Smart growth news – September 6

Innovation key to cities in 21st century
The San Diego Union-Tribune, September 2, 2011
As former Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy was about to sound a warning Friday to American cities about surviving in the 21st century, a large Navy vessel came into view as it sailed out of San Diego Bay. “What a spectacular city!” he said from the outdoor terrace of the San Diego Hilton Bayfront hotel. “I just want to turn around and see this ship go by.”

Sister cities share plans for downtown growth
Montgomery Advertiser (Ala.), September 4, 2011
Montgomery leaders have made the Alabama River a key ingredient for downtown redevelopment. Included so far have been a minor league baseball team housed in a $25 million stadium, and, a block away, the $200 million Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Conven­tion Center.

How should Syracuse transform its Inner Harbor?
The Post-Standard (N.Y.), September 4, 2011
Developers, architects and planners are citing the successful transformation of Syracuse’s Armory Square from rundown warehouses to trendy residential, retail and office buildings as the kind of mixed-use development that would work at the Syracuse Inner Harbor, the former state Barge Canal terminal the city will soon own.

Abandoned, neglected properties are a drain on cities, lawmakers told
The Oklahoman, September 2, 2011
Vacant and abandoned properties are costing taxpayers in Oklahoma City and Tulsa millions of dollars a year, representatives with both cities told a legislative committee Thursday.

Group has detailed plan to improve lower east-side Detroit neighborhood
Detroit Free Press, September 4, 2011
Over the last year, community activists struggling to revitalize their neighborhoods have engaged in a block-by-block, almost house-by-house, planning project, surveying thousands of residents and engaging teams of experts in architecture, planning, demographics and other disciplines.

Joliet group’s meetings seek uses for vacant Joliet prison, steel mill
The Herald News (Ill.), September 3, 2011
Two historical spots of Joliet that are deteriorating with age could become keys to the future of East Side economic development if the city can motivate the private market.

Why Towns With Good Transit Options Are Recovering Faster From the Recession
Treehugger, September 3, 2011
Cities and towns with good public-transit options offer more convenience for residents and are, of course, more environmentally friendly places to live. Now it also seems these places are the ones bouncing back quickest from the economic recession.

Building San Antonio: The future of the American Dream
San Antonio Express, September 4, 2011
The younger generation still has a desire and need for the traditional support that comes from a community designed to guide them to make smart choices in transportation, shopping, education, recreation and employment. While a suburban landscape of mass-produced houses does not fulfill the physical form necessary to accomplish this desired lifestyle, mixed-use types of development, some of which already are appearing in pockets across the city, can help to realize the lifestyle goals of future generations.


Wrong move for the SSA
Baltimore Sun, September 4, 2011
Relocation of Social Security Administration data center to Frederick County flies in the face of Maryland’s smart growth policies.

One Path to Better Jobs: More Density in Cities
The New York Times, September 4, 2011
When it comes to economic growth and the creation of jobs, the denser the city the better. How great are the benefits of density? Economists studying cities routinely find that after controlling for other variables, workers in denser places earn higher wages and are more productive. Some studies suggest that doubling density raises productivity by around 6 percent while others peg the impact at up to 28 percent. Some economists have concluded that more than half the variation in output per worker across the United States can be explained by density alone; density explains more of the productivity gap across states than education levels or industry concentrations or tax policies.

Investment in U.S. infrastructure would spur economy, boost safety
The Star-Ledger (N.J.), September 2, 2011
With a new round of investment, we would have an opportunity to not just fix our existing bridges and roads but advance “design-ready” projects that can make America more competitive. Design ready is the phase before shovel ready, and it is where the creativity and innovation of the U.S. civil engineering community can be tapped. Today, transportation agencies around the country are planning for critically important infrastructure projects but lack the funding to advance them to the design phase. Whether the goal is to design a new tunnel, bridge, high-speed rail system or airport runway, these projects are about enabling American competitiveness, economic growth and, ultimately, the creation of jobs for a variety of workers.

Smart growth would be progress
News and Tribune (Ind.), September 2, 2011
This community, along with every community around, needs new developments in order to grow. An expanded tax base — along with the jobs that would be created — would be a huge benefit. Here in New Albany and Floyd County, we need our growth to be a little smarter than it has been in years past. We can no longer accept the consequences of growth without the proper planning and forethought in order to keep from making the same mistakes over and over again.