Smart Growth News – August 30, 2013

Building Equity by the Tracks
Next City – August 30, 2013
LISC is pushing hard to make sure that new rail lines going into towns across the country aren’t just magnets for high-end investments, but also include the services and amenities low-income families need: Affordable housing, health care, financial planning assistance, cultural richness.

Home-mortgage Interest Deduction at Stake
The Charlotte Observer – August 29, 2013
Staff members of the House and Senate tax-writing committees are putting together legislative drafts that may determine the fate of real estate’s most prized tax benefits – first and second home-mortgage interest deductions, property tax write-offs, capital gains exclusions and others.

The One Building that Explains How Detroit Could Come Back
The New Republic – August 28, 2013
Virtually every major city in this country has a strong central business district (mostly for the congregation of government, corporate headquarters, entertainment venues, and some cultural functions), a strong midtown area (where eds and meds and historic museums tend to concentrate), and a state-of-the-art transit corridor, mostly built within the past twenty years, connecting the two.

Strong Towns for Libertarians
Strong Towns – August 20, 2013
Where I have found the biggest breakthrough is talking through the countless forms of coercion that have been used to bring about our current development pattern, much of which the public at large is not aware of.


Smart Growth News – August 29, 2013

Planner Keeps Calm, Carries on With ‘Smart Growth’ Ideas
San Diego Source – August 28, 2013
Compact villages are the key to the future. Retiring baby boomers and up-and-coming millennials hope to live in walkable, villagelike communities with a broad range of shops and services, instead of sprawling suburban subdivisions that lack nearby amenities, Fulton says.

Commemorating March on Washington, Foxx Links Transport to Civil Rights
Streetsblog DC – August 28, 2013
”Rarely in the last century did an urban interstate highway plow through a neighborhood that wasn’t characterized as poor,” he writes. “In 2013, many communities are tearing down those divisions and building bridges.”

“Transport is Mostly a Real Estate Problem”
City Block (DC) – August 28, 2013
That is, different transportation modes require different amounts of space to accomplish the same task.

Guest on The Infra Blog: Stuart Schwartz, Executive Director, Coalition for Smarter Growth
Infrastructure USA – August 28, 2013
“We believe that a network of transit-oriented communities represents the most sustainable and competitive future for our region.”


Smart Growth News – August 28, 2013

‘Complete Streets’ Can Ease Congestion
The Marietta Daily Journal (GA) – August 27, 2013
I’m excited that many places in the Atlanta area, and the Georgia Department of Transportation, are endorsing and acting on this sensible approach to our roadways.

How to Sell Developers and Employers on Transit-Oriented Development
Streetsblog DC – August 27, 2013
Developers and employers think transit access is great. But if the hurdles are too high, they’ll forgo it — choosing locations that shackle people to car dependence.

DOT Solicits Online Feedback on 2014-2018 Plans
The Hill – August 27, 2013
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a blog post on the DOT website that the agency’s strategic plan “serves as a foundation for building, operating, and maintaining a safe and efficient transportation system.”


Gaer Pledges to Continue Smart-Growth Strategy in Re-Election Bid
West Des Moines Patch (IA) – August 27, 2013
West Des Moines mayor says that if voters give him another term in the Nov. 5 city election, he’ll look for more city, school and county partnerships to enhance services.


Smart Growth News – August 27, 2013

Time for Reform of Federal Involvement in Real Estate?
University of St. Thomas (MN) – August 23, 2013
One of the report’s most innovative ideas is the establishment of mortgage savings accounts. Americans may already take advantage of tax-free savings accounts for health care and college expenses. Smart Growth America suggests that Congress should authorize a similar option to allow individuals to save for a home purchase.

Twenty-First Century Developers Embrace Walkability as Their Number One Goal
Media Planet – August 26, 2013
A growing cadre of architects, urban planners, economists and developers are collaborating to create walkable communities from coast to coast.

The Suburbs are Dead, Long Live the Suburbs
The Atlantic Cities – August 27, 2013
“To say that everyone wants to live in a 50-story skyscraper in New York City is not at all practical or realistic or in touch with how people want to live in this country. So a big part of the future will be ‘urban burbs.'”


Significant Economic Impact of State and Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credits Announced
KYForward (KY) – August 23, 2013
Using state and federal historic preservation tax credits, rehabilitation of a single downtown commercial building located in a Kentucky Main Street community generates average private investment of $360,793, the Kentucky Heritage Council announced.


Smart Growth News – August 26, 2013

Roseville Set to Unveil $4.5 Million Town Square
The Sacramento Bee – August 26, 2013
In many ways, the city’s direction mirrors the movie “Back to the Future,” said Chris Leinberger, president of LOCUS, a national network of real estate developers and investors who advocate for sustainable, walkable urban development.

