Moderated by Sommer Mathis, Editor of The Atlantic Cities, the panel also included Sarah Zanton of The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and Sarah Rosen Wartell, President of the Urban Institute. Together they discussed how demographic changes in the United States are affecting the country’s development needs.
Changing demographics and shifting consumer demands have deeply impacted the real estate market, causing developers to put a greater emphasis than ever before on the creation of smart growth neighborhoods within easy distance to jobs, shops and schools. From millenials to baby-boomers, Americans are moving away from large-lot suburban housing and looking to take up … Continued
The Best Smart Growth Projects in America
The Atlantic, December 1, 2011
One of the country’s very best revitalizing neighborhoods and one of our most articulate city plans for a more sustainable future are among this year’s five national honorees for achievement in smart growth, awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency. The other very worthy winners include a green learning center in a small South Dakota town, a green, affordable apartment building in New Mexico and an innovative civic gathering space in Illinois.
More Broken Bridges than Golden Arches: U.S. Urban Infrastructure Infographic
Sacramento Bee, December 1, 2011
“There are more deficient bridges in our metropolitan areas than there are McDonald’s restaurants in the entire country,” stated James Corless, Director of Transportation for America.
‘Walkable’ Steps Into Spotlight
New York Times, December 1, 2011
Walkability is an asset of an increasing number of Island communities as the fabric of suburbia changes, and it was a must for Judy Rosenthal, a health care writer from Great Neck, when she recently sought a new home for her mother not far from her own.
The Death of the Fringe Suburb
New York Times (Op-Ed), November 25, 2011
Simply put, there has been a profound structural shift — a reversal of what took place in the 1950s, when drivable suburbs boomed and flourished as center cities emptied and withered.
HUD Awards Bring ‘Bittersweet’ End to Sustainability Program
Streetsblog, November 23, 2011
“The communities selected to receive these grants have a great opportunity to put their plans for smarter development and economic revitalization into action,” said Geoffrey Anderson of Smart Growth America in an email. “These grants are bittersweet, however, since they come just days after Congress passed legislation that did not include specific funding for another round of HUD grants next year.”
How should we design the cities of our dreams?
Salon, November 27, 2011
This is the first story in a new series called Dream City, which will explore the way we’re designing our cities of the future, cities in which we want to live, right now. Two more stories will follow this week. Tomorrow, we’ll examine the way cities are growing with creative use of their waterfronts. And on Tuesday, we’ll look at the growing trend of removing freeways from downtown to create new pedestrian spaces.
U.S. Farmers Reclaim Land From Developers
Wall Street Journal, November 14, 2011
Five years into a brutal national housing downturn, raw land destined for residential development has fallen so far in value that thousands of acres across the country are being used again for agriculture.
McMansions swell the real eastate market as homebuyers think small
The Star-Ledger (N.J.), November 13, 2011
Certain homebuyers once prized these large houses, tucked away on a few acres of land and featuring half a dozen bedrooms, grand entranceways, and three-car garages. But in the face of the economic collapse, declines in personal wealth, a tight housing market, and a shift of what prospective homeowners want, all that has changed. Major demographic changes could also make the market shrink even further in the next five years, as baby boomers retire and look to downsize. The generation behind them is smaller and has less money and a desire to live closer to urban centers.
In Shift, More People Move In to New York Than Out
New York Times, November 11, 2011
While much of the city’s population growth in recent years has been fueled by the influx of immigrants and more people being born than dying, there have been new waves of arrivals from other parts of the country and fewer New Yorkers leaving. In 2010, 252,000 people moved to New York — 157,000 from elsewhere in the country — while 220,000 left, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. That contrasts sharply with 2006, when 230,000 arrived and 341,000 left.
Advocates Say Housing Policy Discourages Mixed-Use Development
Governing Magazine, October 27, 2011
Ask members of Generation Y where they want to live, and chances are you’ll hear a common answer: urban environments where there is plenty to do within walking distance. For younger people (and many other Americans, for that matter), the cul-de-sac is no longer key.
Economy Alters How Americans Are Moving
New York Times, October 27, 2011
“When times get really hard it gets really hard for people to up and move,” said Kenneth M. Johnson, the senior demographer at the Carsey Institute, who conducted the analysis…Mr. Johnson said that the same phenomenon could be seen within states, as the growth began to slow in once rapidly growing suburbs, and shrinking cities like Los Angeles and Chicago began to stabilize.
