Increasing housing density in Washington State (top-left); Netherwood Flats opens in Plainfield (top-right); Nigeria’s bus-sharing platform (bottom-left); Austin explores light rail options (bottom-right)
Article of the Week
Park Hill Golf Course Will Remain a Golf Course: Denver Voters Say “NO” on 20
Michael Abeyta, CBS Colorado, Apr 06 2023
On Tuesday evening, Denver voters rejected Referred Question 20. This is the second time voters are blocking the removal of the conservation easement on the Park Hill Golf Course. The decision prevents the proposed development of retail and housing on the 155-acre site. Residents and community leaders expressed mixed opinions on the outcome, with some valuing the green space and others emphasizing the need for affordable housing and amenities, such as a grocery store
PLAINFIELD–Plainfield Cuts Ribbon to Open Netherwood Flats Transit-Oriented Redevelopment
Linda Lindner, ROI-NJ, Apr 5 2023
Paramount Assets celebrated the ribbon-cutting of Netherwood Flats, a transit-oriented, mixed-use development in Plainfield on March 31st. The 128,000-square-foot project, located near the Netherwood NJ TRANSIT train station, features 70 luxury apartments, retail space, and a parking deck. The development contributes to Plainfield’s revitalization by offering residents convenient access to Newark and New York City, among other economic benefits.
TOMS RIVER—Toms River Mayor Hill Says To Expect More Hi-Rise Apartment Buildings Downtown
Phil Stilton, Shore News Network, Apr 5 2023
Toms River Mayor, Maurice “Mo” Hill, advocates for constructing high-density, mixed-use apartment buildings to revitalize the Downtown area. Residents and council members have expressed concern with the Mayor’s vision. Councilman Daniel Rodrick opposes Hill’s plans, favoring a focus on attracting businesses, restaurants, and nightlife, similar to Red Bank’s successful revitalization strategy. Critics argue that Hill’s high-rise apartment plans offer insufficient financial benefits to the Toms River School District and alter the town’s character.
TEXAS—Austin Transit Partnership Needs Your Input as Project Connect Enters Its Trade-Offs Era
Benton Graham, The Austin Chronicle, Apr 7 2023
The Austin Transit Partnership (ATP) has presented five scaled-back light rail options to the public, prioritizing smaller promises over previous grand visions. The city is also developing an implementation plan for equitable transit-oriented development to promote affordable housing near transit hubs. The ATP is seeking community feedback on the new design options through May, with a recommendation expected in June.
ILLINOIS—Developer’s Pitch 63rd Street Plans to Woodlawn Community
Zoe Pharo, Hyde Park Herald, Apr 3 2023
Three development teams presented their proposals to redesign two city-owned lots along 63rd Street in Woodlawn, Chicago, at a community meeting on March 29th. The lots are part of the Woodlawn Housing Preservation Ordinance, which requires 30% or more of housing units to be set aside for low-income households. Residents and union members questioned and critiqued the proposals, focusing on design, affordability, and the developers’ commitment to community input.
WASHINGTON—Legislature Advances Narrower TOD and Missing Middle Bills
Ray Dubicki, The Urbanist, Apr 5 2023
The Washington State Legislature is progressing on several housing bills, including SB 5466 which promotes TOD. The bill aims to increase density around transit stations but has faced significant amendments, such as the removal of density bonuses for affordable housing. Supporters contend that the passage of the bill represents a major step forward in addressing the state’s housing crisis.
MINNESOTA—North Minneapolis Business Concerned over Met Council’s Proposed Light Rail Extension
H. Jiahong Pan, Minnesota Spokesman Recorder, Apr 5 2023
North Minneapolis business owners are concerned about the Metropolitan Council’s plans to introduce a light rail line through their neighborhood, fearing the impact on parking, traffic, and BIPOC-owned businesses. The council’s proposal to bring the Blue Line extension to the community has sparked debate about building changes and potential negative effects on property values. Community meetings are scheduled to gather more feedback and address concerns, with the council’s report on the project’s neighborhood impact due later this year.
U.K.—Controversial Plans Approved for New 8,500-Home Garden Town
Sam Honey, Kent Live, Apr 5 2023
Folkestone and Hythe District Council has approved plans for Otterpool Park, an 8,500-home ‘garden town’ development near Folkestone, Kent. The development, set to span 2,000 acres and include schools, medical centers, and commercial spaces, has faced opposition due to its impact on agricultural land and local communities. The approved plans feature an integrated transport network centered around Westenhanger train station, electric vehicle charging points, and measures to enhance nature biodiversity.
NIGERIA—Shuttlers Raises $4M to Expand Its Mass Transit Business in Nigeria
Acquah Nana Yeboah, Techloy, Apr 4 2023
Nigerian mobility startup Shuttlers has raised $4 million in a funding round to expand its bus-sharing platform for partner companies. The platform offers scheduled routes, live bus tracking, and digital payments to improve public transportation and reduce private car ownership. The new funds will support infrastructure development, corporate partnerships, and expansion to five additional Nigerian cities by next year.
CUBA—A Poor City Does Not Have to Be a Disordered City
Carlos García Pleyán, ONCUBA News, Apr 3 2023
Cuban sociologist Carlos García Pleyán highlights the urgent need for Havana to address its urban planning and regulation issues, amidst growing disorder and deterioration. Pleyán emphasizes the importance of public consultation and participation, as well as the strengthening of responsible institutions. The proposed solution focuses on a combination of educational campaigns, urban regulations, and coexistence ordinances to create a more functional urban environment.