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Posts Tagged ‘TOD’

The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome:
Turning Around the Unsustainable American Dream

John F. Wasik
Bloomberg, 2009

207 pages
US$24.95
ISBN 978-1576603208

John Wasik, a columnist for Bloomberg News and the Huffington Post, has written a book that examines the recent period in our history when homeownership actually made many people poorer. They have been forced to tap their home equity, go into debt to finance their unsustainable lifestyle, and contributed little to retirement investing because of the misguided assumption that home appreciation would fund their future years. Basically the period of time when homes stopped being a place to live and raise family, and became a temporary abode for a migrant family that changed residences every 5 to 7 years.

As John Wasik himself has said on his Cul-De-Sac Syndrome website:

After a lifetime of research and observation, an agonizing decline of the housing market, publication delays and collapse of the stock market, my Cul-de-Sac Syndrome has braved all odds to be published.

Why should you care about this book? It’s about our homes and communities and how we need to re-invent, re-envision and re-build the American Dream if we want to survive in this contentious century. Economics meets ecology in this radical new look at what we’ve taken for granted as a birthright.

The plight of the housing market writ large. The unsustainable “spurbs”, Wasik’s name for car-dependent sprawling urban areas, dot the land. I lived for a time in Colorado Springs and had friends who lived in one these spurbs. They had a twenty minute drive to get to the nearest grocery store, and the neighborhood was more a fenced-in plots of anonymous neighbors, than a community.

The City of Kenmore has a chance to make itself a more livable city, a more walkable city. It also needs to make itself more attractive to more manufacturing and office jobs, since retail and other service oriented businesses just isn’t enough.

Decide for yourself, you can pick up a copy of his book from my Sustainable Living Store.

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So, what would happen if the City of Seattle where to tear down the Alaskan Way Viaduct and not replace it with anything?

According to most pundits: Gridlock!

But according to the Braess Paradox: Better traffic flow and less traffic.

This is the conundrum presented in the Infrastructurist post “Huh?! 4 Cases Of How Tearing Down A Highway Can Relieve Traffic Jams (And Save Your City)”, where four case studies are examined and show that removing roads can actually reduce traffic in a city.

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The folks at Arnold Imaging, together with Kansas City Public Television, produced this 11 minute movie on the benefits of light rail on land development. This video shows how it helps encourage walkable development wherever there is a light rail station. It helps reinforce how light rail is a positive change in a community.

Imagine KC

In a way, this meshes with a previous post in the Living Sustainability Blog: Smart Transit Oriented Development.    

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The City of Kenmore’s Downtown Task Force is having a meeting about Transit-Oriented Development in Kenmore.

Date: April 22nd
Time: 7 PM
Where:  Northshore Utility District
6830 NE 185th Street
Kenmore, WA 98028

Transit systems including bus service can provide a convenient transportation option and may help reduce traffic congestion. Successful transit systems require development patterns and community design, i.e. “transit-oriented development”

Photo by Mike Lydon

Photo by Mike Lydon

 (TOD) that support transit use. Interested in finding out more about TOD, asking questions and providing your vision of what this might mean for development along the SR522 corridor in Kenmore?

The City Council and City’s Downtown Task Force want your input on TOD. Please come and listen to a presentation and participate in a discussion led by Dr. Mark Hallenbeck on Wednesday April 22nd, 2009 at 7 p.m. at the Northshore Utility District. 6830 NE 185th Street, Kenmore, WA 98028. 

For more information about the Downtown Task Force discussion of TOD please visit the City’s website www.cityofkenmore.com or contact Debbie Bent, Community Development Director at 425 398-8900 or dbent@ci.kenmore.wa.us 

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