Sustainable Development

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  1. Reno Brings Sustainability to the Wild West

    In a region with one of the highest concentrations of ski resorts in the U.S. and a water supply that depends on mountain snowpack, the climate trends in Reno, Nev., have not been promising.“Reno is the fastest warming city in the nation,” said Lynne Barker, the city’s sustainability manager. “Our average annual temperature has increased more than five degrees over the past five decades.”
  2. LOCUS Ranks U.S. Opportunity Zones on 'Smart Growth Potential'

    As a new federal tax incentive promises to generate trillions of dollars in private investment into pre-designated low-income communities, smart-growth advocates have issued a report that ranks these Opportunity Zones to determine which are positioned to bring positive social, environmental and economic returns to distressed people and neighborhoods.LOCUS, a program of Smart Growth America, and the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University this month released the National Opportunity Zones Ranking Report.
  3. Short-Term Vacation Rentals Impact Neighborhoods

    Placing a rarely used bedroom or house in the short-term rental market through a service like AirBnB can be a good way for a homeowner to bring in extra cash. It can also help communities that are short on hotel space make room for more visitors, which benefits the local economy.But too much of a good thing can be, well, too much, resulting in some painful unintended consequences. Sometimes the tipping point is the entrance of commercial investors into the scenario.
  4. Communities Find Quality Daycare is No Child's Play

    Finding a job, a safe place to live, and reliable transportation would seem to take care of life's big-picture necessities for most people… unless you’re a parent with young children.That's when quality child care often leaps to the top of the list.
  5. Restoring a Lost Corridor

    There is only one obstacle standing between the college town of Laramie, Wyo., and the year-round recreational opportunities of the Medicine Bow National Forest just to the east.That obstacle is a spread of 5,528 acres of privately owned land, sloping uphill from the edge of Laramie to what is known as Pilot Hill, which also happens to stand atop a portion of the Casper Aquifer, the main water supply for Laramie and the surrounding area.
  6. Green Shoots in the U.S. Bond Market – But Still a Sapling

    As market interest continues to mount in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and water conservation measures, U.S. cities and states are witnessing substantial reductions in their environmental footprints, as well as an ongoing mass transformation of the generating grid.In order to finance this green transition, many municipalities across the country are taking advantage of the green bond as a form of financing.
  7. Revitalize Downtowns with 'Maker' Economy

    Technological and economic changes have created new opportunities in small-scale manufacturing and the “maker” economy, which present a chance for communities to make progress on several important economic development issues.Small-scale manufacturing can grow local entrepreneurship and small business, develop or enhance new and existing economic sectors, and revitalize downtowns and business districts, according to a new report by Smart Growth America.
  8. How to Prevent and Kill Development: On Purpose and by Accident

    Public/private partnerships can make a positive difference for communities trying to encourage development or redevelopment, particularly in their downtowns.But sometimes apathy — exacerbated by public officials who are popular but not good at their jobs, or city staff who want to be in charge of policy — get in the way.
  9. First Sports 'Smart City' Under Construction

    How often do you get to build a city from the ground up — every building, street, light pole and operating system? That’s exactly what Johnson Controls is doing with Hall of Fame Village LLC at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.In an 18-year project initiated in late 2016, the two organizations are creating the first sports and entertainment “smart” city, a state-of-the-art $700 million development being spearheaded by the Hall of Fame and Industrial Realty Group.
  10. Lean Urbanism Recalls a Simpler Time

    Over the last several decades, real estate developers and urban designers have watched building code books swell from the size of small booklets to the size of dictionaries.Some say the increase in regulations has been essential to protect life, limb and property. Others think politics, special interest groups and neglect have supplanted common sense to create a hopelessly complex array of outdated, expensive and unnecessary mandates that serve to push small developers out of the marketplace altogether.
  11. Urban Design without Displacement

    Gentrification has changed the composition of a number of urban areas in the United States and internationally. In the U.S., this has sometimes meant the displacement of poorer communities of color by wealthier white populations moving in and pricing them out of the market.Often, the phenomenon results from profit-driven developers seeking cheap land in neighborhoods that have a history of disinvestment. Cities like Portland, Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Washington, D.C., among others, are often identified in tandem with gentrification.
  12. Palo Alto Embraces Its Family Tree