Historic Preservation Supporters Fighting to Keep Credit: Taxes
Bloomberg Businessweek – August 23, 2013

The credit program also helps raise private investment, often in conjunction with the low income housing tax credit.

Preparing for a Stormy Future: Obama’s Sandy Rebuilding Strategy
NRDC Switchboard – August 22, 2013
The Administration also mentions the importance of working with state programs such as the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program and New Jersey Resilience Partnerships, as well as nongovernmental organizations such as New Jersey Future.

Using Mixed-Use Education to Build Communities
Planetizen – August 20, 2013
Mixed‐use urban planning that combines entertainment, commercial, and residential uses has proven successful in creating more vibrant communities, but rarely have educational facilities been included in the mix.


Smart Growth News – August 23, 2013

All Aboard! Abandoned Railroad Tracks Gain New Life as Green Trails
The Huffington Post – August 21, 2013
Urban and suburban areas have joined the trend of writing second acts for old rail lines, encouraged by both local advocates and national organizations such as the Rails to Trails Conservancy.

TOD Tips Offered by U of Minn. Report
Metro Magazine – August 22, 2013

A key finding of the study, which was based on interviews with developers and business leaders, revealed a pent-up demand for transit access in the Twin Cities metropolitan region.


Wood Caldwell: Green Hills Appears Poised for More Smart Growth
The Tennessean – August 22, 2013
“Thanks to committed developers and city leaders, Green Hills did not just change, it GREW in a way that made the area more attractive, more accommodating…”

Downtown Minneapolis Dreams on Display
Finance & Commerce (MN) – August 22, 2013 [The plans] told a tale of a city trying to double its downtown population in the next dozen years and of expanding a downtown job market.


Building region-wide support for new development along Arizona's Valley Metro light rail line

New development along the Valley Metro light rail line in Tempe, AZ. Photo of the Hub on Campus building via Facebook.

The City of Phoenix, AZ, is working to encourage development along the Valley Metro light rail line, and it’s getting some help from a region-wide effort that’s working to link Phoenix’s investments to others throughout the region.

The Sustainable Communities Collaborative (SCC) is a unique non-profit partnership working to catalyze development along the Valley Metro light rail in Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa. Started in 2011 with a $20 million private investment from Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Raza Development Fund, SCC aims to create “vibrant urban environments and transit-oriented communities that have it all”: a mix of housing starts, new community health care centers, entrepreneurial start-ups, pedestrian and bicycle friendly neighborhoods, eclectic retail and restaurants, and artistic centered community development connected to the 20-mile light rail line.

Local Leaders Council

Smart Growth News – August 22, 2013

Celebrating 500 Complete Streets Policies
Alliance for Biking & Walking – August 21, 2013
Once a city or state passes a Complete Streets policy, advocates work hard to hold legislatures, city councils and transportation departments to their word.

Why Millennials are Ditching Cars and Redefining Ownership
NPR – August 21, 2013
At 28, Rosenthal is part of a trend of millennials who are giving up, putting off or just not buying cars.

Lawmakers Divided Over Funding of Brownfields Remediation
Remediation Nation – August 21, 2013
Stakeholders are currently required to apply for separate grants at each stage of the cleanup process, which can make effective planning impossible for project managers, as funding for future activities cannot be guaranteed.


S.J. Residents Get Multiple Choice Growth Plans
The Stockton Record (CA) – August 21, 2013
“We want infill, and we want a revitalized downtown,” Stockton environmentalist Jeremy Terhune said.


View our 500 Complete Streets Policies Celebration in full

On August 14, 2013, Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition hosted a 500 Complete Streets Policy Celebration in which complete streets leaders the 500 communities across the United States that have made their streets safer and more accessible for everyone who uses them with Complete Streets policies, and looked ahead to the … Continued

Complete Streets

Smart Growth News – August 21, 2013

What Happens When a Town Puts People Before Cars?
The Atlantic Cities – August 20, 2013
[Marohn] now travels the country spreading the word that things can be done differently – that America’s towns and cities can build streets that are safe and operate at a human scale, the old-fashioned way, and that they can save money and bolster their economies in the process.

Hurricane Sandy Study Calls for More Disaster Preparation
NPR – August 19, 2013
Chris Sturm, of the group New Jersey Future, said the key now is ensuring this isn’t just another study that sits on a shelf.

Nevada Walks a Few Steps Closer to Complete Streets Thanks to Outside Las Vegas Foundation
Alliance for Biking & Walking – August 20, 2013
“Complete Streets is an issue that affects everyone because it combines environmental concerns with pedestrian and bicycling safety elements. They’re also economically attractive because they generate construction projects, and improve quality of life, thus retaining and attracting new residents.”

Prerequisites for Successful Land Value Capture
Mobilizing the Region (NY) – August 20, 2013
Land value capture’s success as a funding tool requires an environment with a smart mix of uses, density, accessibility and market demand.