Smaller cities have a distinctive and vital role to play in the work of the new century: they will be critical in the move to local agriculture and the development of renewable energy industries. Their underused or vacant industrial space and surrounding tracts of farmland make them ideal sites for sustainable land-use policies, or "smart growth." (This article quotes Post Carbon Cities author Daniel Lerch.)
Sydney's plans for future development are in the direction of dense, transit-accessible neighborhoods instead of traditional sprawling suburbs. This development pattern is expected to save the city hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure, transport, health and greenhouse gases.
The MTA's new report, "Sustainability and the MTA," outlines a transit program for the New York metro region that could well be applied to other metro regions.
More attention is being paid nationwide to reducing GHG emissions at the local level in land use pl anning. This path-breaking conference assembles experts from early adopter jurisdictions around the country, as well as leading Massachusetts land use professionals, to provide insights for attorneys, developers, planners, consultants and local governments on the best ways to respond to climate change concerns regarding development projects.
San Francisco's Bay Conservation and Development Commission is preparing to launch a $125,000 competition that will invite architects, planners and engineers to bring innovative proposals "to climate-proof the Bay Area," in the words of the competition outline. There is hope that some of the designs produced may be useful to other communities in similar situations.
Changes in Portland, Ore. bureaus by mayor-elect Sam Adams reflect a commitment to sustainability as a guiding principle in planning decisions, not an add-on. Earlier this week, his office announced that the city's Office of Sustainable Development (created in 2000) would merge with the Bureau of Planning to form the Bureau of Sustainable Planning & Development.
A non-profit serving low income people in coastal Washington has received grants and the necessary permits to build a wind farm, and will be selling the energy to the local public utility district. The income will help fund the organization's social service mission. According to the organization's executive director, "this project is the first of its kind in the nation to use alternative energy to benefit low income housing."
The Planning Commissioners Journal offers this volume of reprinted articles on themes related to the title. Read essays on downtown grocery stores, transfer of development rights, green infrastructure, and food systems.
This unique Gaining Ground conference links the energy future to the key urban topics of land use, economic development, transportation and mobility, and infrastructure. It challenges Calgary and all cities to consider their choices and futures as the requirement for urban sustainability intensifies.
Senate Bill 375 will push California communities to consider climate change impacts of development in regional planning, with an emphasis on reducing car travel. The bill requires the California Air Resources Board to set regional targets by September 2010 for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. The state will use its annual $5 billion pot of transportation money to encourage regions to embrace compact residential development.