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Livable Communities E-News - September 10, 2004

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  • asha.weinstein@sjsu.edu
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      Some of you may be interested in signing up to receive this email
      newsletter. To do so, send an email to James Koski (James.Koski@...) asking to be added to the list.

      Regards,

      Asha Weinstein
      Assistant Professor
      Department of Urban and Regional Planning
      San José State University
      One Washington Square
      San Jose, CA 95192-0185
      email: asha.weinstein@...
      phone: 408-924-5853

      ----- Forwarded by Asha Weinstein/SJSU on 09/10/2004 05:13 PM -----


      "Koski, James" <James.Koski@...>
      09/10/2004 02:27 PM


      To: "Koski, James" <James.Koski@...>
      cc:
      Subject: Livable Communities E-News - September 10, 2004


      LIVABLE COMMUNITIES E-NEWS



      September 10, 2004 VOLUME 6 NUMBER 9



      Questions or contributions? Reply to this e-mail or call James
      <mailto:james.koski@...> Koski at x54811



      ---

      In This Issue...



      LEGISLATIVE HIGHLIGHT

      Transportation Reauthorization Update



      ON THE HILL AND NATIONAL INTEREST

      Transit-Orientated Development

      Congestion Continues to Rise as Highway Legislation Languishes

      Balancing Security with Civil Values

      Poverty in the Suburbs

      Average Housing Price hits $278,000 in Nation's Metro Areas



      AROUND THE COUNTRY

      Federal Funding's Late Arrival Chokes Transit

      Booming Cities Put Utah County to Test

      A Transforming Vision

      The Next Hot'hoods



      INTERNATIONAL

      Heart of Matter- Cleaner, Clever, Competitive


      ANNOUNCEMENTS

      Envision Utah, Lessons from the Front

      10th Annual Rail~Volution Conference

      EPA Brownfields Conference

      Restore America: Communities at a Crossroads, National Preservation
      Conference


      ---


      LEGISLATIVE HIGHLIGHT

      teaTransportation Reauthorization Update: Bush, Reid cast doubts on
      highway
      bill prospects

      Energy & Environment Daily (09/09); Brian Stempeck

      Senate Minority Whip Harry Reid (D-Nev.), one of the chief authors of the
      Senate highway bill (
      <http://www.eenews.net/features/bills/108/Senate/060204123224.pdf> S. 1072),
      told reporters he is pessimistic about the prospects for transportation
      legislation this fall. His remarks were in step with the president, who
      this
      week said the bill might be impossible to complete this year.

      Reid added that he is still discussing the bill with Senate Environment
      and
      Public Works Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.). But his suggestion
      that the measure might be delayed could throw cold water on the hopes of
      many in the transportation community, who were optimistic that Congress
      would be able to pass the highway bill during a lame-duck session after
      the
      election. Reid is considered to be a barometer for how other Democratic
      conferees and senators will act concerning the highway bill.

      Republicans in the House and Senate have largely bridged their differences
      over funding for the highway legislation and are rumored to have settled
      on
      a White House-supported funding plan that would provide $299 billion in
      contract authority while guaranteeing $284 billion in spending. Senate
      conferees were hoping to provide $301 billion in contract authority, with
      $289 billion in guaranteed funding. But because Democrats are unlikely to
      support passage of the bill before the November election to avoid giving
      Bush a major legislative victory, transportation lobbyists were already
      looking to the lame-duck session as the best bet for moving a bill.

      Republican leaders yesterday remained upbeat about the bill's prospects.
      "We're working hard to get a highway bill," said House Majority Leader Tom
      DeLay (R-Texas), a highway conferee. "I really think as we get closer to
      the
      deadline, people get things done around here." But DeLay and Senate
      Majority
      Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) made no mention of the highway bill yesterday
      as
      they laid out an agenda for the coming weeks. They are planning to focus
      on
      homeland security issues and the stalled appropriations process.
      ---

      ON THE HILL AND NATIONAL INTEREST

      TOD* Transit-Oriented Development in the U.S.

