Reconnecting America People * Places * Possibility

News: Big City Train Station Boom, W. Palm Beach TOD, Indy Complete Streets, Bicycle Uprising, Planning For Climate Change

Tracks News - In this section you'll find news from cities around the country as well as interviews and general reporting on issues.  It might be from a newspaper or a blog, but it counts as news.

National: The US Is In A Big City Train Station Boom

Denver Urbanism 

If you're reading, you probably already know that Denver Union Station is in the midst of an impressive major reconstruction. But did you know that many other American cities are also making big investments in their rail depots? The list, and the renderings, are pretty darn cool....

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West Palm Beach: After 8 Years TOD Finally OK'd

Palm Beach Post 

A massive "transit village" of condominiums, hotel rooms and offices near the Tri-Rail station in downtown West Palm Beach will be allowed to rise on roughly six acres of county-owned land, Palm Beach County commissioners said Tuesday. The commission voted 5-2 in favor of the project, after spending more than eight years planning what should be built on the triangle-shaped site, known as the wedge....

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Indianapolis: City Council OKs Complete Streets Policy

Urban Indy 

Proposal 208, "Complete Streets"(click to open .pdf) passed the full city council vote last night 28-0. The passage of this proposal will enact a modification to City Code to the affect of creating a framework for planning and implementation of complete streets. The new policy insures that public and private developments plan for all  transportation modes when developing a new land use or right of way project....

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Washington, DC: LaHood 'Outraged' With MWAA 

Transportation Nation 

The head of the U.S. Department of Transportation says the board controlling the Silver Line is out of control and "in desperate need of reform."  Ray LaHood has sent a blistering letter to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority questioning the board's ethics and laying out steps the authority must take to get in line.  Co-signed by the governors of Virginia and Maryland, as well as the mayor of D.C., the letter is an unflinching condemnation of "an organization that conducts much of its business behind closed doors."...

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Chicago: Riders 'Voting With Their Feet'

CTA Tattler 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Forrest Claypool came to Morse Avenue on Tuesday morning to celebrate a completely rebuilt Morse L station and a 16-month streak of ridership increases.  Combined bus and rail ridership was up four percent for the first half of 2012, following a similar jump in 2011, when CTA carried 532 million riders, its highest level in 20 years. The rail system has seen 51 consecutive months of growth, adding 6.2 percent in the last six months....

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New York: The Bicycle Uprising, Part 2


This is the second installment in a multi-part series looking back at the victory over the Midtown bike ban, 25 years ago. The first part provided an overview of the response to the ban. This post looks at that activism in the context of the previous two decades of bike advocacy....

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Arizona: Scorching Phoenix Plans For Hotter Future 


It's been a record hot summer in many cities across the nation. Phoenix is no exception. This Sonoran Desert metropolis already records more days over 100 degrees than any other major U.S. city. Now, climate models predict Phoenix will soon get even hotter. ...

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California: Bond Insurer Sues Over Redevelopment Loss


Bond insurer Syncora Guarantee has filed a lawsuit to prevent California from eliminating the state's 400 local redevelopment agencies, claiming that the plan unfairly deprives bondholders of money they are owed....

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Research: How TOD Can Help Get America To Work 

LIIF & Morgan Stanley 

Community development planning with public transportation as a central consideration can spur economic growth and create new economic opportunities, according to a new paper by the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) and Morgan Stanley....

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Research: Cultural Competency In Planning Education   

Journal of Planning Education & Research 

Recognizing, understanding, and engaging difference, diversity, and cultural heterogeneity in creative and productive ways requires cultural competency. In this article, we first define culture, difference, and equality as a platform to call for a broader conception of culture in the planning profession than that implicit in multiculturalism....

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Research: Local Planning For Urban Agriculture 

Journal of Planning Education & Research

A review of the recent literature and an analysis of urban agriculture in Detroit, Toronto, and Montreal based on interviews with practitioners and other actors suggest that urban agriculture practices vary significantly and face cultural as well as legal and technical challenges. These findings support the view that urban agriculture belongs within planning and that municipalities have an important role to play in facilitating its development....

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Research: Legal Exemptions And Market-Priced Parking  

Journal of Planning Education & Research

Congestion pricing is an effective way to combat congestion, and market prices for curb parking are an appealing way to implement pricing, because paying to park is more politically acceptable than paying to drive. But pricing is effective only if users have to pay, and market-priced parking is vulnerable to nonpayment....

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Japan: Sex (Or Not) And The Japanese Single    

New Georgraphy  

Back in June 2011, British prime minister David Cameron backed proposals tackling the sexualisation of British children, in a bid to dilute the culture of sex that has swept western nations. .... Compare this to Japan, a country where, according to a recent survey, a third of young men have no interest in sex. Moreover, 50% of young women are not dating. Could this be an 'undersexualised' society? Has this impacted Japan's population geography? ...

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Saudi Arabia: Can Women-Only Cities Help Productivity 

Atlantic Cities   

 Saudi Arabia is going to take women-only cities out of the realm of myth and make them a reality. The vision is for several such cities to be built over time, starting with an industrial development of 5,000 in the province of Hofuf, a project advanced by a group of Saudi businesswomen...

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Paris: Designing A Digital Break Stop   

ASLA Dirt 

So this is probably the world's classiest outdoor Wi-Fi hotspot. A new project in Paris by French designer Mathieu Lehanneur, who has done innovative, sustainably designed products, and JCDecaux, a British firm said to have invented the idea of embedding advertising in outdoor furniture, got lots of attention from the major design blogs a few months back and just last week The New York Times' "Home" section also picked up the trail.....

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Blogosphere - In this section you'll find commentary, opinion and editorials