NewUrbanism Threads 6-23-2010

Gambling on Growth — suburbs that put in a large amount of infrastructure planning on growth, face severe financial pressures when the economy slows for 2-4 years.

Apartment Rentals Stage Comeback — as the economy recovers and job growth is occurring, the multifamily market appears to be recovering.

To Address Oil Demand, Focus on Transporation — President Obama’s indicated last week that the single largest challenge our nation faces is how we supply and consume energy. The oil spill in the Gulf and national security concerns all point to the need to address demand, and not just supply.  And addressing transportation and how we build our communities is a key factor in regulating demand.  Simply put, our response to the spill must include smarter land use & transportation.

What to do with Dying Malls? Turn them into the suburban version of Main Streets.  And speaking of retail develoment, supermarkets may be changing their design models to adapt to urban environments — the “Social Safeway”

Diverse Areas are Vibrant Areas — one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the US is just south of Seattle, with 59 languages in a single zip code.  It is also a vibrant area.  Diversity is healthy and dynamic!!!

Texas Growth — being a proud Texan (by transplantation and marriage — which makes me a “naturalized citizen” of Texas) — had to share this news.  Dallas: Fastest growing U.S. city and Texas had four of the 10 fastest-growing cities in 2009: Frisco, McKinney, Round Rock and Lewisville. Frisco, a Dallas suburb, was tops in the country, rising by 6.2 percent to 102,412 people.

DART Puts Rail Line on Hold/Considers Paid Parking — most transit agencies in the US are facing huge budget shortfalls. Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) announced they do not have sufficient funding to finish critical link of expanding rail line to DFW airport.  And will do a trial run of paid parking for rail riders coming from non-DART cities.

ULI Expert Predicts – Suburban Century is Over — but many central cities will experience strong demand for housing, with the strongest markets “in places that provide a vibrant 24/7 lifestyle.”  In fact, even in the great recession, cities are growing.

What’s the Best Way to Price Carbon? — although I found this article interest, all of the cap & trade, cap & divident or carbon tax models involve government involvement.  In transportation, why not just toll the roads to exhibit true cost of driving, and use the tolls to pay for struggling mass transit funding.  This may also address a lot of the built environment going forward in terms of location efficiency.

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About Bob Voelker

Head of the Munsch Hardt (Dallas law firm) Hospitality & Mixed Use Development Group, and former developer of affordable housing. I'm i
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