BREAKING NEWS: NATIONAL
Limited-Access Highways May Reduce Real Estate Values
The loss in real estate values for properties adjacent to limited-access high speed highways could exceed a trillion dollars, says author Steve Mouzon in a recent blog post. High-speed highways take up more space for curves, lanes, and shoulders. And the land adjacent to these roadways often has no access, making its frontage worthless.
Sprawl May be Linked to Health Hazards
In an interview with the New Jersey Star-Ledger, documentary filmmaker and physician Richard Jackson elaborates on some of the health hazards of suburban sprawl. Infrastructure engineered to take physical activity out of people's lives is making them unhealthy, says Jackson. People who are walking less are gaining more weight, while living in isolated settings contributes to boredom and depression.
More National News on the Smartgrowth.org website
BREAKING NEWS: STATE
Washington, DC ||
Revised DC Zoning Code Returns to Historic Development Patterns
The first third of Washington, DC's revised zoning code is now out as a public draft. The code changes policies to once again allow some of the same practices that were responsible for the historic development patterns of neighborhoods like Georgetown and Capitol Hill. The code revision will allow accessory dwellings, corner stores in residential areas, less parking, and alley houses.
Light-rail Neighborhoods Gain Population
About 83 percent of St. Louis neighborhoods with light rail access gained population between 2000 and 2010, even as the city as a whole lost residents. Eighty-seven percent of the population gains were in neighborhoods categorized as "very walkable," according to WalkScore.com. Downtown St. Louis, with the highest walk score in the city (92), has gained nearly 3,000 new residents since 2000.
Construction Begins on Cincinnati Streetcar Line
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood helped kick off construction of a new 3.9-mile streetcar line that will spur Cincinnati's efforts to revitalize its downtown core. The streetcar will connect Cincinnati's riverfront and downtown employers with Findlay Market and the Over-the Rhine historic district. The U.S. Department of Transportation is contributing almost $40 million to the Cincinnati streetcar project, including $10.9 million in TIGER III funds.
Market-based Approach Proposed for On-Street Parking
In the area of Cincinnati defined by Clifton Heights, University Heights, and Fairview streets (CUF), a neighborhood committee has developed a plan to serve the parking needs of residents and visitors. Their proposal calls for a market-based approach to allocating on-street spaces, with priced monthly permits or smart-metered shorter-term parking. Preliminary numbers indicate the revenue from permit sales alone could pay for around-the-clock enforcement while still generating a surplus of between $50,000 and $200,000 annually.
Public 'Food Forest' Planned for Seattle
Seven acres at the edge of a Seattle park are slated to be turned into the nation's largest public "food forest." Beacon Food Forest is designed on permaculture principles, combining the concepts of urban farms, orchards, and natural forest to produce food from trees, shrubs and perennial plants. Food forests have been called the next evolution in urban farming, with Beacon Food Forest notable for its aim to create an edible landscape on public land through community effort.
More State News on the Smartgrowth.org website
NEW FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
Green Streets-Green Jobs-Green Towns Grant Initiative
This grant initiative helps cities and towns in the Chesapeake Bay watershed accelerate greening efforts that improve watershed protection, community livability, and economic vitality. The grant program covers the Chesapeake Bay region of Maryland, D.C., Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Focus areas include green streets, green infrastructure, and green jobs as part of community or watershed planning. Grant assistance up to $35,000 is available for infrastructure project planning and design, and up to $100,000 for implementation and construction.
EPA Green Infrastructure Technical Assistance
EPA is now accepting letters of interest from communities interested in receiving direct assistance for projects that facilitate the use of green infrastructure to protect water quality. Technical assistance
will be provided through EPA contract support, and will be directed to watersheds/sewersheds with significant water quality degradation associated with urban stormwater. The total EPA assistance available is approximately $950,000, and will be distributed among 10-20 projects. The value of the assistance available to each project will be approximately $50,000 - $100,000.
Letters of interest must be received by April 6, 2012.
More Funding Opportunities on the Smartgrowth.org website
May 3-4, 2012
Pedestrians Count! 2012
Los Angeles, California
Pedestrians Count! 2012 promotes pedestrian safety, transit access, healthy environments and sustainable communities coordinating with cutting edge research. The seminar explores latest best practices in pedestrian data collection and analysis with strategic community advocacy. Professionals, academics and community leaders will share their current and most promising work.
March 15-17, 2012
Envisioning Resilient Communities
CNU Cascadia's annual regional summit is the premier venue for cross-disciplinary conversations that inform development, policy and design of communities in the Pacific Northwest. The Summit will explore what a sustainable, diverse, resilient community should look like. An additional session titled "A Low-Carbon Neighborhoods Micro-Charrette," will be also held.
October 14-16, 2012
7th Annual Land Bank Conference
Join the nation's leading land bank advocates, practitioners and public policy experts to learn how communities are using land banks to empower their neighborhoods, gain control of
vacant properties and repurpose land to build stronger, more vibrant towns and cities.
May 9-12, 2012
Community Schools National Forum
San Francisco, California
The Coalition for Community Schools is joining with California community school leaders and advocates to convene a diverse group of stakeholders committed to better results for young people across the nation. The 2012 National Forum, Scaling up School and Community Partnerships: The Community Schools Strategy, will engage a broad audience of policymakers, administrators and practitioners who want to learn how to put together school and community assets to support student success.
More Events on the Smartgrowth.org website
Active Design Guidelines: Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Design
Active Design Guidelines provides architects and urban designers with a manual of strategies for creating healthier buildings, streets, and urban spaces, based on the latest academic research and best practices in the field. The Guidelines includes urban design strategies, building design strategies, and discussion of synergies between active design and sustainable design.
Designing Healthy Communities—Book and 4-part video online
In Designing Healthy Communities, a 4-hour series available on DVD, host Richard Jackson looks at the impact our built environment has on key public health indices - obesity, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, cancer and depression. Dr. Jackson connects bad community design with burgeoning health costs, then analyzes and illustrates what citizens are doing about this urgent crisis by looking upstream for innovative solutions.
Prospering in Place: Linking Jobs, Development, and Transit to Spur Chicago's Economy
With Prospering in Place, the Center for Neighborhood Technology presents a new vision for building economic prosperity in the Chicago region with an analysis that identifies place-based transportation and community development investments that would reinvigorate economic growth. The report documents how past development patterns have harmed the regional economy, and shows how to turn that situation around by exploiting the region's unique assets and advantages.
Community Schools: Partnerships for Excellence [PDF/518K]
A Guide for Sharing Ideas and Shaping Communities
Making Community Design Work gives planners a clear roadmap for guiding community members toward effective decisions and beneficial designs.
More Resources on the Smartgrowth.org website
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"Moving forward, we need to live closer to where we work, take transit more often than not, and strengthen walkable neighborhoods that meet needs locally."
—Kathryn Tholin, CEO, Center for Neighborhood Technology
Please send us your comments
if you have suggestions or smart growth content to share.