Paraguay plans for electric mobility (top-left); Surgeon General addresses loneliness (top-right); Parking shapes everything (bottom-left); Raleigh advances BRT (bottom-right);
Article of the Week
How Can Urban Planning Address the ‘Loneliness Epidemic’?
Angie Schmitt, Planetizen, May 14 2023
A recent advisory from Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy spotlights the epidemic of loneliness and isolation in the U.S., underscoring the significance of “the social infrastructure of the community” in promoting public health. Murthy emphasizes the role of the built environment in fostering social connections, citing examples like outdoor spaces and transportation that enhance social connectedness. The advisory encourages urban planners to prioritize community-oriented strategies, such as designing public spaces for increased interaction. Further calls to action include stronger federal commitment and funding support for community-oriented events and activities to rebuild social trust and connection.
JERSEY CITY—Fulop Announces Move to Relaunch Ferry Service from Port Liberte, Reduce Fares
Al Sullivan, TAPinto, May 17 2023
Jersey City Mayor Fulop plans to reinstate ferry services from the recently acquired Port Liberte Ferry Terminal to provide greater regional access for low-income residents. The service, suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic, will resume weekday operations. Thanks to $4 million in state grant subsidies, fares will be nearly 40 percent lower than previously charged. If approved by City Council, this initiative will complement other transportation services operating in Jersey City such as Citibike and the Via mictrotransit service.
MORRISTOWN—$25M Boost for Affordable Housing Project in Morristown
Vianella Burns, Patch, May 16 2023
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has approved funding for the 200-unit Manahan Village complex in Morristown. The complex will receive significant renovation, and financed tax credits up to 35 percent of total costs through the Aspire Program. The Aspire Program requires that projects be located within a half-mile of a transit station or high-frequency bus stop. In addition to the project in Morristown, the EDA will finance projects in Camden and Newark.
ILLINOIS—As Red Line Extension Plan Moves Forward, Planners Share Vision of a Thriving Far South Side
Madison Savedra, Block Club Chicago, May 19 2023
Chicago’s Plan Commission has approved a development plan for four Red Line Stations to extend into the Far South Side. The plan seeks to stimulate development without displacing residents. The $3.6 billion project will focus on benefits such as affordable housing, local economic development, and environmental sustainability in the surrounding communities. The proposal, which is projected to create $1.7 billion in real estate investment and over 3,300 infill and rehab housing units, now awaits approval from the City Council’s Committee on Zoning and the full City Council.
NORTH CAROLINA—Here’s How Raleigh’s Planned Bus Rapid Transit Line Will Compare to Richmond, Virginia’s Service
Matt Talhelm, WRAL News, May 18 2023
Preparations are underway for the construction of Raleigh’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line along New Bern Avenue, set to begin this fall. The city plans to rezone 744 properties along the route to encourage denser development and taller buildings within walking distance of the BRT, and to provide incentives for affordable housing development. Despite the projected increase in transit efficiency, some locals express concern about potential gentrification and the loss of historic properties along the 5.4-mile BRT route.
NEW YORK—Yonkers IDA Approves Incentives for $11.5 million Transit-Oriented Development
Staff Writer, NYREJ, May 16 2023
The Yonkers Industrial Development Agency has granted financial incentives for a $11.5 million transit-oriented development project at 70 Pier St., a site previously owned by the Yonkers Parking Authority. This project, developed by Ginsburg Development Companies, will transform the land formerly used for parking into a mixed-use property featuring 36 apartments, retail space, and resident amenities. The development will also revitalize the neighboring Abe Cohen Plaza.
The Hidden Force That Shapes Everything Around Us: Parking
Marin Cogan, Vox, May 9 2023
Henry Grabar, in his new book “Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World,” discusses how parking structures influence the nation’s housing, communities, and environment. Grabar posits that over-reliance on parking lots can contribute to issues such as the shortage in affordable housing, and argues for intelligent parking management rather than additional parking spaces. The book also explores successful case studies, including the removal of parking requirements for new transit-oriented construction.
PHILIPPINES—Philippines 2050: Toward the Vision Plan
Felino Palafox Jr, The Manila Times, May 19 2023
Architect and urban planner Felino Palafox Jr. discusses efforts undertaken by the Philippines to modernize and grow economically. He cites the nation’s 25-year vision plan, AmBisyon Natin 2040, released in 2016, and other strategies designed to help achieve First World status by 2040 and a top 20 economy by 2050. The nation’s development plans include promoting active transportation, vertical and green urbanism, transit-oriented development, and the establishment of 15-minute cities. Through collaboration among government, the private sector, and citizens, the nation hopes to create sustainable, connected, and disaster-resilient communities while addressing challenges such as corruption, inequality, and climate change.
PARAGUAY—Paraguay Presents Master Plan for Electric Mobility in Urban Transportation and Logistics
Staff Writer, Bnamericas, May 18 2023
Paraguay has introduced its Electric Mobility Master Plan for Urban Public Transport and Logistics (PMME), aiming to become a Latin American leader in electromobility and enhance environmental, economic, and social conditions. The plan anticipates complete replacement of gasoline-powered public buses with electric models, as well as replacement of 50% of taxis and cargo trucks, and increased use of electric bikes in the country’s five major cities. Funded by the European Union’s EUROCLIMA+ Program, the PMME leverages Paraguay’s large-scale hydroelectric power generation to facilitate this major shift towards sustainable transportation.