News, events, and more from the
APA Sustainable Communities Division.
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e-Bulletin for 
05/21/2015

Division News

With many thanks to outgoing Division Chair Rob Kerns, the Sustainable Communities Division welcomes new chair Scott Turner.  Read Scott’s letter on our Wordpress site to learn more about his vision for the growth and future of our dynamic division.

It’s a wrap!  Thanks to everyone who participated in the SCD membership survey! Division members turned out in full force with an almost 24% response rate, and we had 15 non-member respondents. Survey results help us plan for continued growth. You’ll get the full survey analysis in coming weeks. Sneak peek: Members are asking for more webinars, as well as implementation guides and manuals.

Do you have skills that you can put to use helping the SCD keep our Wordpress blogsite current?  We can use your expertise!  Please see the Opportunities section at the bottom of this e-bulletin for more details, then contact us to discuss how you can contribute to your division.

New from APA’s Sustaining Places blog

Planning for Land Use and Conservation: Assessing GIS-Based Conservation Software for Land Use Planning

May 7, 2015 --Miranda Mockrin, Research Scientist, USDA Forest Service, alerts us to the upsurge in efforts to link conservation biology with land use planning.  These efforts are being accomplished in part by the development of “conservation planning software” — tools and data designed to enable strategic land use planning and biodiversity conservation. Results from a recently published review of conservation planning software reveal that planners are most aware of the conservation tools CommunityViz and UrbanSim,  both commonly used by planners to simulate build-out conditions.  Results also indicate that opportunities exist to make these types of tools more accessible to planners, increasing their integration into land use planning efforts.  This recent work by a team from Clemson University, the American Planning Association (APA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service builds on a previous survey and case study on applying conservation planning tools. Image: U.S. Forest Service employees talk with landowners. USFS Photo.

Sustainability Tools, News, and Resources

What’s only 2.7 miles long but offers significant urban habitat for salmon, birds and other wildlife? Crystal Springs Creek in Portland, OR where the Crystal Springs Restoration project replaced urban culverts to support salmon runs, winning the 2015 Sustainable Parks, Recreation and Open Space Project Award in the Second Annual Awards for Excellence in Sustainability.  Partners included the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Can you envision a day when new buildings come with a dashboard?  The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Environmental Center, 2015 Sustainable Building Project Award winner in the Second Annual Awards for Excellence in Sustainability,  allows users to monitor the building's energy and water use and energy generation from its web-based Living Building Challenge Dashboard.  Real-time results are a mouse click away!

Local governments don’t always have resources to devise practical solutions that  bridge the gap between food production and food security. Growing Food Connections is actively engaging and partnering with representatives from 8 communities across the US to help them bridge the gap between food production and food security through public policy. Research activities include understanding policy barriers faced by communities and identification of innovative policy and planning strategies for each community’s unique food systems needs.

The most recent Global Roundtable conducted by The Nature of Cities (TNOC) engaged 14 photographers in Imaging the urban wild--capturing the vibrancy of  â€œnature nearby” found in several cities around the world.  Nature provides services from storm water management to habitat to beauty in urban areas, making cities rich in biodiversity, human society, sustainability, resilience, and livability.

Urban nature also helps the economic bottom line. City Lab reports on How a Quick Glimpse of Nature Can Make You More Productive, referencing results  from an Australia-based research team soon to be  published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology.  These results support other recent findings on the restorative power of nature. Take a peek out the window! Image: Green roof, Vancouver, BC, NNECAPA/Flickr

Lifestyle trumps affordability in central Seattle, even for some budget-stretchers.  The Seattle Times reports that while affordability was a No. 1 concern across the region as a whole, residents in Seattle’s center who participated in the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) 2014 Travel Study ranked “walkable neighborhoods near activities” as a top priority over affordability. An interactive graphic illustrates how central Seattle compares to other areas of the metro in nine priority areas, including school quality and “space and separation.”

