich.), September 9, 2011
Bernero lauded the insurance company’s commitment to urban centers, part of its plan to consolidate 97 percent of its workforce within Michigan’s core cities. Blue Cross relocated employees from a small office on Ionia Street and a larger office in Delta Township to the newly renovated Capitol Ave. offices.

Zoning inhibits housing growth, panelists say
The Day (Conn.), September 10, 2011
Connecticut towns need to get used to the idea that affordable homes to attract young professionals and emergency-services personnel will require higher-density development and less restrictive zoning regulations than currently exist, officials said Friday during a-housing forum at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center.

Opinion: Forget Stimulus, Let’s Talk Savings
Daily Beast, September 8, 2011
If the GOP won’t talk rationally about economic stimulus, maybe they will talk about saving money. So here’s a question from economist Robert H. Frank: Would you rather pay for infrastructure repairs now or two years from now, when everything will cost more?