This month on Building Better Communities with Transit we’re joined by Eric Singer and Andrej Micovic, Associates at Bilzin Sumberg in Miami who talk about the creation of a unique ordinance in Miami-dade County that consolidates land use decision making. They also talk about how recent TIF districts and the county’s Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit (SMART) Plan interact with that ordinance and what’s important in writing planning code.
Measuring Sprawl 2014 analyzes development patterns in 221 metropolitan areas and 994 counties in the United States as of 2010, looking to see which communities are more compact and connected and which are more sprawling.
The popularity of infill development and walkable neighborhoods continues to grow, according to a new report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Residential Construction Trends in America’s Metropolitan Regions focuses on 209 metropolitan regions between 2000 and 2009 and offers a look at trends in residential infill development, i.e. new homes built in previously developed areas. The main findings during that period:
Nearly three out of four large metropolitan regions saw an increased share of infill housing development during 2005-2009 compared to 2000-2004. Among the 51 large metropolitan regions (population one million or greater) examined in this study, 36 saw an increased share of infill housing development during 2005-2009 compared to 2000-2004. In many regions, this increase was substantial. Miami increased from 40 percent infill to 49 percent infill. Providence, Rhode Island, increased from 20 percent to 29 percent. Several medium-sized metropolitan regions (population 200,000 – one million) saw even greater shifts towards infill housing.
In New York state, Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney (R) is changing how her county approaches economic development. In a report from WRVO, Mahoney explains that encouraging development in downtown Syracuse, which lies at the heart of Onondaga County, will help the economy of the entire region.
Previous county executives focused development in the ring of suburbs outside of Syracuse, which lies at the heart of Onondaga County. By accommodating – and even subsidizing – growth outside the city center, the county has slowly eroded Syracuse’s once-thriving business district: more than a dozen office buildings downtown now stand 100% empty. Mahoney explains that Onondaga County can’t thrive if growth comes at the cost of downtown Syracuse, and she’s working to bring a different model of development to the county.
Mahoney also explains that the county is struggling to support development in Syracuse’s outer suburbs: it’s simply too expensive for the county to afford. While it might be cheaper up front to build a building on the outskirts of town, it raises the burden on taxpayers who then have to fund the sewer lines and roads to those new buildings.