By 2050 one-third of the US will be age 65 or older, and older adults have indicated  a preference to “age in place” while maintaining healthy lifestyles.  Writing on ALSA’s The Dirt Blog Jared Green poses the pertinent question: What Do Seniors Need in Parks?  and offers helpful recommendations from the UCLA Lewis Center in a set of guidelines for senior-friendly open spaces. Suggestions center on security, control, choice, accessibility, privacy, nature, social support and physical activity.

How are you celebrating National Bike Month this May?  Bike riders in Minneapolis can cheer their first place listing in Walk Score’s bikeability index ratings; San Francisco and Portland, OR had the next highest scores. Planetizen reports as 154 Cities Earn Marks in Updated Bike Score Rankings.

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Feeds 

Post Conference:

Feeds from APA:

  • The Most Bike-Friendly Cities in the U.S., Ranked: Forbes
  • With gas prices lower, buyers pass hybrid cars by — 1 in 5 owners of hybrid/electric autos switching to S.U.V.s: New York Times
  • New type of TIF district would increase funding for transit projects: Streetsblog
  • 5 new residential developments across the US that have laid out the red carpet for cyclists: Urbanful
  • Will you be the first on your street with a driverless car? Tell us about your thoughts on Twitter using #PlanMag
  • Giving poor access to healthy food doesn’t mean they’ll buy it—fixing food deserts doesn’t do much to improve health: New York Times
  • Is technology making people less sociable? Debate centers on the effects of mobile technology & social media: Wall Street Journal
  • In Los Angeles, rents are so high @LAschools is building apartment for its teachers: LA Weekly

Other Feeds:

  • 6 Ways to Use Technology to Improve Decision Making: ICMA
  • Save Our Water has an interactive infographic on ways to save water (and how much).
  • Are cities ready for self-driving trucks and delivery? Inhabitat
  • Driverless Cars and Public Transit Would Cut Traffic By 90%: Sustainable Cities Collective
  • World's First 'Solar Road' Generating More Power Than Expected: Huffington Post
  • How the Microtransit Movement Is Changing Urban Mobility: CityLab
[LinkedIn]

From LinkedIn 

Our LinkedIn group has over 4,500 members and continues to grow and be more active every week!

Join the discussions- check out these recent posts from group members:

Upcoming Events

Webinars and Other Remote Events

NEW! US Environmental Protection Agency & Department of Housing and Urban Development

NEW! Planning Webcast Series

Conferences, courses, and in-person events

NEW! Congress for the New Urbanism

NEW! UC Davis Extension

NEW! International Making Cities Livable

Opportunities

15th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference--Call for Session Proposals Open - The theme for the 15th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth conference to be held February 11 - 13, 2016 in Portland, OR is “Practical Tools and Innovative Strategies for Creating Great Communities.”  The call for session proposals for the conference is open through June 30th, 2015.   Proposals must be submitted online.  This year Session Proposers will be able to collaborate with others through the online submittal system in advance of submitting their proposal. Among other topics, session organizers are looking for: sessions that feature practical tools and innovative strategies, as well as new technologies; good examples of community/neighborhood-driven revitalization that include creative visioning, design and financing driven by the local community and or impacted neighborhoods; and sessions that ensure “the role of the arts in place-making”.

 

SCD Volunteer Webmaster Opportunity - SCD needs your help!  We are seeking a new webmaster to keep our WordPress blogsite current. This involves posting the e-bulletin on a biweekly basis and posting other material as requested, which  takes approximately 1 hour a week. In the coming year, we plan a comprehensive website update, so as to to better feature the work of our Sustainability Champions who represent different APA regions across the US. If you are committed to helping advance the work of our quickly growing Division and have working knowledge of WordPress, please consider joining the team!

Know of an opportunity (job, RFP, etc) of interest to the APA Sustainable Communities Division? Post it on LinkedIn or send it to apascd@gmail.com!

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