August 12, 2013
by Kaid Benfield
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DC population and housing trends bode well for US central cities

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities, Washington, DC
 
It’s hard to believe now, but Washington, DC was a “shrinking city” for six of the last seven decades, having lost population every decade since … Continue reading

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July 17, 2013
by Kaid Benfield
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Nurturing and strengthening the urban commons: some beginning principles (Part 2 of 2)

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities, Washington, DC
 
As I wrote last fall, to move more deliberately toward anything resembling a sustainable future, we need to use land more efficiently, building more compactly… Continue reading

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April 11, 2013
by Kaid Benfield
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Where sprawl still rules

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities, Washington, DC
 
For several years now, many of us have been predicting – or even celebrating - the end of the era of unfettered sprawl.  Central cities have been ma… Continue reading

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December 18, 2012
by Kaid Benfield
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New research confirms central-city comebacks

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities, Washington, DC
 
We can now add even smaller cities with populations under 250,000 to the convincing body of evidence showing that the decades-long trend of urban decline in Americ… Continue reading

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November 26, 2012
by Kaid Benfield
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Mitigating the environmental paradox of smart growth: softening urban density

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities, Washington, DC
 
To move more deliberately toward anything resembling a sustainable future, we need to use land more efficiently, building more compactly, with significantly higher… Continue reading

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June 29, 2012
by Kaid Benfield
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Central cities now growing faster than suburbs, confirming trends for walkable lifestyles, shorter commutes

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities, Washington, DC
 
For the first time in a century, America’s largest cities are growing faster than their suburbs.  An Associated Press story widely covered in the media … Continue reading

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April 19, 2012
by Kaid Benfield
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A friend’s manifesto for free-market sustainability

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities, Washington, DC
 
As many readers have probably noticed, there are those who now contend that planning walkable, green communities is a big-government sponsored, gross violation of … Continue reading

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April 16, 2012
by Kaid Benfield
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Want to build development that the community will welcome? Ask them what they want.

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities, Washington, DC
 
If you’re in the business of trying to make communities better, and supporting great, green revitalization that will strengthen central cities, you know only… Continue reading

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March 2, 2012
by Kaid Benfield
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Pruitt-Igoe and lessons from the failure of postwar housing policy

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities, Washington, DC
 
 
Like the equally infamous Cabrini-Green public housing project in Chicago, the Pruitt-Igoe towers in St. Louis were once seen as beacons of hope, a way to … Continue reading

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January 4, 2012
by Kaid Benfield
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Rust Belt cities: to avoid more shrinkage, protect & strengthen the core

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities, Washington, DC
 
For some time, I have been on record as believing that the problem with former industrial cities that have lost population isn’t just the changing economy.&n… Continue reading

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December 7, 2011
by Kaid Benfield
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Does the sustainable communities agenda have something to offer rural America?

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities, Washington, DC
 
Much of the thinking among those of us concerned with how to accommodate a growing US population in a sustainable way focuses on our metropolitan regions – o… Continue reading

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October 19, 2011
by Kaid Benfield
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Is ‘gentrification’ always bad for revitalizing neighborhoods?

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities, Washington, DC
 
I undertake today’s topic with more than a little trepidation, since it is by its nature emotionally and, not infrequently, racially charged.  The title… Continue reading

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August 12, 2011
by Kaid Benfield
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The importance of regional planning that matters

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities, Washington, DC  
The Places to Grow land use plan for the region of Ontario around Toronto and Hamilton (image above) is one of the best I have seen.  I will discuss it more below, but y… Continue reading

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July 8, 2011
by Kaid Benfield
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City crime continues to drop, especially where diversity is strong

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities & Smart Growth, Washington, DC I wrote in May about a report by Richard Florida that city crime had dropped to its lowest rate in 40 years.   And now there’s more:  last week, Florid… Continue reading

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May 31, 2011
by Kaid Benfield
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Is it over for suburban corporate campuses?

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities & Smart Growth, Washington, DC  
In the late 1990s, when Don Chen, Matt Raimi and I were researching our book, Once There Were Greenfields, we lamented the flight of business from America’s c… Continue reading

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April 18, 2011
by Kaid Benfield
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EPA Region 7: "We were just kidding about that sustainability stuff"

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities & Smart Growth, Washington, DC In defiance of the environmental values it supposedly stands for, the federal Environmental Protection Agency is moving its regional headquarters from a walkable, transit-r… Continue reading

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February 1, 2011
by Kaid Benfield
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Personal income stats: older cities in the East & Midwest are rebounding

 
Throw out those old notions that the sprawling regions of the Sun Belt are where the economic action is, while traditional regions in the Northeast and West have had their day and will only lose traction from here on.  The facts show that … Continue reading

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December 7, 2010
by Kaid Benfield
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Educated class flocks to urban environments

One of my favorite bloggers, Aaron Renn (The Urbanophile), has a new post analyzing migration patterns of college graduates in the last decade, 2000-2009.  In particular, he reports on changes in what might be called educated density, expressed as… Continue reading

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