Frederick Looks to Make Itself More Walkable

Frederick, Maryland (Source: pmprent.com)
Foot traffic has long been important to shops and retailers in downtown Frederick, Maryland, but the city is making efforts to get people walking in other areas, as well. The sustainability plan Frederick passed in July calls for a complete streets policy, creating streets that “are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.” Read more... Read more

Sherwood Forest Conservation Effort Protects Endangered Wildlife Habitat And Local Jobs in Tennessee

Sherwood Forest (Source: Tennessee Division of Natural Areas)
The Conservation Fund and The Land Trust for Tennessee, in partnership with the State of Tennessee, announced the protection of 4,061 acres of forestland in the South Cumberland region of Tennessee. With funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)—through both the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund—more than eight miles of streams in the Crow Creek Valley and vital habitat for more than one-third of all... Read more

Can Spending Money on Trails and Density Grow Tech Jobs in St. Louis County?

A greenhouse that's part of the Danforth Plant Science Center (Laurie Skrivan / The St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
The amenities and density that often help attract a highly educated workforce are somewhat lacking in a suburb developed when planners thought of little more than accommodating cars. Now, area leaders are planning trails and connections to food and entertainment, attributes many believe are necessary to continue attracting the top-notch scientific talent that drives biotech investment. Read more... Read more

Changes in Landscapes and Buildings Could Help Fight Flooding

Using pickaxes to dig a hole at the Woods of Shavano for a rain garden aimed at retaining stormwater and reducing pollutants that reach the Edwards Aquifer (Ray Whitehouse / The San Antonio Express-News)
A curbside garden filled with native plants that attract and feed bees and butterflies. Roofs covered with plants that slow the flow of water. Barrels and tanks that collect the rain pouring off rooftops. Water quality experts believe that these types of landscape and design features, known as low-impact development, or LID, are both an important part of solving San Antonio’s problems with environmentally degraded waterways and flooding, particularly as the city continues to grow. Read more... Read more

Five Approaches to Reviving Aging Mall Sites

shopping-malls-feature
Aging shopping malls—many burdened with high vacancy rates or even abandoned—are being transformed into vibrant, mixed-use destinations that are connected to their surrounding communities. Once-popular regional shopping malls are being hit from all angles: by the explosion of online shopping, millennials’ preference for vibrant urban experiences, and ever-changing retail customers’ tastes. At the 2016 ULI Fall Meeting, “the mall of the future” was explored by a panel of design, development, and placemaking experts. Read more... Read more

Philadelphia Healthy Rowhouse Project

Rowhouses in Philadelphia (Source: The Philadelphia Citizen)
Philadelphia intends to launch Healthy Rowhouse, a home repair loan program, next summer, creating for the first time a renewable income source to help poor residents fix their houses. The loan program—up to $34,000, at low-interest—will be a radically new approach to affordable housing in the city, and one of only a few like it around the country. The goal is to preserve “naturally-occurring affordable housing”—that is, housing that is affordable without any government subsidy. Read more... Read more

Detroit’s Downtown Rebounds, but Neighborhoods Lag Behind

A vacant house in Detroit's Brush Park neighborhood (Rebecca Cook / Reuters)
While downtown and Midtown are on the rise, several other neighborhoods have yet to bounce back from population loss, disinvestment and scores of foreclosures. The under-construction Little Caesars Arena, which house the Detroit Pistons and the Red Wings, is the centerpiece of a coming 50-block entertainment district in a part of downtown that’s already nearly at capacity with new residents and new businesses. But some say the city is missing the kind of targeted spending that could reduce the number... Read more

Car-free in Cleveland: Letting Go of the Wheel of the Personal Vehicle

A bicyclist commutes on the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge in Cleveland, OH (Marvin Fong / he Plain Dealer
Cleveland was ranked the best U.S. city in which to be car-free by USA Today this year. The ranking, which was presented as a top 10 list, was designed as a guide for visitors looking to forgo renting cars while traveling. However, being car-free in Cleveland as a resident is a different experience than that of a tourist. When it comes to the day-to-day reality of living, working and playing in Cuyahoga County, it can be a challenge to get... Read more

Bridging D.C.‘s Starkest Divide

A rendering of proposed 11th Street Bridge (Credit: OMA/Olin)
The gulf between the D.C. neighborhoods of Anacostia and Navy Yard, separated only by the Anacostia River, has become emblematic of the extremes of poverty and wealth in a polarized city. Anacostia is just a mile away, but far removed from the urban playground that is Navy Yard. Can a park over the Anacostia River spur a revolution in urban development? Read more... Read more
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