Region Forward Blog

From climate adaptation to housing shortages lots of work to do!

Jan 19, 2012


Region Forward followers: We hope your 2012 is off to a great start! We’ll be back to regular blogging very soon but in the meantime here are some of the most-read posts from the second half of 2011 that you may have missed or want to revisit:

(For the most-read posts from the first half of 2011 read these three editions of The Smorgasbord: one two and three)

Not enough housing. Not the right housing. Stephen Fuller and Lisa Sturtevant of the GMU Center for Regional Analysis blog about their findings which show that the region is not producing nearly enough housing and not the right type of housing to meet the needs of the future. As a follow up regional planners suggest funneling future housing development near existing and planned transit. That’s the kind of housing people really want anyway.

PlanMaryland and Region Forward: Maryland Planning Secretary Richard Hall outlines how these two plans will help create a sustainable metro Washington region.

Moving on for a brief international perspective rates of driving are down in Western countries (yay!) but before claiming victory it’s important to note that they’re also increasing rapidly in emerging/developing countries. Our land-use decisions in the West definitely have an impact on climate change but it will be the growth patterns of huge developing countries like India and China that really determine our climate future.

What’s the role for nation-states in an increasingly metro-driven economy? This post raises the provocative question: are today’s city-states becoming the dominant form of economic entity in the world?

Metro makes a “business case” for transit: In a three-part series Justin Antos from WMATA summarizes key findings from a study that demonstrates the economic value that Metro brings to the region. Hint: it’s a lot. Part one two and three.

Stormwater management isn’t a sexy topic. It is however incredibly important economically and environmentally. Maintaining a balance between promoting development and improving water quality is an especially tricky task for a growing region like ours.

Sad but true: Even if we completely stop emitting greenhouse gases tomorrow the emissions of the past 100 years will continue to generate climate change. It’s inevitable. This is simply a fact; it’s not an excuse for inaction. On the contrary we should be working feverishly to dramatically reduce our emissions a goal of Region Forward in order to minimize further impacts. This two-part series outlines how the region can adapt to some of the effects of climate change. Part one and two.

Lessons for a growing vibrant region from a struggling one: One may question whether recession-proof metro Washington really has anything to learn from the Detroit region. The answer: yes. A series of posts looked at an issue that the region will be confronting in the coming years: balancing the desire to maintain economic growth in light of likely reduced federal spending and employment. Detroit knows all too well how overreliance on one sector can leave you vulnerable. One promising area to focus on in economic diversification: clean energy efficiency. It makes business sense even if you happen to be one of those climate change deniers.

Sticking with the Motor City two regional housing planners muse about their takeaways from a conference in Detroit focused on infusing equity concerns into various elements of urban planning including housing transportation the environment etc. Part one two three and four.

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