New federal bill would make our streets safer—plus, see the 100 most dangerous House districts


A handful of leaders in the House and Senate just introduced a bill that would finally require states and metro areas to design and build safer streets for everyone. Plus, our new report shows which U.S. House representatives have the highest rate of people struck and killed while walking in their districts.

Advocacy Complete Streets Transportation

Foot Traffic Ahead: 2019

Walkable urban places (i.e. WalkUPs) occupy less than one percent of the total land mass in the 30 largest metro areas, but deliver outsized economic performance and there is great demand for more of such places. Meeting this pent-up demand for new WalkUPs would create a new economic foundation for the U.S. economy, one far more resilient than one predicated on suburban growth.

In Foot Traffic Ahead 2019, we rank the top 30 metros based on their WalkUPs.

LOCUS

The time tested value of walkability


Smart Growth America/LOCUS today released Foot Traffic Ahead 2019, a report which ranks the 30 largest metros in the United States based on the percentage of office, retail and rental multi-family space each has in their walkable urban places. The report powerfully illustrates the price premiums investors and buyers are willing to pay to live or work in walkable, transit-connected neighborhoods—and why we urgently need to build more of them.

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New report calls for examination of federal real estate spending

Federal financing of and spending on real estate impacts millions of Americans on every street, in every neighborhood, town and rural community in the country. From loan guarantees to commercial tax credits, these programs help those most in need pay their rent, help families purchase their first home, and provide financing for commercial development. The federal government impacts where and how homes and even whole neighborhoods are built in the United States.

Federal Involvement in Real Estate: A call for examination surveys this spending, which encompasses approximately $450 billion each year. Through a combination of direct spending and commitments, this funding supports loans and loan guarantees, grants, and tax credits.

This spending has an enormous impact on the U.S. real estate market. Though usually viewed as a “free” market, the U.S. real estate sector is heavily influenced by direct and indirect government intervention. Taken as a whole, these expenditures and investments impact where real estate is developed and what kind of product is built.

Even a cursory analysis reveals this impact is uneven. For example, small multifamily buildings are less likely to receive financing, despite the fact that most renters in the United States live in these smaller buildings. Viewed as whole, federal funds are not targeted to those most in need, are not targeted to strengthen existing communities and are not targeted to places where people have economic opportunities.

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New Resource: USDA Releases Guide to Federal Programs for Rural Communities

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently published Federal Resources for Sustainable Rural Communities; a guide to programs available to help rural areas promote economic development and enhance quality of life.

The publication, a joint effort of the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities,

Compiles all of the federal resources that can support rural communities in their efforts to promote economic competitiveness, protect healthy environments, modernize infrastructure, and provide services to residents. The guide has key information on funding and technical assistance opportunities available from the four agencies, as well as examples of how rural communities across the country have benefitted from federal resources.

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New report highlights smart growth's return on investment and cost savings

A new report out today from the Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP) discusses the myriad economic benefits that smart growth brings to households, communities and municipal governments. The study, titled Growing Wealthier: Smart Growth, Climate Change and Prosperity shows that smart growth development strategies enhance community prosperity and generate economic benefits for local businesses, households and governments.

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New Report Offers Lessons and Insights for Vacant Property Revitalization

Restoring Properties, Rebuilding CommunitiesIn the wake of a major housing crisis and rising foreclosure rates, American cities and towns are experiencing a glut of vacant properties. Once a sign of urban blight, empty lots and abandoned buildings now mark the landscape of neighborhoods in rural and suburban areas as well, negatively impacting housing values, tax revenues, crime rates, and more. The sheer scale of the issue has helped bring national attention to the challenges these properties present, and the need for new solutions to blight and disinvestment.

On Friday, the Center for Community Progress released Restoring Properties, Rebuilding Communities: Transforming Vacant Properties in Today’s America. The report, completed with writing and research help from Smart Growth America, offers a systemic look at the legacy of vacant properties in many of our older towns and cities, as well as new vacancy trends, and some of the innovative initiatives that have been implemented to address these trends.

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Chicago's 30 year plan looks at day-to-day life and regional prosperity

From CMAP's GO TO 2040 report
A page from the introduction to CMAP’s GO TO 2040 report.

Chicago’s Metropolitan Agency for Planning announced today a visionary plan how the city and its surrounding counties should grow and develop over the next 30 years. The GO TO 2040 project is “a comprehensive regional plan seeks to maintain and strengthen our region’s position as one of the nation’s few global economic centers.” After three years of research, the Agency lays out four main themes in its comprehensive new report: livable communities (including housing, water, energy, parks and local food), human capital (including education and the workforce), efficient governance (including tax reforms) and regional mobility (including strategic investment in transportation).

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A healthier life? Try public transportation – Transit Score helps get you there

CNT tours Cleveland’s HealthLine, a Bus Rapid Transit route along Euclid Corridor, originally uploaded by Center for Neighborhood Technology. It may be time to evolve from “an apple a day” to “a train ride a day” to keep the doctor away. A new study from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) reports that residents of … Continued

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