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Tuesday News Roundup

Jan 04, 2011

We hope you all had a great New Years. To get back into the swing of things, we thought we would provide you with a “Tuesday News Roundup.”

Big Homebuilders Not Yet Embracing Green Standards (Planetizen)
With few exceptions, America’s largest homebuilders are slower than companies in other fields to act on environmental concerns, according to a survey conducted by Calvert Asset Management Company.

Spending on major infrastructure in Canada to reach $96B, report says (Vancouver Sun)
Premier Gordon Campbell and Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Kevin Falcon officially launch construction of the new Port Mann Bridge and unveil its design in Surrey, Feb. 4, 2009. Spending on Canada’s aging infrastructure continues to grow, with the current crop of projects expected to total $96 billion, says ReNew Canada magazine, which Tuesday published its Top 100 projects 2011 report.

Vote on the future of Vancouver’s carbon tax (Tyee)
Liberal candidate George Abbott would put the carbon tax to a province wide vote stating that “This is an important enough decision we need to make it with the people of British Columbia.”

New report says roads don’t pay for themselves (Planetizen)
A new report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group PIRG’s report estimates that road construction has cost the American public $600 billion since the highway system began.

Planning Challenge 1: Commercial Aggregation and Subdivision (Planning Pool)
The word “subdivision” is almost synonymous with the “suburbs.” The building blocks of many suburbs are subdivisions with names ranging from the biblical (“Green Acres”), to the pompous (“Kingdom Heights”), to the pastoral (“Pheasant Run”). The problems of inner-city rejuvenation, brownfield restoration, and strip-mall redevelopment are miles away from the great subdividing maw of suburbanization at the rural fringe.

Green-Roofed Superblock for Fargo, North Dakota (Inhabitat)
Fargo, North Dakota needs a new 500-car parking garage stat, so the city launched the Downtown Fargo: Urban Infill Design Competition to source creative solutions for creating a downtown block that still provides adequate parking spaces.

The urban landscape from A to Z (grist)
We’ve covered a lot of urban ground in the past year, so we thought it would be fun to take a look back (and a couple of peeks forward) by going from A to Z in the urban alphabet. Here are some of the things we’ve been watching, and will continue to school ourselves on.

Sol Cinema: The World’s Smallest Solar-Powered Mobile Movie Theater (GOOD)
Roughly two decades after the demise of the drive-in comes The Sol Cinema, a solar-powered mobile movie theater that seats eight adults and does so with vintage charm.

The Definitive Guide to New Transit in 2011 (Planetizen)
Yonah Freemark over at the Transport Politic presents an exhaustive catalog of openings and construction of new transit in the U.S., from the Wickford Junction Commuter Rail Extension in Rhode Island to Phase 1A of the Expo Line in Los Angeles.

The year ahead in bikes (grist)
There’s been a bicycle movement brewing for years, and since 2008 it’s been unstoppable. Things really ramped up in 2010, but it’s looking like next year will be even better. Here’s what I predict we’ll see in 2011.