"...suburban centers have to exhibit the features that a new generation of dwellers is looking for in the same way their center cities are trying to do it ... Great is the danger that in the end, not only will the various "rows" and squares" have similar names, but also use the same generic formulas which will make them indistinguishable from identical architectural tricks, chain stores and streetscaping. The reinvented suburban centers could easily become as much 'anywhere USA' as the suburban malls that preceded them."
Automated, technologically advanced, self-driving cars are coming, and boosters of drivable suburbia are hoping that the adoption of this mode of transportation will be a potent weapon against mass transit and cities. But what they mean for towns and suburbs isn’t quite so clear.
"Probably the biggest change is the demise of the large parking lot. These huge slabs of asphalt dominate suburban commercial landscapes, often taking up 80 percent of commercial parcels. They dominate the streetscape, and arterial suburban roads are lined with them. Without personal vehicles to park, there’s no need for a parking lot. That land could be put to productive use."
Today, more than 80 percent of American families live in urban areas, and many lack easy access to safe outdoor spaces. At the same time, kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens instead of outside. A 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study found that young people now devote an average of more than seven hours a day to electronic media use, or about 53 hours a week – more than a full time job.
Baltimore’s Red Line will be much more than a new transit mode for a single city. Beyond making it easier to travel across Baltimore, the Red Line will join MARC and the Purple Line to better integrate Baltimore City and County with Washington DC, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County.
"The Red Line is an example of why it’s important to think beyond just one city or one mode of transportation. When we consider the networks that multiple modes can build across multiple regions—local rail lines combined with a regional commuter train and park and rides, for example—we can reap the benefits of a more integrated Baltimore and Washington region."
As an increasingly dire prognosis about the health of the planet emerges, it's worth remembering that environmental pioneers around the world are working at the highest levels to create a greener, more sustainable future....
"These are the stories of a team of fellows selected by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy to present their work at the 2014 World Parks Congress in Australia, part of a series called "Conservation Innovation: Voices of a New Generation""
“Many people think parks are easy, but parks are one of the hardest things for governments to do because of the physical and human aspects,” explained Peter Harnik, Hon. ASLA, director of The Trust for Public Land’s Center for City Park Excellence.
"Here are some little known facts about how we get around:
Americans made 10.7 billion trips on public transportation in 2013–the highest numbersince 1956 when the massive mobilization to build highways and push suburban development began. These numbers represent a 37 percent transit increase since 1995 ..."
Those of us who style ourselves as "urbanists," myself included, much of the time tend to get snobbish about, you know, ordinary people: folks who live in suburbs, drive cars out of some combination of necessity and choice, and haven't the slightest interest in what the "creative class" might be.
"I've been thinking a lot lately about the meaning of the word "placemaking," not least because I just joined a firm with PlaceMakers as its name. I believe it's about more than improving public spaces, though that is indeed a big component; and it's about more than the physical design of a place, though design also can make a huge contribution. Ultimately it's about creating community rooted in a geographical location."
" the new data — which includes monitoring results through 2013 — detected no significant improving phosphorus trends in any of the nine largest Bay tributaries during the previous 10 years, while phosphorus concentrations showed significant increasing trends in two: the Susquehanna and the Choptank rivers."
A lot of people say the massive Towson Row project is committing a cardinal sin of development — a lack of open space, recreational opportunities or even a place to walk a dog amid the more than 1 1/2 million square feet of restaurants, retail stores, offices, apartments, student housing and a large hotel that Caves Valley Partners proposes to build on five acres in the downtown core.
""It's suburbia," and for a suburban development, there's not a lot of appeal for families with young children, either recreational or in terms of open space and landscaping."
We should be thinking, especially in small parks, about how streets and sidewalks can complement the park, or how connections feed into the park. Too frequently we focus our attention solely inside the boundaries of the park and forget the network of sidewalks, streets, and laneways that surround it.
Americans drive fewer miles today than in 2005, but since that time the nation has built 317,000 lane-miles of new roads — or about 40,000 miles per year. Maybe that helps explain why America’s infrastructure is falling apart.
Jim Titus recently took on Maryland governor Larry Hogan's claim that that fewer than 10% of Marylanders use transit. There's another national survey that provides data for every state, and confirms that about 30% of Marylanders used transit in a specific month—fourth highest in the US.
"The Maryland sample is of a sufficient size (643 respondents aged 16 and up) to allow for 95% confidence that the estimate is accurate within about five percentage points."
How can a city tomato help? New app counts the ways.
"More than 215 gardens, concentrated in the Northeast but with some sprinkled across the U.S. and Canada, are using the Toolkit. Since the app debuted last May, those plots have collectively grown 46,600 pounds of food."
Even if counties aren’t required to charge a stormwater management fee, they could still do so.
"Hogan’s bill would lift the requirement that these jurisdictions charge this fee. Local officials would still have to find funding to continue their anti-pollution efforts, which are mandated by the federal government, and they could choose to continue charging the fee."
To supplement our list of Nonprofit Trends to Watch in 2015, this post offers context for the top trends and shares how the National Council of Nonprofits and its state association network are responding to these trends. We will continue to highlight notable new or changing trends that affect charitable nonprofits throughout the year on the nonprofit sector trends hub on our website.
#3 Governments shifting their burdens to nonprofits
"We have been tracking this trend for several years, and anticipate that as new lawmakers take their seats in state and local governments, the tendency of politicians to look to the limited resources of charitable nonprofits to fill government budget holes will continue."
An analysis explored the use of green infrastructure to reach 76-acre-feet of water storage, with the goal of a 20 percent reduction in peak discharge for a 100-year storm event. The researchers walked through green infrastructure options and selected the “most viable” during meetings with the local NOAA team.
"...climate-smart cities use green infrastructure in four ways. They create “safe, interconnected opportunities to walk or bike; cool down the city by planting trees and creating parks; absorb stormwater to save energy and recharge aquifers; and protect cities through green shorelines.”
The makers of the ELF believe their enclosed, three-wheeled, low-carbon vehicle is the perfect transportation compromise.
Two years ago, Cotter launched Organic Transit, a startup that designs, builds, and sells the ELF, an "electric, light, and fun" vehicle that's essentially an enclosed recumbent tricycle. With an optional electric- and solar-powered motor, the ELF can go up to 30 miles per hour.
In recent months there’s been a lot of talk about dead suburban malls and what we should do with them. This topic is of interest because Denver has been retrofitting its dead and dying suburban malls for a while now, on a New Urbanist “town center” model.
"It’s safe to say that Denver’s New Urban mall retrofits still signal—to Americans, Europeans, and ethnic “Others” alike—homogeneity and exclusivity."
Over 30 years ago, when Andrea Van Arsdale graduated from college with a degree in wildlife biology, she probably never expected to find herself responsible for overseeing major changes to densely populated (by humans) communities in Baltimore County, such as the current redevelopment of Towson—a series of projects backed by more than $800 million in …
"Currently, the project that takes up much of her time focuses on revitalizing Towson’s downtown business district. Long a sleepy suburban area, Towson — with more than 48,000 workers, 55,000-plus permanent residents, and a college student population of approximately 25,000 —has the potential to earn a much different reputation, especially as the town’s numbers are expected to grow."
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