The Portland City Council is moving forward with a plan to improve transit service through a series of targeted improvements to some of the city’s most delayed bus and streetcar corridors. Known as the Rose Lane Project, it’s designed to advance equity, reduce carbon emissions, and increase transit ridership with quick-build projects. It also offers lessons to other cities struggling with sluggish transits systems mired in a sea of cars.
U.S. transportation policy focuses first and foremost on ensuring that drivers can travel with as little delay as possible. But this laser focus on speed sidelines other more important considerations like the preservation of human life and the health impacts of vehicle pollution. Prioritizing safety in our transportation policy—at the federal, state, and local levels—would be a major step towards a more equitable transportation system.
With the creation of a new national academy for Opportunity Zones, Smart Growth America and our LOCUS coalition of responsible real estate investors continue to be on the forefront of helping communities use this tax incentive as a force for equitable growth that’s mutually beneficial for both investors and most importantly the people who live and do business in them.
Opportunity Rising, last week’s LOCUS National Leadership Summit in Arlington, VA, was a vital gathering, uniting responsible real estate developers and investors with local elected officials and transportation and land-use planners. During the wide range of workshops, panels and sessions, Smart Growth America staff absorbed a few important themes and ideas. Here are seven.
Looking back at 100-plus submissions for the Driehaus Form-Based Codes Award over the years reveals how the practice of form-based coding has matured and evolved. The quality of submissions has improved since the early years and municipal planning staff are increasingly engaged in drafting codes for their communities. It’s clear that form-based codes are growing in popularity and in many contexts they are being paired with policies to achieve more equitable development.
This month on Building Better Communities with Transit we talk with Kendra Freeman, the director of community engagement for the regional Metropolitan Planning Council, about TOD in Chicago. A recent update to the city’s TOD policy puts a new focus on equitable development in a city that has seen stark differences in outcomes based on zip code.
Conventional land use regulations have contributed to a great divide in our country, producing sprawling places that are marked by a stark separation of both uses and people. But form-based zoning is emerging as a creative tool for cities to remedy the inequities often produced by the conventional system.
On January 15th, the National Complete Streets Coalition is hosting the Ninth Annual Complete Streets Dinner with special guest Tamika L. Butler. We had an opportunity to speak with Tamika about how she got involved with transportation work, her take on the future of transit equity, and why she enjoys working with the National Complete Streets Coalition.
On October 24, LOCUS and The George Washington University’s Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis (CREUA) will unveil their ranking of Massachusetts’ most investable Opportunity Zones.
Before the Intersections conference in Nashville last week, some people might have been scratching their heads at the idea of a conference bringing together artists with transportation experts. But once the conference started, everyone keyed in on how much they could learn from one another and what they could accomplish together. Here are a few personal reflections from our staff about Intersections: Creating Culturally Complete Streets.