The Design of Cities, Intelligent or Otherwise
New York Times, October 27, 2011
Those of us who live in cities — more than half the world’s population, according to many recent estimates — experience them mainly at eye and street level. Each urban environment has its own character and can therefore seem more like the result of natural processes than of complex human intentions. A city develops organically, through the complex interplay of economics, biology and countless local, individual decisions, but also by means of planning on the part of architects, engineers and politicians.
To understand the new American dream, we have to understand the new America.
This was the theme of today’s opening plenary session at RailVolution, a four-day conference dedicated to discussing strategies for building livable communities served by transit. This year’s conference, which takes place in Washington, DC, will discuss the best strategies to support downtowns, the benefits rail can bring to a regional economy, and policy initiatives that can support these goals.
Opening this morning’s plenary was Chris Leinberger, President of LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors. Joining him was Manuel Pastor, Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Both Leinberger and Pastor spoke about shifting trends in the United States, and how these shifts will influence communities’ strategies for building homes, business areas and transportation networks. The U.S. is diversifying both ethnically and racially, Pastor explained, and the suburbs in particular are growing more diverse than ever before. These aren’t the only changes at work, however. Leinberger added that the U.S.’s population is growing older, as millions of Americans reach retirement age. The number of homes in America without children is also on the rise, and young people are increasingly moving to cities and urban areas.
Culture change or fad? Twin Cities population shifts toward central core
Finance & Commerce (Minn.), September 7, 2011
All that talk in recent years about “transit-oriented” and “mixed-use” developments appears to be more than just talk: Regional planners now have the data to back it up. Planners for the Metropolitan Council released the information, which points to a statistically significant trend of more people in the seven-county metro region moving closer to the central core of cities and to more accessible transit options in higher-density areas. The land-use data also project a fast acceleration of the shift in the next 20 years.
Behind President Obama’s Call For More Infrastructure Projects
Streetsblog, September 7, 2011
Considering that politicians, including Obama, are looking to infrastructure as a job creator, they’d be wise to reassess those spending priorities. A Smart Growth America report earlier this year showed that stimulus-funded public transportation projects created 19,299 jobs per billion dollars spent, where the stimulus road projects created just 10,493 jobs for the same money.
MIT’s Free Urban Planning Software Will Help Build The Cities Of The Future
Fast Company, September 7, 2011
If we are to improve the quality of life in our cities–27 of which are expected to have more than 10 million people by 2020–we will have to find a better way to build them. MIT’s new software will help.
Muskegon County bus system proposing expanded routes as ridership grows
Muskegon Chronicle (Mich.), August 24, 2011
A consultant is set to review, at no cost to the county, the transportation options in the county and identify barriers to further coordination that could improve cost efficiency and services. The review and possible changes involving the regulatory barriers for transportation funding is being called a “case study for the country” by Smart Growth America, a coalition of national and state organizations that advocates for smart-growth strategies.
California Among the Toughest States for Motorcyclists
U.S. Politics Today, August 24, 2011
Roads in California are rough, and according to a report released by Smart Growth America, only 30 percent of the state’s highways are in good shape. For bikers around the state, this is no surprise: Everyday, motorcycle riders must navigate around obstructions like potholes and problems with the roads’ poorly maintained pavement.
Creating a ‘City For All Ages’
San Ramon Patch (Calif.), August 24, 2011
By 2030, 25 percent of the Bay Area’s population will be 65 and older, according to the California Department of Finance. So what does that mean for San Ramon? According to Don Weden – one of those experts warning folks to prepare for an aging population – that means the city needs to start planning future development to accommodate the over-65 crowd.
More homebuyers want walkable, transit-served communities
Greater Greater Washington, August 18, 2011
New research shows that a growing number of homebuyers are interested in walkable, transit-served communities, and are willing to sacrifice a bigger house for a better neighborhood.
Car, bus or rail: for some Americans none of above
Reuters, August 19, 2011
More than half a million households in the 100 largest U.S. cities do not have cars or any access to public transportation, according to a study released on Thursday by the Brookings Institution.
Seattle, After Decade of Debate, Approves Tunnel
The New York Times, August 18, 2011
On Tuesday, voters here gave what amounts to a final blessing to a $2 billion, 1.7-mile, 56-foot-wide, deep-bore highway tunnel that will run below downtown skyscrapers and behind a sea wall that holds back Puget Sound.