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Kaid Benfield's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC

Kaid Benfield's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
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Recycling a dilapidated property for artistic reuse: amazing transformation and proof that financial poverty does not have to mean cultural poverty.

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Suburban Land Trusts
Conserving land in older, "inner" suburbs for small parks, gardens, natural areas & stormwater management
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Hardly in Suburbia Today

Hardly in Suburbia Today | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Happy Halloween from NeighborSpace of Baltimore County
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Proposed White Marsh outlet mall gets OK

Proposed White Marsh outlet mall gets OK | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
A Baltimore County administrative judge has approved a proposed outlet mall in White Marsh that's drawn opposition from neighbors and rival retailers.
Bhopkins's insight:

"Several residents testified during the administrative hearing, which stretched over eight days in the summer and fall. They raised concerns about traffic, flooding of White Marsh Run, stormwater runoff, crime, light pollution, school overcrowding and existing empty retail locations in the area ..."

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Here's how much the new Sparrows Point owner paid for the site - Baltimore Business Journal

Here's how much the new Sparrows Point owner paid for the site - Baltimore Business Journal | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Redwood Capital is going to have to invest a lot more than that to redevelop the 3,100-acre site.
Bhopkins's insight:

"the $48 million figure the state used in writing its protective purchaser agreement "is the amount of financial assurance the state required." That is a different number than the $75 million estimate the Sparrows Point Partnership originally published regarding the anticipated costs of cleanup. "That doesn't mean the $48 million is what anyone expects the cleanup costs would necessarily be ..."

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Trailer Parks: An Underdog Solution to the Housing Crisis

Trailer Parks: An Underdog Solution to the Housing Crisis | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Factory-made homes are a cheap and energy-efficient way for lower-income Americans to become homeowners. And these days, units can be pretty spiffy.
Bhopkins's insight:

"“The manufactured home is probably the most cost-effective way to provide quality affordable housing,” said Donna M. Blaze, the CEO of the Affordable Housing Alliance, which helped provide manufactured homes for Sandy refugees. “Most of our new units are light years ahead of the apartments for rent in today’s market.”  

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National Workshop |

National Workshop | | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Bhopkins's insight:
Made a lot of great contacts this week as a presenter with the Park Service at the National Workshop on Large Landscape Conservation, a topic which includes large non continuous landscapes like the area within the urdl. See http://www.neighborspacebaltimorecounty.org/Large%20Landscape%20Conference%202014-wink.pptx
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Project for Public Spaces | A New Vision to Fix the Tragedy No One Ever Thinks About

Project for Public Spaces | A New Vision to Fix the Tragedy No One Ever Thinks About | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Bhopkins's insight:

The pedestrian safety crisis: “It’s like an airplane falling out of the sky every other day. If that actually happened, the whole system would be ground to a halt until the problem was fixed,” notes Scott Bricker, Executive Director of America Walks, a coalition of walking advocacy groups. “We need to address this terrible problem with the same urgency.”

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Maryland Adds 52 Acres to Rural Legacy Area in Baltimore County | DNR News

Maryland Adds 52 Acres to Rural Legacy Area in Baltimore County | DNR News | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Bhopkins's insight:

The newly preserved 52-acre Stark Easement protects the beautiful views along 1,700 feet of Hicks Road and along 750 feet of the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail, which transects the property. The easement will also work to protect water quality via a 100-foot thick wooded buffer along 2,300 linear feet of Little Gunpowder Falls and its tributaries.

With the addition of this easement, 42 percent of the 13,819-acre Gunpowder Rural Legacy Area is currently protected. 

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Interior Secretary Jewell pushes for Congress to take action on stalled conservation bills

Interior Secretary Jewell pushes for Congress to take action on stalled conservation bills | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
ALBUQUERQUE, N
Bhopkins's insight:

"There are dozens of bills in Congress, and they need to be passed — dozens of bipartisan bills, bills with wide support, broad support — but no one has the courage to pass them," she said. "We need to encourage this Congress to get on with it and to move forward."

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For smart growth, not all urban density is created equal | Kaid Benfield's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC

For smart growth, not all urban density is created equal | Kaid Benfield's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
  Have you ever noticed how those of us who promote walkable, “smart growth” city neighborhoods often choose historic districts to illustrate what we advocate?  Take the photo at the top of this article, for example:  I’m not sure what...
Bhopkins's insight:

"in their passion for the highest possible densities as an antidote to low-density sprawl, too many urbanist advocates overlook the considerable benefits of still-relatively-high city density at a human scale."

