California Shows Residents the Greenhouse Gas Money

Carolyn Whetzel | Bloomberg BNA

Revenue from California’s greenhouse gas emissions trading program would be used as a permanent source of funding for affordable housing, water efficiency projects and a variety of transportatiDollar Sign Christies Images Via Bloombergon projects, including high-speed rail, under a new plan outlined by State Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D).

Unveiled April 14 at a news conference in Sacramento, the plan replaces a proposal Steinberg announced in February to impose a carbon tax on transportation fuels rather than bring them under the scope of the emissions trading program, as is scheduled in 2015.

The new proposal for investing cap-and-trade revenue would allocate $1.75 billion for affordable housing and sustainable communities; $1.31 billion for transit; $878 million for high-speed rail; $439 for street projects; $200 million for natural resources, water and waste projects; $200 million to deploy electric vehicles; and $10 million to fund a green bank.
Also, the plan would allocate $200 million to rebate “climate dividends’’ to consumers.

All the money would be required to be spent in accordance with the Global Warming Solutions Action of 2006 (A.B. 32) and other statutes mandating that revenue proceeds be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to Steinberg. {….}

Mindboggling Tubular Tower Transit Hub Imagined for Queens

Jessica Dailey | NY Curbed

Behold, the most exciting and completely insane thing ever proposed for Queens: the Urban Alloy Towers. This sea creature-like mass of tubular towers comes from the minds of Chad Kellogg and Matt Bowles of AMLGM. The simple, boring explanation of this craziness is that it’s a mixed-use development proposed for the area surrounding the LIRR station in Woodside, but AMLGM’s website has a more high-brow, archi-babble explanation, for those who want all the details and diagrams. The mind-bending structure, which is sheathed in a flexible skin made of metal fins that each have a specific “solar orientation,” will never see the light of day, but make-believe is always fun. Especially when it involves ridiculous renderings. {….}

Denser, transit-oriented development keys Utah’s future

Mike WInder | The Salt Lake Tribune

ast week, the National Institute of Health and Smart Growth America published research by University of Utah professor Reid Ewing and others that showed that denser, connected urban areas are better than sprawling ones in a number of key metrics. People in more compact communities live longer, have a lower overall cost of living, have more transportation and entertainment options, and have a greater likelihood of upward social mobility. They walk more, are less obese, and have fewer automobile accidents.

We believe that this research helps validate the direction Utah planners and elected officials are working toward with the Wasatch Choice for 2040 Vision and Gov. Gary Herbert’s Your Utah, Your Future statewide visioning initiative. Over the next three decades we will see an additional 1.4 million people in Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, and Utah Counties — a 65 percent increase. Demographers tell us that some of these will be move-ins, but most will be our own children and grandchildren. Where will they all live? Where will they work and play? And how will we navigate a Wasatch Front with such a population? {….} Learn more about Transit Oriented Development  at TRAdvisors.com.

Global Survey and Interactive Map Score Urban Developments That Embrace Low-Emission Transportation to Grow Cities of the Future

tod-map

Institute for Transportation & Development Policy

MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA —A global catalog of 50 urban developments on six continents maps out the growing trend of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD). The survey, compiled by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), using its TOD Standard evaluation tool, shows which projects connect people conveniently, affordably and safely to jobs, shopping, education and other opportunities that cities provide.

The best of these developments were placed into an interactive online map, to be released at the World Urban Forum in Medellin, Colombia, that highlights which ones embody the TOD Standard’s eight primary categories. With the urban share of the world’s population expected to increase to 70 percent by 2050, the entire package helps urban planners, government regulators and real-estate developers meet the needs of their burgeoning cities without worsening regional climate change impacts.

“There are many places where the car-centric lifestyle is becoming a thing of the past. Young, creative people in particular would rather walk and cycle than drive, and this innovative urban design that began with few progressive neighborhood developers is now moving to major emerging economies such as China and Brazil,” said ITDP CEO Walter Hook. “If a billion people in the developing world move to car-oriented cities, the social and environmental toll could be catastrophic. Fortunately, real estate developers are increasingly responding to these new priorities embraced by city governments and people of all economic means.” {….}

Superior Plating project in northeast Minneapolis shows signs of movement

Janet Moore | Star Tribune

After many fits and starts over the years, redevelopment of the Superior Plating property in northeast Minneapolis into a residential and retail enclave appears to be inching forward once again.

Just a month ago, the project appeared to be on hold. The 5.4-acre swath of land along 1st Avenue NE. — one of the few parcels left for development in the popular city neighborhood — was targeted for about 500 apartments and up to 35,000 square feet of shops and restaurants.

But last week, Rich Kauffman, president of construction for the Midwest region of DLC Residential, said demolition of the Superior Plating building has begun, and the project is moving forward. Florida-based DLC has signed a letter of intent with property owner First & University Investors to buy the site, a former industrial finishing operation now undergoing an extensive environmental cleanup.

While DLC has yet to submit formal plans to the city, the project has generated much anticipation among neighbors, developers and city officials. {….}

The Superior Plating site in northeast Minneapolis, the last big land parcel in the booming neighborhood, is being cleared for development. Photo: Marlin Levison , Star Tribune

DC-area transportation is not on track to meet climate change goals

Kelly Blynn | Greater Greater Washington

The region’s governments area currently reviewing new transportation projects to add to their long-range plan. But the list of projects in the queue, if built, will increase carbon emissions rather than lower them.

Right now, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) is conducting its annual review of new projects for the Constrained Long Range Plan (CLRP). The CLRP is a comprehensive list of the “regionally significant” transportation projects that TPB member governments realistically believe could be funded over the next few decades.

Projects that Maryland, Virginia, and DC wish to build must go through the CLRP both to be eligible for federal funding, and to go through the federally required air quality conformity process.

Analysis of 2013 Constrained Long Range Plan by TPB staff.

While federal air quality rules require the region’s transportation projects to meet goals for pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act (Nitrogen Oxide and Volatile Organic Compounds that form ozone, along with particulates (PM2.5)), the TPB does not yet have to regulate carbon dioxide. The transportation projects in the pipeline, if built, would send us far past—that is, in the opposite direction of—our climate change goals.

In 2008, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) set a goal of reducing CO2 emissions 80% by 2050 below 2005 levels. Several initiatives since then have studied ways the transportation sector, which emits 30% of the region’s CO2, could meet the goal. There is the 2010 Region Forward plan, the 2010 “What Would it Take?” report, and the 2014 Regional Transportation Priorities Plan. {….}

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