Excerpts from a recent Edward Blakely article are as follows: “Fruitvale Village in Oakland, California is something Australian cities can emulate. In the midst of a job meltdown and faltering economy, one might think the lives of low-income African-Americans and Latinos would be bad everywhere in the US. But during a recent trip to the US, we saw hope springing from an unlikely source — a transit hub.
This idea is gaining traction in Australia (despite protests from established residents), conjuring, as it does, images of a beautiful enclosed tram/train stop surrounded by coffee shops, boutique stores and sidewalk cafes with up-market, low-rise apartments in the background. But we found that new and startling things regarding transit, development and density are going on in the US.”
…“The Obama Administration is putting more than $US10 billion a year into urban light rail and related projects to include bus and bicycle connections to urban cores and suburban areas across the nation. Almost $US200 million is devoted to funding mixed use (retail/residential), high density projects along these transit corridors. All of these projects must be matched dollar-for-dollar by the states and localities. Almost every state and many municipalities that, at one time, fought against these developments, are now vying with local governments to get federal funds for these projects.
Real estate developers across the nation are refusing to develop anywhere that does not have fixed rail connections close by. It is clear that light rail has found favour by surviving housing downturns because it provides alternative transport for working people as petrol costs rise”…
…“While Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane are embarking on extensions and improvements to existing rail systems, none of these cities is making as large a commitment to the combination of density increases along an entire transport route. Nor are they encouraging the kind of businesses or tax raises that will provide funding when the plandemoniumfederal money goes away…The formula in Fruitvale is one Australia’s inner city planners should examine”…
…“It may be hard for us to replicate Fruitvale in every city that has a rail or bus node. But the ingredients to this success are easy to understand. By co-locating social, child and community services, the low-income parent has more time to do job searches or simply be involved with their child and other family and community members. They do not have to invest in a car or if they need a car, it’s just one and it’s not needed as often”…
Also in UDFQ 92: December 2010:
- National Spotlight on Urban Design
- Melbourne Place-making Series
- QUDAL Celebrates 10 years
- Vale CABE?
- Integrating Heritage and Modern Design
- What Have Fridges and Washing Machines Got To Do With Improving Housing Quality?
- Using 3D Game Engine Technology
- Knowledge Hubs, Innovation Precincts, Technology Parks, Employment Centres
- Urban Dreaming: Australian Cities For The Future
- Who Has Trump Cards and Who’s Bluffing? The Age Old Sydney-Melbourne Rivalry
- Shaping The Future
- CABE Celebrates Vintage Year For English Housing
- A Charter for Queensland Places
- Conferences, etc