John Norquist and Scott Bernstein shed light on Seattle’s latest Alaskan Viaduct considerations. After reviewing WSDOT’s analysis of the “no-replacement” option, Norquist and Bernstein find exaggerated assumptions and inadequate considerations as to how traffic in downtown Seattle can be absorbed by the existing street grid. According to the columnists, the “no-replacement” option could reduce traffic congestion, increase economic vitality in downtown Seattle, and help the region meet its desired air quality standards.
One year after Katrina, New Orleans is still behind the eight ball when it comes to rebuilding. However, with the help of a Rockefeller grant, the Great New Orleans Foundation is heading a neighborhood-scale rebuilding effort that employs several new urbanist architects. In the recent posting in Slate online magazine, Rybczynski looks to a major new urbanist project in Denver as a reference point for New Orleans’ rebuilding possibilities. Many questions remain as to how an old city like New Orleans will balance its immediate needs while protecting its distinctive character.
According to Coleman Warner of the Times-Picayune, there seems to be a lot of planning and discussing on how to rebuild New Orleans but public uncertainty still looms as to what and when plans get implemented. Many residents feel that too much money is being spent on planning and consulting as housing and basic services remain inadequate. How will public input, funding sources, and political strategery determine the rebuilding of New Orleans?
USA Today’s Larry Copeland tells us that many coastal Mississippi towns are rebuilding their communities with new urbanist principles in mind. But not all towns are jumping on the bandwagon. Towns like Biloxi seem weary of recent efforts to create walkable communities with widespread access to shops and offices, a new concept for a region previously designed for the automobile. Nevertheless, new urbanists are working with public officials and companies like Lowe’s to offer residents vibrant permanent housing alternatives to the temporary government trailer.
In a USA Today cover story today, Larry Copeland gave John Norquist a chance to react to the not-so-good news found in the latest "Commuting in America" report.
John used the opportunity to say how growing developer interest in mixed-use urbanism is poised to affect the so-far declining numbers for walking as a share of commuting nationwide -- at least slowing the decline and perhaps eventually leading to a turnaround. The report focuses on the 1980-2000 period.
Alan Ehrenhalt’s Assessments column in the September issue of Governing looks bittersweetly at the phenomenon of transit-oriented gentrification. The used bookstore Ehrenhalt’s daughter works at, smack between Minneapolis and St. Paul, will soon front a light rail station. Its owner fears the higher rents and gentrification that he believes inevitably follows.
With two alternatives proposed to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct, Washington State representatives remain skeptical of a new multilane thoroughfare. The Congress for the New Urbanism and the Center for Neighborhood Technology disagree with the state's estimates for future traffic demands. The two organizations will continue to push for the
With two alternatives proposed to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct, Washington State representatives remain skeptical of a new multilane thoroughfare. The Congress for the New Urbanism and the Center for Neighborhood Technology disagree with the state's estimates for future traffic demands. The two organizations will continue to push for the removal of the current highway. The future of Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct remains uncertain.
USA Today’s Haya El Nasser investigates Wal-mart’s big new move in coastal Mississippi—going urban. After Hurricane Katrina ravaged south Mississippi, there is opportunity to consider alternative measures in urban design. But can a marriage between Wal-Mart and historical downtowns be successful?
Governing Magazine's Chris Swope spent a week or so on the MIssissippi Coast and did some admirable reporting. Swope casts a wider-than-normal net, moving beyond Biloxi and encountering forward-thinking elected officials such as Mayor Connie Moran of Ocean Springs and Mayor Brent Warr of Gulfport (the largest city on the Mississippi coast) who are seeking to capitalize on the New Urbanist visions and resources that have been in ample supply in the state since the huge CNU charrette last October. Long Beach emerges as a typical coastal town -- not a casino mecca like Biloxi nor an artist haven like Bay St. Louis or Ocean Springs -- that is wrestling with questions of whether to accept conventional development or to strive to build a more livable, connected, and enduring community.