Kentucky Main Street Program Communities Contributed $110M to State Economy in 2016

Sen. Robin Webb with with local Main Street directors from across the Kentucky (Source: Kentucky.org)
The Kentucky Main Street Program announced that 39 participating communities reported a total investment of $110 million in their commercial downtown districts in 2016, a number that includes $75 million of private investment matched by nearly $31 million in public improvements. Since the program’s inception in 1979, KYMS can document more than $3.9 billion of public-private investment throughout the Commonwealth. Read more... Read more

Could a Subtle Tweak to Metro’s Map Fix Overcrowding on the Blue Line?

(Source: Zhan Guo/NYU)
With Metro’s most recent SafeTrack shutdown, Northern Virginia riders are finally doing the thing that Metro has been asking them to do for years: They’re switching from the historically overcrowded Blue Line to roomier Yellow Line trains. But will these riders stick with their new commuting routes? One urban planner thinks a tweak could help. Read more... Read more

Congress Is Making a Bipartisan Push for an Urban Development Tax Credit

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Members of the House and Senate have moved to protect a program that gives tax credits to businesses that create jobs and other economy boosters in low-income communities. The U.S. Treasury’s New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program, which targets poor zip codes both urban and rural, has gained bipartisan support and many friends in both the urban development and business worlds since its implementation in 2000. Two new bills introduced last week — both called The New Markets Tax Credit... Read more

Historic Preservation is a Major Opportunity in West Virginia

Downtown Morgantown, WV (Source: weheartwv.com)
West Virginia is redefining itself as a diversified economy supported by a high quality of life rooted in the natural splendor of its mountains, streams and valleys, accentuated by historic downtowns with a size and scale of communities making it Almost Heaven. There is a renewed interest in increasing West Virginia’s historic rehabilitation tax credit. The suggestion has considerable merit, even given the state’s current financial situation. Read more... Read more

First LEED Certification for Transit Worldwide Launched

leed-new-delhi
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) announced a new LEED green building rating system pilot designed to address the unique needs of transit systems around the world. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will be the first metro in the world to pursue the pilot, LEED v4 O+M: Transit, for their metro stations in Delhi NCR and other states in India. Read more... Read more

Two New Tools for Planning a Healthy Urban Canopy

Tree canopy (Michael Verhoef / CC)
Trees are a vital part of urban communities, providing social, environmental and economic benefits. However, the urban environment is a difficult one for most trees. The U.S. Forest Service has developed two new tools to help plan for and manage a healthy urban forest: one that guides designers and tree managers to select tree species likely to survive in the built environment, and another to monitor tree health to ensure trees become an asset instead of a liability. Read more... Read more

What American Cities Can Learn From Their Small-Town Neighbors

Rural farmland near Gibson, Iowa (Credit: James Arentson)
We all want equitable solutions to the problems we face, but increasingly, urban and rural Americans are speaking different languages and operating within separate ideological silos. It’s not enough to build a bridge between silos when what we need is to meet on the ground between them. Only on common ground can urban and rural Americans learn effectively from each other and collaborate as a force of collective wisdom toward greater national success. The greatest potential for attaining the balance that... Read more

Towson High Student Boosts Traffic Calming Effort Near School

Towson High School (Larry / Flickr)
At least four traffic-calming speed humps will be installed on Aigburth Road in Towson, Maryland this spring, in large part due to the effort of one Towson High School sophomore, who gave the project a much-needed push forward out of a sense of civic duty. The student walks to school, as do many of her classmates, and the speed of traffic moving along Aigburth, which runs past a rear parking lot and entrance to the school, struck her as dangerous.... Read more
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