Reconnecting America recently completed Are We There Yet?, a project that established benchmarks against which regions across America can be measured. Allison Brooks offers an overview of the report and all that went into it.
Doing more with less. This is the new reality for cash strapped local and regional agencies across the country striving to provide high quality transit service while fostering more livable communities in the form of transit-oriented development (TOD). This same challenge presents an opportunity for cities and regions to refocus attention on existing transit infrastructure and established urban districts and neighborhoods.
The Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD) wrapped up the Federal Transit Administration-sponsored webinar series launched last year in June with a webinar on joint development last month that attracted more than 200 participants.
Reconnecting America recently joined forces with several other organizations with deep experience in transportation and sustainable development to form Livability Solutions. The purpose of this partnership is to work with communities on transportation, land use, placemaking, environmental issues, and public involvement, with the goal of achieving livability, smart growth, and sustainability. The other partners in Livability Solutions are the Project for Public Spaces, Center for Neighborhood Technology, Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, National Center for Bicycling and Walking, National Charrette Institute, Local Government Commission, Center for Transportation Excellence, Congress for New Urbanism, Surface Transportation Policy Project and Newport City Renaissance Corporation.
While many people (including this writer!) predicted that 2012 would be a sleepy year for legislation due to the presidential election, the first several months have instead been chock-full of transportation-related activity. Both the House and Senate are actively considering multi-year surface transportation reauthorization bills. (As a reminder, the previous authorization, SAFETEA-LU, expired 2½ years ago and federal transportation programs are continuing to function thanks to a series of short-term extension bills, the most recent of which expires at the end of March).
Read the booklet
Through collaboration with the Center for Cities & Schools1 (CC&S), CTOD will soon publish an educational and action-oriented guidebook for integrating families and schools into planning for transit-oriented development.
The report, TOD 205: Families and Transit-Oriented Development, is the seventh in the series of FTA-sponsored reports explaining the best practices of transit-oriented development.
Successful, equitable TOD districts should include not only households with a diversity of incomes but also a diversity of types.
Families with children represent one important type of household that can accrue many benefits from living near transit. However, recent TOD projects have often catered to young professionals, empty nesters or other households without children. These have been seen as the strongest market segments for transit-oriented housing.
This trend is changing as…
Nothing better illustrates the breadth and reach of the issues Reconnecting America is involved in than the topics discussed in this issue of our newsletter. And as I look forward to our continuing work, I welcome Chris Yake, Reconnecting America’s new project director. Chris’ background in transit-oriented development will be of great benefit to our team as we continue to fulfill our mission of transforming promising ideas into thriving communities.
As an organization that does a lot of research, we at Reconnecting America appreciate the importance of quickly finding something. That's why we recently asked our website developer to enhance the tagging system for our content.
In the Fall 2011 issue, Reconnecting America's Sam Zimbabwe, the director of the Center for Transit-Oriented Development, discusses our work with regional stakeholders to articulate the benefits and challenges of transit and transitoriented development (TOD) in regions around the country. Policy Director Sarah Kline summarizes Congress' big challenges and Chief of Staff Allison Brooks and Deputy Policy Director Darnell Chadwick Grisby explore the implications for the nation of the America Fast Forward proposal that Los Angeles is pushing. Finally, Project Director Abigail Thorne-Lyman presents the second part of her series on collaborative partnerships, detailing what's needed to make this collaborations work.