Smart growth news – June 17, 2011

‘Walkability’ key to an age-friendly city
Hamilton Spectator, June 16, 2011
Walkability was identified as a key to sustainable growth by Hamilton’s Economic Summit. But it is much more than that. It is also a key to an age-friendly city — an inclusive and accessible urban environment that promotes active aging and improves the quality of life for all members of society. As defined by Christopher Leinberger in an opinion editorial in the Hamilton Spectator on May 12, walkability is “basically the ease of meeting daily needs on foot.” One measurement tool used to identify walkable neighbourhoods is the “Walk Score,” which measures distances to stores, and services in the neighbourhood.

Smart Growth to Blame For the Housing Crash? Not By a Long Shot.
Streetsblog DC, June 16, 2011
The Wall Street Journal yesterday posed the question of whether smart growth policies and land use restrictions were to blame for the housing boom and bust. The hypothesis comes from Wendell Cox, a long-time critic of smart growth, who, in a recent paper, recycled a specious argument that land use regulations caused housing prices to increase unsustainably, creating the real estate bubble and, eventually, the collapse of the housing market. Cox claims to show that differences in how metro areas regulated development explain the recent housing crisis.

Population growth to drive more compact housing
Inman News, June 16, 2011
We need to find homes for 150 million more people. With the U.S. population projected to grow that much in the next 30-40 years, that will necessitate “more compact, more mixed-use development,” and coordinated transportation planning, said Patrick Phillips, CEO for the Urban Land Institute, who spoke during a National Association of Real Estate Editors annual conference Wednesday.

How to fix crumbling U.S. roads, rails and airways
MarketWatch, June 17, 2011
If America’s prosperity depends on its roadways, the future looks pretty rough.
After more than a decade of declining tax revenue in the United States, highways are crumbling, rail lines are overburdened and airline corridors are congested. Factor in the economic weakness, the public’s tax-cutting mindset and geopolitical instability, and an already shaky situation looks ready to worsen for commerce, jobs and several industries that are crucial for transportation infrastructure.

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