      The Transportation Research Board has released a new report that examines
      the state of the practice of transit-oriented development and joint
      development in the United States. The report found that focusing
      development
      around transit facilities has become a significant way to improve
      accessibility, support community and regional goals of enhancing the
      quality
      of life, and support the financial success of transit investment.
      Additionally, the TRB found that transit-oriented development initiatives
      lead to improved air quality, preservation of open space, reduction of
      urban
      sprawl, and the reorientation of development patterns around both bus and
      rail facilities. A copy of the report can be downloaded at
      <http://www.trb.org/> http://www.trb.org


      congestion* Congestion costs continue to rise as highway legislation
      languishes

      A new report released by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) states
      that traffic jams cost U.S. drivers $63 billion in 2002, delayed motorists
      by 3.5 billion hours and wasted 5.7 billion gallons in fuel. A major
      cause
      of the increased congestion was that traffic growth is growing on average
      30
      percent faster than road growth. The TTI notes that road building is not
      going to single-handedly solve the nation's gridlock problem. In 2002,
      bus
      and transit systems prevented an additional 32 percent increase in delays
      and an additional congestion cost of $20 billion. Transit advocates have
      said that the report clearly shows that public transportation makes a
      strong
      contribution in easing congestion and those efforts for new light rail,
      subway, and bus projects should increase. Transportation and road
      building
      advocates agree that the six-year transportation bill pending in Congress
      would best address congestion, as it would direct $300 billion towards new
      transportation projects. The TTI report is located at
      <http://mobility.tamu.edu/> http://mobility.tamu.edu


      balancing* Balancing Security with Civil Values

      With the recent increased security measures around the U.S. Capitol
      Complex
      and other federal buildings, many Washington, DC streets have been blocked
      off with Jersey barriers and bollards have sprung up all over the city to
      protect buildings from threats. This ever-widening security net endangers
      the architecture and the spirit of our nation's capital as well as many
      other buildings of historic significance. Unfortunately, the concrete
      planters and metal detectors are more than just eyesores; they threaten
      the
      sense of democracy and culture in a city and country that is world
      renowned
      for its public spaces and monuments. Fortunately, our country's sense of
      openness need not have to be threatened, "with careful planning, and armed
      with knowledge of effective strategies, design professionals can develop
      security programs integrating public safety and design excellence. These
      two issues are essential and compatible in a free and open society." This
      is what the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) concluded at
      their symposium on how security and appealing design can be combined. To
      read the full report on balancing security with civic values, visit
      htttp://www.asla.org/abstracts/ <http://www.asla.org/abstracts/>



      poverty* Poverty in the Suburbs

      Hidden in the latest poverty report put out by the Census Bureau in August
      is a factoid with significant political and social consequences. Poverty
      has expanded to the suburbs. Overall poverty increased to 35.9 million
      people or 12.5 percent of the population. This increase in poverty is
      surely bad news for the Bush Administration, which has been claiming that
      the economy is improving. The suburbs, once a key component to the
      American
      Dream, have not been spared from the increase in poverty. In 1970 only
      20.5
      percent of the nation's poor lived in the suburbs. By 2000, that number
      had
      grown to 35.9 percent, a trend that has continued over the last four
      years.
      For the full article, please visit http://www.thenation.com
      <http://www.thenation.com/> .



      average* Average Housing Price hits $278,000 in Nation's Metro Areas

      The average price of housing nationally rose to $278,000 in the second
      quarter of this year, according to the latest government sources. The
      average price of both new and existing houses in the nation's 32 largest
      metropolitan areas rose by 9.3 percent. The increase was largely fueled
      by
      buyers who were worried they would be disqualified by higher mortgage
      rates.
      Prices were up from $255,000 a year earlier. For the full article please
      visit <http://www.chicagotribune.com/> http://www.chicagotribune.com

