Foreclosures height limits high-speed rail carbon taxes – it’s a Region Forward smorgasbord!

Apr 11, 2011
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Region Forward

In case you haven’t had the privilege to read The Yardstick everyday we’ve put together some of our favorite/most-read entries from the past few weeks. Enjoy:

In the development arena NCPC recently held an event on the potential for creating Regional Innovation Clusters (RICs) in metro Washington. A regional planner discusses the possibility for creating a homeland security cluster in southeast Washington. The Executive Director of the Washington Sustainable Growth Alliance discusses how the WSGA is committed to helping metro Washington meet the Region Forward goals by promoting sustainable development.

The debate over whether to eliminate D.C.’s height limits on buildings – in part or in full – is getting attention again. Even the Mayor is entering the debate now apparently. On a related note how can leaders balance the economic benefits of redevelopment with the community benefits of established neighborhoods? CityCenterDC is an easy project to support others are harder to judge relative to this balance.

Turning to housing foreclosures impede economic growth in metro Washington and the rate of foreclosures is projected to stay high in the region until 2012.

Income inequality is stark in the region it’s getting worse and this is a trend that must be reversed. As the centers of metro regions that continue to drive much of the country’s (and the world’s) economic growth cities need to be areas of opportunity and upward mobility. Speaking of inequalities metro Washington has some vast health disparities – like the nearly 10 years difference in life expectancy between Montgomery County residents and D.C. residents. Reducing these disparities must be a priority for leaders.

On the environmental and climate front a Global Fridays post looks at how British Columbia enacted a carbon tax and surprising some of its naysayers didn’t suffer economic collapse. Also the connection between land-use transportation and greenhouse gases gets put into words very effectively by Peter Calthorpe in his new book Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change.

Finally in terms of transportation as some states pass on the opportunity of federal funding for high-speed rail The Morning Measure made a call for the region’s leaders to work together to make a major push for high-speed rail access in metro Washington. And yet another report shows that traffic congestion is really really bad in the region. That fact and rising gas prices have a lot of commuters fuming. They have another option.

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