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Five Ways to Incorporate Nature in the Workplace

Five Ways to Incorporate Nature in the Workplace | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Research proves it again and again: access to outdoor views, fresh air and plants improves employee well-being. Integrating natural elements into the workplace isn’t simply an aesthetic move – it has monetary payoffs too. In one call center in California, for example, employees with views of the outdoors handled 6-7% more calls than those without those views. Contact with nature also reduces absenteeism and improves employee productivity and retention.
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Strong Citizens Challenge: Walk to the Grocery Store

Strong Citizens Challenge: Walk to the Grocery Store | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Take a walk to get your groceries. Take some pictures if you like. Share the story of your experience and whatever observations you took away from it, on the Strong Towns Forum.
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Environmental Justice For All

Race must be talked about in discussions of environmental justice. The new Green economy should help immigrants, blacks, minorites, and those less fortunate. The new civil rights movement is green.
Bhopkins's insight:

Historically, mainstream environmental organizations have been made up mostly of white staffers and have focused more on the ephemeral concept of the environment rather than on the people who are affected (see “Global Warming Is Color-Blind,” p. 47). Today, though, as climate change and gas prices dominate public discourse, the concepts driving the new environmental justice movement are starting to catch on. Just recently, for instance, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman dubbed the promise of public investment in the green economy the “Green New Deal.”

Read more: http://www.utne.com/environment/environmental-justice-for-all.aspx#ixzz3Eo3PpbTA

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Here's What's Becoming Of America's Dead Shopping Malls

Here's What's Becoming Of America's Dead Shopping Malls | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
What happens when shopping malls die? Often they're turning into medical centers, churches, schools and universities and new suburban downtowns.
Bhopkins's insight:

"There are roughly 1,200 enclosed malls in the U.S. and only about a third of them are doing well.

Online shopping, the recession and demographic shifts are some of the factors killing shopping malls. And as these changes leave behind huge concrete carcasses, they're being "reimagined" into everything from medical centers to hockey rinks."

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Project for Public Spaces | How to Restore Walking as a Way of Life

Project for Public Spaces | How to Restore Walking as a Way of Life | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Bhopkins's insight:

"a few of practical steps to slow speeds, deter distracted driving and help make walking a safer, comfortable and enjoyable experience for everyone"

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New Sparrows Point owner discusses redevelopment for former mill site - Baltimore Business Journal

New Sparrows Point owner discusses redevelopment for former mill site - Baltimore Business Journal | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
It's the first time the new owner has spoken publicly about the site.
Bhopkins's insight:

"You've said you've heard a lot of interest from potential tenants at the site. Have you seen any themes emerge indicating how the Sparrows Point land could be used?

What's striking is how wide the variety is. Some is manufacturing and some is distribution."

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Compact and connected communities improve public health, says new research | Kaid Benfield's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC

Compact and connected communities improve public health, says new research | Kaid Benfield's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
   We know from exhaustive past research that walkable neighborhoods and cities reduce driving, associated emissions, and living costs.  Three important academic studies published earlier this year demonstrate that they are good for our health, too. In particular, the research,...
Bhopkins's insight:

"the research, which examines different aspects of compact, walkable, and mixed-use communities and compares those aspects to published government health data, finds that such neighborhoods and cities are strongly associated with reduced rates of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.  The reason is close to a tautology:  walkable environments encourage walking, which in turns facilitates good health."

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Transportation Options Underserving Residents in Towson, Maryland

Transportation Options Underserving Residents in Towson, Maryland | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Towson, Maryland is an urban-adjacent town just north of Baltimore City, with a mix of young families, retirees, and young professionals and a growing population of college students. As of 2014, To...
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Our Highways’ Toll on Wildlife - NYTimes.com

Our Highways’ Toll on Wildlife - NYTimes.com | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Bhopkins's insight:
For 21 species listed by federal authorities as threatened or endangered — including the Canada lynx, the red wolf, the Florida panther, the crested caracara and Florida scrub-jay — road death is a major threat to survival.
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Three-year construction project begins on I-695 in Balto. Co.