      ---


      AROUND THE COUNTRY

      federalfunding* Federal Funding's Late Arrival Chokes Transit

      A yearlong deadlock between the White House and Congress over how much to
      spend on transportation during the next six years is starting to cause
      havoc
      in Michigan public transit systems. Public transit advocates added that
      the
      inability of the Bush administration and Congressional leaders of both
      parties to reach agreement might be a signal that Washington is preparing
      to
      permanently reduce federal funding for public transit. A move that would
      seriously erode the considerable progress transit agencies have made in
      Michigan and in other states to improve service and attract more riders.
      Spending for transportation is one of the largest accounts in the federal
      domestic budget. The dispute over renewing the law reflects not only the
      need to begin closing the largest budget deficit in the nation's history,
      but also a deep divide about how the United States ought to grow. Public
      transit uses much less energy, is less polluting, and helps to focus
      development around centers of commerce. This article can be located at
      <http://mlui.org/> http://mlui.org



      booming* Booming Cities Put Utah County to Test

      The populations of Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs, both in Utah
      County,
      Utah have been exploding. And the real kicker is that neither city
      existed
      a decade ago. Currently a total of 16,000 people reside in one city or
      the
      other, but it is estimated that in the next 2 ½ decades the two cities
      will
      have a total population of 60,000. Because of the rapid growth, city
      planners are scrambling to keep pace. Much of the growth can be
      attributed
      to affordable housing during a time of housing high prices in the existing
      cities. To view the full article, visit <http://www.sltrib.com/>
      http://www.sltrib.com



      atransforming* A Transforming Vision

      The city of Philadelphia has a plan to turn its old Navy Base into a
      modern
      urban center. The base, which once employed 60,000 people during the peak
      of World War II was closed down by the Pentagon in 1991. According to the
      plan, the 1,200-acre site could house $2 billion in private investment and
      up to 30,000 jobs over the next two to three decades. The location is
      ideal
      for development due to its proximity to the airport, seaport, highways,
      and
      three major railroads. To read the full article, visit
      <http://www.philly.com/> http://www.philly.com



      thenext* The Next Hot'hoods

      Gentrification is occurring all over nation. Neighborhoods that were once
      considered not so pleasant are being bought up and turned into desirable
      areas to live. Projects have broken ground among other cities in San
      Diego,
      Los Angeles, and Portland. According to Paul Purcell, a partner at
      Braddock
      and Purcell, "Urban Gentrification makes sense because [it is] taking
      areas
      close to the city center and making them better." By far the most
      ambitious
      project is on south waterfront district in Portland, Oregon surrounding
      the
      new expansion of the Oregon Health and Science University. To read the
      full
      article, please visit <http://www.cnnmoney.com/> http://www.cnnmoney.com

      ---

      INTERNATIONAL



      heart* Heart of Matter- Cleaner, Clever, Competitive

      Four years after the European Council adopted the Lisbon Strategy, a plan
      to
      make Europe the world's most competitive economy while at the same time
      making a commitment to sustainable development. The authors of the Lisbon
      Strategy believed that Europe could attain a strong economy while adhering
      to environmentally focused indicators. Four years later though, the Union
      is having a difficult time achieving its ambitions. There is still a
      strong
      belief that the Environment offers opportunity for economic growth and
      increasing Europe's competitiveness and employment. To encourage
      innovation
      in this sector both the European governments and the business sector
      should
      collaborate to create an atmosphere that will allow the European Economy
      to
      fully profit from environmental technology. This article is located at
      http://www.vrom.nl/international/ <http://www.vrom.nl/international/>



      ---



      ANNOUNCEMENTS


      envision* Envision Utah: Lessons from the Front

      Envision Utah is a groundbreaking public/private partnership formed to
      guide
      development and implementation of a quality growth strategy for the
      Greater
      Wasatch Area around Salt Lake City. The community has worked for five
      years
      to build a voluntary partnership, prepare meaningful analysis, inform
      community leaders and adopt a preferred approach. This approach applies
      many smart growth principles such as mixing land uses, providing
      transportation and housing choices, and preserving critical lands. Natalie
      will report on the key lessons that Envision Utah offers to other regions
      seeking to tap local citizen expertise to create a shared vision for life
      quality.

      Speaker: Natalie Gochnour, Associate Administer for Public Affairs, USEPA

      TIME: Wednesday, September 15, 2004; 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

      LOCATION: The National Building Museum, 401 F Street, N.W.,

      Washington, D.C. (Judiciary Square Metro)



      The Smart Growth Speaker Series is free. No registration required.



