Re-Inventing Cities

The challenges that cities face are daunting. Even prosperous cities are encountering problems that stem from development patterns and economic systems that are not sustainable. In a previous post about smart decline we saw how some communites are developing strategies for how to grow smaller. In April 2011a group of 80 from around the globe were convened in Detroit by The American Assembly of Columbia University to examine the challenges cities face. The focus was on “Legacy Cities” like Detroit that have experienced significant population loss that exacerbate the problems that already existed. The following paper describes recommendations resulting from the meeting.

As part of this project 17 leading thought and policy leaders will author papers that will be assembled into a book, Legacy Cities, that will be available at www.americanassembly.org 

Sustainable Transportation Performance Measures

The EPA has published a Guide to Sustainable Transportation Performance Measures to assist in Transportation Planning for Communities. This document could be useful in evaluating the NLCOG promotion of the Inner City Connector of I-49 through a poverty neighborhood and wetlands – a three mile stretch of interstate that could cost up to $500 million.

 

Sustainable performance measures can be applied in one or more of these major decision-making phases:

  • Land use visioning.
  • Long-range transportation plans.
  • Corridor studies.
  • Programming.
  • Environmental review.
  • Performance monitoring.

 

This guidebook describes 12 performance measures that can readily be applied in transportation decision-making.

  • Transit accessibility.
  • Bicycle and pedestrian mode share.
  • Vehicle miles traveled per capita.
  • Carbon intensity.
  • Mixed land uses.
  • Transportation affordability.
  • Distribution of benefits by income group.
  • Land consumption.
  • Bicycle and pedestrian activity and safety.
  • Bicycle and pedestrian level of service.
  • Average vehicle occupancy.
  • Transit productivity.

 

Strategies for Creating Places for Healthy Eating and Active Living

The infastrucutre of 21st Century Neighborhoods should contribute to health and well-being. The following are helpful documents from Policy Link and the Convergence Partnership.