According to WordSpy, school sprawl is the placement of schools away from the communities they serve, especially beyond walking distance of those communities.
Visit the WordSpy web site to see examples of usage and the earliest citation.
Read the full story in Atlantic Cities.
The latest national community preference survey, conducted periodically by the National Association of Realtors, was released earlier this month. The results are all over the place. Looking for evidence to support reported trends toward smart growth living in walkable, mixed use neighborhoods? You’ll find it in the poll. But, if you’re a smart growth skeptic who believes Americans still prefer conventional suburban development with large lots, you’ll find plenty of evidence for that, too.
Read the full story in Smile Politely.
For over twenty years, plans have been in the works to transform a 24.5 mile section of abandoned railroad between eastern Urbana and Kickapoo State Park into a recreational trail. Once completed, this trail would provide a safe place for Champaign and Vermilion County citizens to walk, run, and ride their bikes, as well as promote the local economy through increased tourism and outdoor activity.
In the 1990s, the Champaign County Conservation and Design Foundation and the Champaign County Forest Preserve began negotiations to acquire the land needed to begin this project, but unfortunately met with some unexpected setbacks.
The company who owned the property, Conrail, had originally planned to donate the land to the cause, but was then dissolved. CSX Corp then came into ownership of the property, and negotiations had to begin anew.
Now, in 2013, negotiations have finally reached a conclusion and the section of railroad in Champaign County has been successfully purchased. At the time of this writing, the Vermilion County Conservation District has yet to purchase their portion of the trail, but it appears as though development will soon be underway.
President Steve Rugg of the Champaign County Design and Conservation Foundation generously agreed to an interview to discuss the trail project, the CCDC, and environmental awareness in Champaign County.
Smart Growth America is now accepting applications for its 2014 free technical assistance workshops. Communities interested in learning about smart growth strategies are welcome and encouraged to submit an application for one of 12 types of technical assistance workshops.
Smart Growth America’s free technical assistance workshops program, now in its third year, helps city and regional leaders find solutions to local issues and concerns. These workshops help participating communities to grow in ways that benefit families and businesses while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place.
“Smart Growth America’s technical assistance provides the tools and training needed to help local leaders and residents make their communities more prosperous and livable,” says Roger Millar, Vice President and Director of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute. “Last year, we worked with 22 communities across the nation to help them design and implement effective ‘home grown’ smart growth strategies. With continued grant funding, we anticipate working with more communities in the coming year.”
Smart Growth America will again offer 12 types of workshops as part of the free program. These include:
As a national leader in the field, Smart Growth America’s team of experts have extensive experience working with communities to help them use land strategically, make the most of existing resources and invest purposefully to catalyze private development.
How to apply
Any unit or subdivision of local government, Indian tribe or regional government is eligible to apply for these free workshops. Communities should select one workshop per application; applicants may submit additional applications for more than one workshop. Applications are due by Friday, December 6, 2013 at 5:00 PM EST.
Join us next week to learn about this program
If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, join us for a webinar on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 2:00 PM EST to learn more about the types of workshops available and the application process. Click here to register for the webinar.
About the program
Smart Growth America’s free technical assistance workshops are made possible by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities under the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program. The Building Blocks program funds quick, targeted assistance to communities that face common development problems. One other nonprofit organization—Global Green USA—also received a competitively awarded grant under this program this year to help communities get the kinds of development they want.
In addition to our annual free workshops, Smart Growth America’s technical assistance is available year round for a fee. Our expert staff can help your community achieve its development goals. Learn more on Smart Growth America’s website.
The Land Use Law Center’s annual Land Use & Sustainable Development Conference is a significant educational event in the region, with more than 200 attorneys, business professionals, and local leaders learning about national, regional, and local challenges and innovations. This year’s theme: Leading Communities toward a Resilient Future
Join us on December 6th at the NYS Judicial Institute at Pace Law School in White Plains to discuss the challenges communities in the New York Metropolitan area face because of natural disasters, a changing climate, new demographics and technologies, and inequitable living conditions. Leaders are emerging who are creating new strategies for community resiliency in the face of economic, social, and environmental change. They are Leading Communities toward a Resilient Future. We invite you to attend to learn about the flexible tools, models, and policies that strengthen communities to build equitable, sustainable, and economically prosperous places for people. CLE and CM credits available. Early-bird Pricing Closes Nov. 6th!
