How can your city snag the next Amazon HQ2?


With all of the attention showered on “Crystal City” (Arlington, VA adjacent to DC) and Long Island City (Queens, New York City) after being selected as Amazon’s second/third headquarters, what are the lessons to learn for the 236 other disappointed communities, and what strategies could improve their future prospects?

Economic development

Welcome to the coalition: Madison Area Bus Advocates


Smart Growth America is proud to welcome Madison Area Bus Advocates to our coalition of state and national allied organizations.

Madison Area Bus Advocates works for an expanded and improved urban and regional bus system to serve more people, places, and trips throughout the greater Madison, WI area. The organization is a diverse group of bus users and friends who believe that good public transit supports the dignity and freedom of all individuals, creates an open, hospitable and welcoming community, respects the environment, opens economic opportunity to all and moves people to where they need to go. A variety of transportation options – including good bus service – needs to be available in the greater Madison area so people and businesses can choose a transportation mode that considers convenience, time, health, safety and cost. We want an expanded and improved regional transit system that includes better transit options within the city of Madison itself.

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Driving up costs: Reconsidering school sites in an era of unpredictable gas prices

Crossposted from the Governors’ Institute on Community Design.

Fuel costs are rising rapidly, and individual drivers aren’t the only ones feeling the pain. School transportation systems around the country are struggling to adjust to cost increases. In a survey of school districts conducted last month, almost 76 percent of transportation directors report that rising fuel costs are affecting operations.

Unfortunately, in the past few decades many school districts have – literally – built gas price vulnerability into the system, often influenced by shortsighted state standards for school construction and renovation. For example, many states require schools to be built on excessively large lots to accommodate fields and parking.

As a result, more and more schools are built on the outskirts of communities, far away from the students they serve. While 87 percent of students lived within one mile of school in 1969, that number had dropped to 21 percent (PDF) by 2001. Even when students live within walking distance, roads are often too hazardous for walking to be a safe option.

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