Three-year construction project begins on I-695 in Balto. Co. | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Construction to widen and resurface lanes and redesign exit patterns along a 1-mile stretch of Interstate 695 in Baltimore County began this week and is expected to continue through the summer of 2017, according to the State Highway Administration.
Bhopkins's insight:

The work will get rid of the cloverleaf exit pattern from eastbound I-695 onto southbound Harford Road; replace the existing Old Harford Road bridge over I-695; improve medians and traffic signals on Harford Road; introduce new water management systems and lighting; and provide for reforestation in the area.

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There's still no plan for the Owings Mills Mall, but Kimco isn't selling - Baltimore Business Journal

There's still no plan for the Owings Mills Mall, but Kimco isn't selling - Baltimore Business Journal | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Redevelopment has been stalled by Foundry Row.
Bhopkins's insight:

"Kimco Realty Corp. sees the half-vacant Owings Mills Mall as a long-term investment that will eventually get redeveloped and it has no plans to put the mall on the market."

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How Much Space Do Cars Take? Cyclists Demonstrate How Bicycles Fight Congestion

How Much Space Do Cars Take? Cyclists Demonstrate How Bicycles Fight Congestion | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it

People that commute by car spend an inordinate amount of time staring at taillights. There’s no way they’re getting around that traffic in front of them. But what about bike commuters? This group of Latvian cyclists recently created a powerful demonstration of the large footprint created by cars that carry just one occupant.

 

The four cyclists strapped on fragile frameworks shaped like cars, then hopped into the local traffic in Riga to show how much room they would occupy on their daily commute. The difference communicates loud and clear: if these cyclists were actually in cars, they would seriously add to congestion.


Via Lauren Moss, Wes Thomas
Bhopkins's insight:

This group of Latvian cyclists recently created a powerful demonstration of the large footprint created by cars that carry just one occupant.
Read more at http://www.visualnews.com/2014/10/11/much-space-cars-take-cyclists-demonstrate-bicycles-fight-congestion/#jV0A55HTvzPI4Lic.99

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Russell Roberts's curator insight, October 17, 12:23 PM

Interesting study from Latvia.  Something to think about when fossil fuels  run out or become too expensive to buy. Protection from bad weather is a definite plus for cars.  Or, you could have commuters park their cars in a municipal lot and use bikes to reach their workplaces once they enter the city.  Aloha, Russ.

Jim Gramata's curator insight, October 27, 10:49 AM

Visually compelling look at the power of the bike commute 

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Big Data Can Peer Into Your Soul Based on Your Zip Code

Big Data Can Peer Into Your Soul Based on Your Zip Code | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Software company Esri's database files Americans into 67 different consumer groups—with eerie accuracy.
Bhopkins's insight:

"What does all this say about the extent to which consumer behaviors inform perceptions of a place and the people who live there? From a marketer's perspective, it seems, you are what you pay for."

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Md. Voters to Decide Transportation Fund ‘Lockbox’ - CBS DC

Md. Voters to Decide Transportation Fund ‘Lockbox’ - CBS DC | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it

The transportation fund is used to pay for operating and capital expenses for highway, transit, aviation, port and motor vehicle services and projects. Maryland voters will decide in November whether to approve a constitutional amendment to make it harder for state officials to spend money in the state's Transportation Trust Fund on anything unrelated to transportation.

Bhopkins's insight:

"The transportation fund is used to pay for operating and capital expenses for highway, transit, aviation, port and motor vehicle services and projects."

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Experience Your America – The National Park Service in Baltimore County

Experience Your America – The National Park Service in Baltimore County | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it

"Also part of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network, the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail is a 560-mile land and water route that tells the story of the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake Bay region."

Bhopkins's insight:

We hope soon to have preserved land for a leg of this trail

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Nature Is But Another Name for Health

Nature Is But Another Name for Health | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
"We are trying to figure out precisely what types of nature provide the most health benefits," said William Sullivan, ASLA, a landscape architecture professor at the University of Illinois at Urban...
Bhopkins's insight:

"there is a positive, linear relationship between tree cover and self-reported stress recovery, and a curvilinear association between objective stress recovery and tree cover.” This means physiologically, there’s a peak tree canopy level and then it declines. According to Jiang, the optimal tree cover rate is 30-40 percent."

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