      For more information, visit: www.smartgrowth.org
      <http://www.smartgrowth.org/> or www.nbm.org <http://www.nbm.org/>





      rv* 10th Annual Rail~Volution Conference, Los Angeles



      Rail~Volution has grown into the definitive national conference on
      building
      livable communities. First created as a national conference in 1995, it
      has
      evolved into the preeminent gathering place to showcase a bounty of the
      best
      ideas from across the country, the processes used to realize them, and the
      tangible results achieved so far. This year's conference, held in the
      heart
      of Hollywood, promises to be the best ever- with innovative,
      state-of-the-art livability conversations sprinkled with a liberal dash of
      LA entertainment and nightlife. With its 18,500 bus stops, 105 rail
      stations, 475 miles of bicycle paths, 512 miles of commuter rail and much
      more, LA is the perfect setting for lively discussions about how cities of
      all sizes and locations can reinvent themselves.



      Whether you are a citizen activist, developer, business leader, planner,
      local elected official, transit operator or government official,
      Rail~Volution 2004 is an excellent opportunity to discuss and promote
      livable communities.



      DATE: September 18 - 22, 2004

      LOCATION: Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, Hollywood, CA

      For more information, visit: http://www.railvolution.com/
      <http://www.railvolution.com/>



      epa* EPA Brownfields Conference



      This annual conference features interactive discussions, educational
      presentations, and plenty of networking opportunities with business,
      government, and nonprofit organizations working at the enterprising edge
      of
      brownfield redevelopment.



      DATE: September 20-22, 2004

      LOCATION: St. Louis, Missouri



      For more information and to register, visit: http://www.brownfields2004.org
      <http://www.brownfields2004.org/>



      restore* Restore America: Communities at a Crossroads, National
      Preservation Conference



      The National Preservation Conference provides all-important know-how,
      innovative ideas, and inspiration for persons saving America's historic
      places and revitalizing communities. The Conference is the premier
      educational and networking event for community leaders, volunteers, and
      staff of the historic preservation movement. Louisville, a city known for
      its diverse historic neighborhoods, beautiful landscapes, and vital
      commercial areas, is a perfect location to explore the theme, Restore
      America: Communities at a Crossroads..



      TIME: September 28-October 3

      LOCATION: Louisville, KY



      Information/registration: Center for Preservation Leadership, National
      Trust
      for Historic Preservation, 1785 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington,
      D.C.
      20036; Phone: (202) 588-6100/(800) 944-6847; Fax: (202) 588-6472; E-mail:
      conference@... <mailto:conference@...> ; www.nthpconference.org
      <http://www.nthpconference.org/>

      ---


      If your office has legislation, briefings or information you'd like to
      share with the LCTF members,

      please send it to James <mailto:james.koski@...> Koski in
      Representative Blumenauer's office.

      Livable
      <http://blumenauer.house.gov/issues/CaucusSummary.aspx?NewsID=996&IssueID=11
      > Communities Task Force Members



      Neil Abercrombie (HI), Anibal Acevedo-Vila (PR), Rodney Alexander (LA),
      Thomas Allen (ME), Tammy Baldwin (WI), Timothy Bishop (NY), Earl
      Blumenauer
      (Chair, OR), Julia Carson (IN), Donna Christensen (VI), Elijah Cummings
      (MD), Diane DeGette (CO), Sam Farr (CA), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Joseph
      Hoeffel
      (PA), Rush Holt (NJ), Steve Israel (Vice Chair, NY), Eddie Bernice Johnson
      (TX), Nick Lampson (TX), Barbara Lee (CA), Carolyn McCarthy (NY), James
      McGovern (Vice Chair, MA), Juanita Millender-McDonald (CA), Grace
      Napolitano
      (CA), James Oberstar (MN), Major Owens (NY), Bill Pascrell (Vice Chair,
      NJ),
      Donald Payne (NJ), Nick Rahall (WV), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA), Loretta
      Sanchez (CA), Hilda Solis (CA), Mark Udall (CO), Chris Van Hollen (MD)
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