Cycling Success: 10 U.S. Cities Pushing Biking Forward

​ When it comes to designing cities for cycling, the United States lags behind other countries. The U.S. boasts 4 million miles of roads, but fewer than 200 miles of protected bike lanes. But while our car-friendly country may have plenty of ground to make up, there has still been progress. In 43 of our 70 largest cities, cycling rates are rising, and a number of ambitious plans show cities embracing the health, environmental, and social benefits of cycling. These... Read more

The Brilliant Simplicity of New York’s New Times Square

Times Square recently completed its six-year transformation from a congested thoroughfare into a European-style piazza. The redesign doubled the amount of pedestrian space. Remaking the Crossroads of the World follows a broader trend by cities around the world to create more pedestrian-friendly spaces that favor people over cars. Read more... Read more

Boston Planners See a Greenway Where There’s a High-Traffic Road

​There’s a growing movement among planners and green space advocates to fulfill Olmsted’s vision by turning Columbia Road, a wide, heavily trafficked thoroughfare split by desolate concrete medians, into a greenway. Advocates see it as a way to bring green space and paths for walking and biking to a neighborhood that has long been neglected. And the city has tentatively embraced the idea, including Columbia Road in its larger ambition to add green corridors throughout the city. Read more... Read more

The Reality of Main Street

It is true that main streets have been battered in recent decades. Big-box and internet retail paired with the globalization of production have exposed communities to unprecedented competition. Sprawling development and migration have emptied out many small downtowns. Yet far from a myth, some main streets are thriving. These communities leverage the density of older and historic buildings, educational institutions and community and cultural facilities in their town centers to attract investment and bring renewed vitality to once hollowed-out downtowns.... Read more

Five Communities Recognized for Comprehensive Plans

The American Planning Association (APA) recognized five comprehensive plans through the organization’s Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places Recognition Program Pilot. A comprehensive plan guides a community’s physical, social, and economic development, which provides guidance on local land use decisions. Recognized communities include Temple Terrace, Florida; Plant City, Florida; Norfolk, Virginia; Fernandina Beach, Florida; and Prince George’s County, Maryland. Read more... Read more

Combining Crowdfunding And Place-Making To Help Communities Improve Themselves

Before moving forward on a revitalization project, Midtown Detroit Inc. faced the usual civic project hurdles: Did people in the area actually even want this? Would they actually use and care for it? And, equally important, was there any grant money available to offset the costs? To find out, MDI turned to Patronicity, a Detroit-based online fundraising platform that’s pioneering a new form of crowdfunding dubbed “crowdgranting.” Read more... Read more

The Greening of Minnesota’s Urban Rooftops

​ Vegetative roofs have become more common as developers and building owners go green to save money and reduce their environmental footprints. For communities, green roofs can reduce stormwater runoff into sewer systems. For building owners, they can cut energy consumption by acting as a buffer against the sun, slicing air conditioning costs and roof maintenance. Read more... Read more

Five Transformative Mixed-Use Projects in the Southeast

Developers note that mixing uses in a project complicates the design, limits financing options, and requires intricately choreographed timing, making such projects much more challenging. Yet mixed-use developments add a vitality to cities that is hard to match with single-use buildings. A panel at the ULI Carolinas Meeting in Charlotte featured five developers describing some of the most dynamic mixed-use developments in the Southeast, as well as the complexities, quirks, and outstanding characteristics of their projects. Read more... Read more

Rehabilitation Tax Credit Turning NY’s Historic Buildings into Community Assets

​Over the last four years, New York State and the federal rehabilitation tax credit program has spurred $3 billion of investment in historic commercial properties. According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York State led the nation in the number of completed historic building revitalization projects using these tax credits. Read more... Read more
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