Urban Revitalization Strategist, Majora Carter Group LLC
Majora Carter is an internationally renowned urban revitalization strategy consultant, real estate developer, and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. She is responsible for the creation and successful implementation of numerous green-infrastructure projects, policies, and job training and placement systems.
Her long list of awards and honorary degrees include accolades from groups as diverse as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, John Podesta’s Center for American Progress, Goldman Sachs, as well as a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship. Her 2006 TED talk was one of the first 6 videos to launch their groundbreaking website.
Stephen Hardy, AICP LEED AP
Chief Community Builder, Mind Mixer
As a practitioner Stephen Hardy has managed a host of complex community planning projects. In Greensburg, Kansas, Stephen helped the City plan for recovery after a catastrophic EF-5 tornado wiped out most of the community’s structures. In 2008, the Greensburg Comprehensive Master Plan—for which Stephen was the lead planner—received international recognition with the prestigious Sustainable Cities Award from Financial Times and the Urban Land Institute, and in 2009 was recognized by the APA with the Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan. He also has experience staffing on Capitol Hill, working at the Conservation Fund, and pioneering a community planning practice at BNIM, all of which he brought to his current role with MindMixer as Chief Community Builder.
Stephen’s areas of expertise include Sustainable comprehensive planning, disaster recovery, whole-systems integrated planning, high level facilitation, public engagement, the integration of design and planning, and project management. His experience and his passion for community building make him a strong advocate for better communication leading to community transformation.
In this provocative paper, PCI Executive Director Asher Miller and Transition Movement Founder (and PCI Fellow) Rob Hopkins make a convincing case for why the environmental community must embrace post-growth economics and community resilience in their efforts to address the climate crisis.
EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities is seeking letters of interest from state capital cities interested in receiving design assistance to create a clear and implementable vision of distinctive, environmentally friendly neighborhoods that incorporate smart growth strategies and green infrastructure systems. Letters of interest are due no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on September 23, 2013.
Design assistance is provided through the Greening America’s Capitals program, administered by EPA. EPA conducts the program in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. Fourteen state capitals plus the District of Columbia have received assistance from the Greening America’s Capitals program to date; up to 5 capital cities will be selected in 2013.
EPA is providing this design assistance to help state capitals create stronger neighborhoods that protect the environment. EPA will fund a team of designers to visit the successful applicants’ capital cities for up to three days to produce schematic designs and illustrations intended to catalyze or complement a larger planning process for a neighborhood. In the past, the EPA team has provided sustainable design techniques for streets, parks, waterfronts, and town squares. This assistance will help the selected state capitals envision ways to clean up and reuse vacant lands, provide more housing and transportation choices, reduce infrastructure and energy costs, and build civic pride in neighborhoods and the city as a whole. The design team and EPA, HUD, and DOT staff will also assist the city staff in developing specific implementation strategies.
Read the full story at Mother Nature Network.
How CSX helped turn an abandoned rail line in the heart of Manhattan’s Meatpacking District into one of the country’s most unusual parks.
Read the full story at Grist.
Sick of fighting for cycling space on streets crowded with SUV-wielding soccer moms? Worry not, Good Citizen: The interwebs are here to help. Now you can redesign your city’s streets, leaving ample room for bike lanes, trees, and — fine — cars too. It’s all right at your fingertips.
The web application that makes it possible is called Streetmix. It was built by several members of Code for America, the nonprofit organization that teams up urban-minded activists and computer coders, then drops them into U.S. cities for year-long fellowships, all with the admirable goal of making local government suck less.
Read the full story in Crain’s Chicago Business.
Crain’s takes a look at a project called LakeSim that will help planners at Skidmore Owings & Merrill remake the massive old U.S. Steel South Works plant on the Far South Side. By marrying computer-assisted design software with computer-modeling software, computer researchers at the Computation Institute run by the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory will help planners see how design changes in buildings, infrastructure or even zoning will impact energy and water usage, stormwater management and transportation demands nearby and throughout other parts of the city.