Smart growth news – September 15

Americans Are Driving Less. Washington Should Pay Attention.
Huffington Post, September 14, 2011
Americans are hungering for more and better transportation choices. Cities and states have proposals for new transit lines, passenger rail service, bike lanes and sidewalks that are stuck on the drawing board for lack of funds. And if the objective is job creation, there is really no contest: a recent report by Smart Growth America found that public transportation projects funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created 70 percent more jobs per dollar than highway projects funded under the law.

Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Hylton talks smart growth
WITF (Pa.), September 14, 2011
There are certain areas of the midstate that have exploded in growth over the past 20 years.  Early on, suburbs grew with housing developments and shopping centers almost unchecked.  Later on, many communities realized planning for the future was warranted and took “smart growth” seriously. Thomas Hylton, our guest on Thursday’s Radio Smart Talk, has been a internationally recognized advocate of smart growth for decades.  In fact, Hylton won a Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for columns he wrote for the Pottstown Mercury on farmland preservation.

Politicians, activists plug Obama jobs act in Hill District
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 15, 2011
The growl of construction equipment and buzz of power tools heard along Dinwiddie Street and Centre Avenue could fall silent if Congress doesn’t pass President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act, a Cabinet member said Wednesday as he toured the Hill District. Shaun Donovan, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development secretary, picked the neighborhood to showcase Project Rebuild, a $15 billion sliver of the administration’s $447 billion bid to right the economy. His immediate audience was a small group of aides, reporters and neighborhood activists, but the ultimate target was Congress.

Smart growth investment may be key to small cities’ economic vitality
NRDC Switchboard, September 15, 2011
This recent report from the Center for Neighborhood Technology looks very interesting.  Among other things, it seems to confirm exactly what Chuck Marohn (Community Growth Institute, Strong Towns) has been telling us about the economic imperatives facing smaller cities and towns in Heartland America:  to become resilient, prioritize investment in smart growth and efficient transportation.

A Sustainable Transportation Agenda
Buffalo Rising (N.Y.), September 14, 2011
Mayor Brown should be congratulated on his leadership for taking on the Buffalo Green Code. This bold and ambitious project is an unparalleled opportunity to actualize the smart growth, health and sustainability objectives of Buffalo’s Comprehensive Plan.

Blight bulldozed in East Cleveland
WOIO (Ohio), September 14, 2011
The city will demo 24 apartment buildings and 31 single family homes, which are vacant and abandoned in order to create three redevelopment sites within the city for either new housing or small commercialmixed use development.

The Beginning of the End for Suburban America
The Atlantic, September 14, 2011
The United States we all grew up with is changing, or rather, it’s changed and the numbers are beginning to reflect that. The growth in housing size, electricity demand and miles traveled were the hallmarks of the suburban/exurban era. They were the statistics of sprawl — but also of economic growth. Now that their relentless upward march has stopped, what happens? We need a new model for American prosperity that doesn’t require ever greater injections of fossil energy.

Urban Office Momentum
Urban Land Magazine, September 14, 2011
The U.S. office market has shifted its geographic momentum this year, with central business districts (CBDs) and popular urban corridors recovering better than suburban markets. One significant sign of the improving health of CBDs has been a notable increase in corporations migrating from outlying suburbs to downtown or urban locations.

New York Chooses Company to Run Bike-Share Program
New York Times, September 14, 2011
The Bloomberg administration announced Wednesday it had selected a Portland, Ore., company to run an ambitious bike-share program in New York City, but don’t break out the spandex cycling shorts just yet. Amid unease about exactly how the city will integrate 600 rental stations and 10,000 bicycles into the crowded streets and sidewalks of New York, the official rollout date of the program has been pushed back until the summer of 2012.