    If ever there was a tree that served as a metaphor for a city – consider El Palo Alto. The tree, whose name means “the tall stick” in Spanish, is a 110-foot-tall California redwood that stands on the bank of a creek near the southwest tip of San Francisco Bay, where it has stood for more than 1,000 years.While human activity in the first half of the 20th century nearly killed it, people began rallying to care for its health in the 1950s and it has since rebounded – albeit about 50 feet shorter than it once was.
  13. Saving America's Public Housing

    The U.S. government has created a housing crisis by chronically underfunding public housing for years, according to a recent report by the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association.As a result, there is a $26 billion backlog of unmet capital needs in America's public housing stock, and local housing authorities are receiving only 70 percent of the operating funds they were promised, the report states.
  14. Inclusionary Housing Policies Attract Millennials

    In a country where housing supply is not keeping up with demand, especially for cash-strapped working families and millennials, many cities are using inclusionary zoning ordinances to make sure middle-class homebuyers aren’t left out in the cold when housing developers draw up their plans.Key to any discussion on affordable housing is the definition of “affordable” and exactly who can afford it.
  15. Equity, Smart Growth Converge at St. Louis Conference

    ST. LOUIS, Mo. − With civil unrest after the Michael Brown shooting, legal challenges over discriminatory policing practices, and the contentious election of President Donald Trump all serving as unavoidable subplots, equity and inclusivity were reoccurring themes at the 16th annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference.While Trump's name was not uttered once during the opening plenary session, his perceived threat to the core values of many in the room was palpable.
  16. Dangerous by Design: Report Advocates for Pedestrian Safety

    Between 2005 and 2014, a total of 46,149 Americans were struck and killed by cars while walking.A new report released this month by Smart Growth America and its National Complete Streets Coalition argues that street design is a leading factor in this escalating problem.
  17. Swimming in Sustainability

    Situated five miles from the Alabama border in southern-middle Tennessee is the quaint city of Loretto. With a population of approximately 1,800, the town is usually quiet, but recently there’s been a big splash with the opening of a new state-of-the-art recreation space.Through a partnership with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Office of Sustainable Practices (TDEC), Division of Recreation Educational Services, and Croy Engineering, Loretto celebrated the opening of its new pool in August 2016.
  18. Neighborhood Revitalization Springs from the Pulpit

    During the Christmas season, popular 1940s-era movies get a lot of play on cable TV, with heartwarming stories of churches helping their people and communities in times of need.Think of Bing Crosby in “Bells of St. Mary’s” or “Going My Way.”
  19. Connected Infrastructure - Bright Future

    According to Wikipedia, “A smart city is an urban development vision to integrate multiple information and communication technology (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in a secure fashion to manage a city’s assets.”Now, if you could gather that information and use it to predict elements of the future that would save time and money, and increase the safety of residents, you would be well on your way to becoming an "intelligent city."
  20. Deconstruction: Beyond the Bang

    An unsafe or unrepairable building doesn't have to be a burden. In the right hands, it's a treasure trove.How do you make money from a crumbling residence hall or hospital? "It's what you know, and it's also who you know," said Don Seymour, principal at FEH Design.
  21. Group Builds Energy Smart Affordable Housing in Texas

    Fighting poverty in one of the poorest counties in the United States takes a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach. It’s more than affordable housing units. It’s more than creating jobs. It’s more than educational opportunities.It’s about drastic changes that impact future generations.
  22. The Legacy of the Rosenwald Schools

    In the early 1930s, one out of every three black children in the South attended a special type of school that few people remember today.The Rosenwald Schools, which at their height numbered 5,000, provided black schoolchildren with the opportunity for greatly improved education, helping to decrease the gap between the quality of education available to black students as compared to white students. In the past 60 years since the dissolution of the Rosenwald School program, the legacy of the schools has been forgotten by most.
  23. High-Speed Rail Builds Momentum in California

    The Golden State is on track to build the first carbon-neutral, high-speed rail system in the United States.The rail system will link Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, and sustainability is woven into every aspect of this project, starting with a commitment to zero net direct construction greenhouse gas emissions and continuing to improve overall air quality for future Californians.

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