Intrinsic value, hidden treasures, reminders of a city’s unique identity, the perfect spot for a restaurant or specialty shop, a connection to the past. These are only some of the reasons why saving old buildings is a worthwhile quest. The National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) is a privately funded, nonprofit organization dedicated to doing just that. Its small grant program awards between $2,500 and $5,000 to local governments and other organizations for planning, advocacy, and community education related to historic preservation.Read More
Shrinking cities, counter urbanization, sunbelt migration. These are related terms to describe the loss of population, primarily in the Northern states since the 1960s. Partly driven by economic opportunity, partly driven by retirees desiring a warmer climate, some places have experienced a steady decline in residents as others have seen their numbers soar. Based on the latest Census Bureau estimates, Business Insider shared a chart of the ten fastest-growing cities in the country. Eight out of ten are in Florida, with The Villages and Punta Gorda topping the list. While it is pleasant to ponder palm trees and tropical beaches, there are real consequences for the municipalities whose census numbers decline decade after decade.Read More
Topics: Urban Planning
Sprawl can cost a city. Just look at infrastructure costs to sprawling communities. Consider the extent of sewer lines, the number of school busses that must go further to pick up children, the garbage trucks that have more miles to burn more fuel, and so on. The distances separating houses and businesses in urban sprawl are frequently associated with higher costs than in compactly built neighborhoods where residential, commercial, recreational areas are in close proximity to one another.Read More
First, let's define "sustainability." It's a crucial catchword these days in both private and public sectors. But its definition will vary according to who you speak with.
Livability is a term you see often these days in grant programs, as it’s a key priority among many DOT, HUD, and EPA grant programs. The term can be defined as the confluence of quality-of-life factors such as affordable housing, accessible and affordable transportation, and walkable and bikeable paths. “Walkability” is another term that is an important aspect of livability: If an area is walkable, then it might have some or all of the following features: wide and wheelchair-friendly sidewalks, bike and pedestrian paths, and amenities accessible on foot. A great way to measure walkability is for stakeholders to conduct a walking audit to assess pedestrian access.
Imagine: “Being able to take your kids to school, go to work, see a doctor, drop by the grocery or post office, go out to dinner and a movie, and play with your kids in a park, all without having to get in your car.” This might sound like a day’s activities in an Austrian city—utopian by the standards of urban sprawl America. But the quotation comes from U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood as he defines livability, a catchword you see in numerous grant programs these days. So how does livability manifest at the federal initiative level down to the local implementation level across the U.S.?