Streetcars and Cities in the 21st Century
WHY STREETCARS? WHY NOW? The tremendous success of the Portland Streetcar has stimulated interest in streetcars across the U.S. because it proved a powerful magnet for economic development, stimulating $3.5 billion investment in two new walkable downtown neighborhoods. The brand new Seattle streetcar is having similar success in South Lake Union. San Francisco's F-Line streetcar has played an important role in the rebirth of the Embarcadero as a walkable, transit-oriented neighborhood since the freeway was taken down. And streetcars have promoted economic development and investment in walkable, higher-density, mixed-use neighborhoods in communities as diverse as Kenosha, Wisconsin, Tampa, and Little Rock.
Streetcar projects help transform urban centers by:
• Linking disparate places into SOMEplace, and proving a boon for pedestrians and streetlife, galleries, clubs, restaurants and shops;
• Helping to market walkable, higher density residential and mixed-use neighborhoods and a "green lifestyle";
• Connecting destinations to regional rail and bus, and creating neighborhoods that make it possible to live without a car;
• Leveraging private investment to achieve public goals like affordability, sustainability, and high-quality public space.
Streetcars are cheaper than other rail transit (affordable even for small cities), fit easily into built environments, they're energy efficient, and they are strong and proven economic development engines for revitalizing neighborhoods. Streetcar neighborhoods can serve as models of sustainability where walkability, mixed-use and proximity to transit help reduce driving, transportation expenditures, greenhouse gas emissions and dependency on foreign oil.
TALK TO THE NATIONAL EXPERTS AT THIS STREETCAR WORKSHOP IN LOS ANGELES -- THE LAST IN A SERIES OF FOUR NATIONAL WORKSHOPS BASED ON THE AWARD-WINNING BOOK STREET SMART: STREETCARS AND CITIES IN THE 21ST CENTURY. HOSTED BY RECONNECTING AMERICA AND THE SEASIDE INSTITUTE. TO REGISTER AND FOR INFO GO TO WWW.THESEASIDEINSTITUTE.ORG. AICP CREDITS AVAILABLE.
Related Link: The Seaside Institute
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Posted May 10, 2008