Sprawl

July 7, 2011, 9am PDT
A draft report from San Diego reveals that California's SB 375 law, which passed in 2008, was ineffective in reducing sprawl in the long term, Ethan Elkind writes for the UCLA UC Berkeley Legal Planet blog.
Legal Planet
July 5, 2011, 2pm PDT
Rust Belt poster child Youngstown, Ohio made waves almost a decade ago with its revolutionary plan for "controlled shrinkage." But progress has been slow in a political system still wired for growth.
Streetsblog Capitol Hill
June 20, 2011, 8am PDT
As mobile technology is fast becoming more mainstream, Urban Land Institute's CEO Patrick Phillips envisages more mixed-use developments in the next decade.
The Wall Street Journal
Blog post
June 9, 2011, 6am PDT

Note: This column was originally titled, "A Stupid Attack on Smart Growth," intended as a pun on 'smart' and 'stupid.' However, that sounds harsh so I retitled it. - T.L.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has a well-financed campaign to discourage communities from considering smart growth as a possible way to conserve energy and reduce pollution emissions. They contend that compact development has little effect on travel activity and so provides minimal benefits. The NAHB states that, “The existing body of research demonstrates no clear link between residential land use and GHG emissions.” But their research actually found the opposite: it indicates that smart growth policies can have significant impacts on travel activity and emissions.

Todd Litman
Blog post
May 18, 2011, 7am PDT

Last week, I was busy trying to turn my paper on sprawl in Canada (available at http://works.bepress.com/lewyn/65/) into a speech.   In my paper, I define sprawl in two ways: where we grow (measured by growth or decline of central cities, controlling for municipal annexations) and how we grow (measured by modal shares for cars and transit).  As I was proofing, I asked myself: why these particular measurements?  What presuppositions underlie defining sprawl based on, say, modal share as opposed to the growth of a urban area's land mass?

Michael Lewyn
May 6, 2011, 1pm PDT
Richey Piiparinen argues that Americans don't necessarily want sprawl, but they are driven by unconscious motives, fears and hopes that haven't been properly dealt with yet.
Rustwire.com
May 5, 2011, 2pm PDT
Density -- either high or low or somewhere in the middle -- is a key defining element of our cities. In this essay, Witold Rybczynski looks at the relative densities of U.S. cities and suggests that things may start to change subtly.
Wilson Quarterly
April 28, 2011, 2pm PDT
That's Billy Burge of the Grand Parkway Association, referring to a plan in Houston, Texas to expand the city out into greenfields on the outskirts of the city.
Streetsblog Capitol Hill
April 28, 2011, 6am PDT
The TDR, or transfer of development rights, could be a way for Canadian cities to reduce the expansion of its sprawling cities, according to this piece.
Globe and Mail
April 26, 2011, 9am PDT
The New York Times, in a front page article, was startled to conclude that the housing market continued to suffer, because "buyers now demand something smaller, cheaper and, thanks to $4 a gallon gas, as close to their jobs as possible."
The New Republic
April 22, 2011, 1pm PDT
The U.S. often gets a bad rap for its sprawling suburbs and unplanned development, but Robert Kwolek notes that many European cities and other parts of the world aren't far behind.
Sustainable Cities Collective
April 19, 2011, 8am PDT
Leaders in Charleston County have reversed course on a $500 million highway expansion plan, following public outcry.
Streetsblog Capitol Hill
April 14, 2011, 2pm PDT
That's the nickname earned by Raleigh, North Carolina, due to its fast and unrestricted growth over the past decade. The city is planning an extensive rezoning for its 2030 plan, which TIME Magazine calls "ambitious".
Time
April 5, 2011, 9am PDT
The head of a patent law firm that employs 40 in suburban Detroit explains that his growing business may need to leave the state because it can't recruit talent to the region. Andrew Basile Jr. writes that the problem is "poor quality of place."
Rust Wire
March 18, 2011, 6am PDT
Suburban areas are increasingly in the sights of planners and designers who are thinking of new ways to reform the sprawled out land use patterns. This interview looks at how those efforts relate to Houston.
Transportation Nation
February 27, 2011, 9am PST
St. Louis is reeling from the news that it lost 29,000 residents, or 8%, of its population since 2000. Bi-annual population estimates had led many to believe the city had finally turned a corner. Meanwhile, exurban counties posted 30+ percent growth.
Streetsblog Network
February 14, 2011, 5am PST
A Charleston environmental group has suggested an alternative to a proposed expansion of Interstate 526 which solves the congestion problem with refinements to local streets and costs half the price.
Streetsblog Capitol Hill
January 26, 2011, 9am PST
Planners in Jacksonville are getting behind plans to encourage more infill development by getting rid of an older rule that was seen to contribute to sprawl.
The Florida Times-Union
January 20, 2011, 2pm PST
The Texas Transportation Institute just released its 2010 Urban Mobility Report, which is a standard reference in the road-building industry -- and is seriously flawed, says Joe Cortright.
CEOs For Cities
January 18, 2011, 7am PST
Sprawl is seen as an unfortunate reality in Toronto, and one that some fear it's too late to unwrite.
The Toronto Star