Smart growth news – September 13

How to Build a Greener City
Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2011
It wasn’t long ago that the idea of using “green” and “city” in the same sentence seemed absurd. Cities were considered a blight on the environment: energy-hogging, pollution-spewing, garbage-producing environmental hellholes. But in recent years, they’ve begun to be seen as models of green virtue. City dwellers tend to walk more and drive less than their suburban counterparts, and dense urban development encourages transit use. Apartment living generally means lower per-household energy use. Building on these strengths, planners and developers are devising innovative solutions to meet urbanites’ energy, water, transportation and sanitation needs well into the future.

Re-Imagining NYC at the Urban Design Week Festival
WNYC, September 12, 2011
Picture a city road that recycles rain water or a pedestrian haven below Canal Street. These are some of the concepts that are on the table for the first-ever Urban Design Week Festival, which starts on Monday. With talks, panel discussions and brainstorming sessions, the festival’s organizers hope to join the ideas of New Yorkers with the vision and planning of urban designers and architects.

Don’t Subsidize Big Boxes at Local Shops’ Expense
Business Week, September 9, 2011
When governments use public money to woo national chains, economic growth and job creation are negligible. Independent retailers also suffer.

Business boom in White Bear Lake
Star Tribune (Minn.), September 10, 2011
Six new businesses have opened or will open in the weeks and months ahead. Vacant properties are filling up in the city’s downtown and officials ‘are happy to have the jobs.’

IBM Commuter ‘Pain Index’ Shows Worst Cities for Driving
Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2011
A new survey on commuting released today by International Business Machines Corp. found that for many people in metropolitan areas around the world, getting to work is more painful endeavor than ever. In some cases, people’s negative feelings about driving may have more to do with their emotional states than actual driving conditions.

EverBank has signed Downtown letter of intent
Jacksonville Business Journal, September 12, 2011
EverBank has said the Downtown move is one of several options it is considering, including keeping back-office employees where they are at the Cypress Point Business Park, which is along Philips Highway near J. Turner Butler Boulevard on the Southside.

Opinion: The Benefits of Urban Density
New York Times, September 11, 2011
Planning that does not meet the need for housing is a good way to kill jobs, and companies know this. In Mountain View, Calif., Google is actively supporting the city’s efforts to add housing in areas previously zoned for commercial and industrial uses.

Opinion: Washington, we have gridlock
Baltimore Sun, September 12, 2011
In reading The Sun’s recent editorial on transportation funding, I was reminded of Astronaut Jim Lovell’s famous words during the ill-fated Apollo 13 space mission of 1970. At that time, a team of men and women from Mission Control worked under tight deadlines to undertake a historic rescue. Members of Congress need to take similar action today by approving a transportation funding package to keep our economy and infrastructure from further decay. In 1970, the country faced a mechanical failure. In 2011 it is a failure to act.