Restoring Prosperity News
Smart Growth America has released four more policy packages for state advocates, on tax increment financing for brownfields, fix-it-first for water and sewer infrastructure, using Low Income Housing Tax Credits to create and preserve transit-accessible affordable housing, and performance-based transportation measures. Each package includes an overview of the policy, key features of successful legislation, advice on political strategy and communications, sample legislative language, and a fill-in fact sheet for advocates to distribute to state officials. Download the packages today and use them in your state!
Download the entire Transportation Policy Package.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation has started integrating “Smart Transportation” principles into its operations as part of a new initiative. The Smart Transportation Initiative emphasizes reducing sprawl, allocating money to high-yield and high value projects, investing in existing infrastructure, and revitalizing communities by linking them to a variety of transit options. PennDOT aims to link up with local governments in order to influence land use to complement these goals. Restoring Prosperity partner 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania was able to shape a key component of the new initiative, the Pennsylvania Community Transportation Initiative (PCTI), which offers funding for projects that promote local multi-modal development, existing infrastructure enhancements, and other smart transportation principles.
New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine’s economic recovery plan, unveiled on October 16th, includes several measures designed to add jobs, stimulate business activity, and stem the tide of home foreclosures in his state. Under the plan, $150 million in federal and state funds will go toward preventing home foreclosures through mortgage restructuring and purchasing, as well as financial counseling programs. To create an estimated 46,300 jobs, the plan calls for accelerating infrastructure projects already in development, including work on schools, roads, and transit services. Changes to the state tax policy, increased bank funds, and $3,000 credits for each new job a business creates are intended to stimulate further job growth and economic activity. The state Assembly has already passed many of these components. The Housing & Community Development Network of New Jersey, a Restoring Prosperity Initiative partner, was pleased with the plan but is pushing for further foreclosure protections by promoting the Homeownership Preservation Act, which is currently working its way through the legislature.
A few months ago, I was in Baltimore for a summit conducted by the Regional Plan Association on the Northeast Megaregion maintaining its economic competitiveness while addressing climate change. Rep. Earl Blumenauer had one bit of narrative that stuck with me about our nation’s history of rising to the challenge of infrastructure with visionary plans — and the will to make them a reality.
This year marks the bicentennial of the Gallatin Plan (1808), crafted by Thomas Jefferson’s Secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin, to develop the infrastructure needed by a fast-growing nation. This plan built on George Washington’s vision of connecting the interior settlements to the markets and ports of the East Coast with a network of roads and canals.
One hundred years later (1908), President Theodore Roosevelt invited every state and territorial governor to join members of his Cabinet and Congress, professional organizations, and government bureaus in a National Conference at the White House to discuss infrastructure needs for the 20th century. The resulting report incorporated the growing interest in conservation as well as the need for future investments in hydropower to generate electricity. More importantly, it laid the groundwork for many of the critical investments initiated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to jumpstart the nation’s recovery from the Great Depression.
So now in 2008, will we have a new grand vision for infrastructure? We’ve completed the interstate system proposed at the midpoint of the last century. But 2008 is a different time, and we face new challenges of congestion, aging bridges and roads, and the need for investments in transportation that can help us get where we need to go efficiently while also reducing emissions. Read more
Harbor Point takes a big leap forward
The Stamford Times, June 26, 2008
The approval and final adoption of an agreement between the city and the recently created Harbor Point Infrastructure Improvement district passed in an overwhelming 30-1-3 decision. This approval is the first step in revitalizing Stamford’s South End, bringing a waterfront hotel, new residential office and retail space, and 11 acres of public parks.