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What would have to happen for the city of Memphis to reduce poverty by 10% within 10 years – lowering it from 27% to 17% – and fundamentally shift economic opportunity and well-being for low-income residents? Today, there are 180,741 Memphis residents living below the poverty line ($23,550 for a family of four). Achieving a 10 percentage point reduction means moving 64,000 individuals out of poverty. It will require a combination of more and better jobs; better access to areas of job growth; lower household expenses for energy, transportation and water; and opportunities for economic advancement that are built on public safety, education, health, supportive services, and affordable housing. This report outlines key improvements that must be made in jobs, resource efficiency, transportation, and social services that Memphis must make to achieve this goal.
In the biggest change in local transportation policy in a generation, maybe two, \"congestion pricing\" will be instituted in Manhattan\'s Central Business District in early 2021. It is the first action in decades that could actually lower traffic congestion, and that could provide a stable funding for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. It also transfers considerable power from the Mayor to the Governor. Vehicles entering Manhattan on or below 60th Street will need to pay a charge, probably through the E-ZPass system or, if the do not have such passes but their license plates are photographed, higher rates via \"pay-by-mail.\" The program has three major goals- reducing traffic volumes on Manhattan\'s streets by making it more expensive to drive; reducing air pollution; and providing an assured source of capital funding for the transit system. The new program was enacted as part of the FY2020 State budget, Chapter 59 of the Laws of 2019. Most of it is codified in a new Article 44-C of the Vehicle and Traffic Law. This column discusses what the law provides, what is yet to be decided, and who will decide.
Municipal bonds are one financing tool well suited to close the U.S. infrastructure investment gap. The U.S. municipal bond market has funded large-scale, long-term capital-intensive projects in states and cities, as well as their operational expenses, since the beginning of the 1900s. The market is large, with investors today holding a total of $3.7 trillion of U.S. municipal debt. Different types of investors are attracted to the muni bond market, but individuals are the dominant investors, either directly as individual retail investors or through mutual funds, accounting for more than 70 percent of the market. This is largely because the vast majority of muni bonds are issued as tax-exempt instruments: of the $3.7 trillion in outstanding muni bonds, only approximately $600 billion are taxable. Because individuals tend to have significant tax liability, tax-exempt muni bonds are attractive investment opportunities. Some federal programs also offer additional subsidies to attract tax exempt investors, such as pension funds, to the U.S. muni bond market.
This paper offers a new approach for systematically linking catastrophe bonds and conventional project finance to support large-scale resilience projects. The following sections describe the RE.bound Program framework for catastrophe modeling, bond structuring, and bond sponsorship; summarize key insights and lessons for extending the approach to a range of resilience applications; and offer ideas for government and other public-interest entities seeking to build resilience and mitigate disaster risk.
Large public investments in transportation infrastructure-such as a new freeway interchange or transit station-can increase the value of adjacent private land, sometimes substantially. Capturing the value of this benefit through various tools is gaining interest as a finance mechanism for infrastructure investments. But many questions remain: Does "value capture" promote or hinder economic development? How does it affect different segments of society? Is the revenue substantial, stable, or predictable? How feasible is adoption and implementation? To answer these and other questions, the Minnesota Legislature appropriated funding to the University of Minnesota's Center for Transportation Studies in 2008 to study the public policy implications of value capture. No previous research has systematically compiled and analyzed the full gamut of policy tools that may be used for value capture. This document summarizes the findings from that study.
In early 2015, New Cities Foundation launched the Financing Urban Infrastructure Initiative to address critical infrastructure financing issues and challenges facing cities today. This handbook is the culmination of that initiative.
Growing concern over childhood obesity has prompted a focus on underlying epidemics of physical inactivity and poor nutrition. Regarding the former, there is increasing understanding that behavior change promotion alone has not increased population physical activity levels and that an ecological approach is necessary. Therefore, the public health profession has moved beyond traditional behavior change campaigns toward a growing focus on altering policies and the built environment to create settings that support increases in routine, not just exercise or leisure time, physical activity among children. A survey of the literature suggests four broad factors that define settings where routine physical activity, especially active transportation, is more likely to occur: (1) a compact variety of land uses, with a mix of destinations in close proximity; (2) a comprehensive network of bicycle, pedestrian, and transit facilities; (3) inviting and functional site designs for pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users; (4) safety and access for users of all ages, incomes, abilities and disabilities. Although these principles are increasingly accepted as beneficial, not just to health but to a community's economic, environmental, and social well-being, many contemporary ordinances and development practices undermine these outcomes. Therefore, five specific policy and intervention approaches are recommended to guide communities to these outcomes: 1. zoning and development policies to protect open space, contain sprawl, and focus investment toward thriving, mixed downtowns and village centers; 2. Complete Streets policies, which require roadways that are safe and functional for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users, as well as motor vehicles; 3. a transportation- (not just recreation-) oriented trail network; 4. creation of bicycle- and transit-friendly infrastructure and incentive policies; 5. development of policy-based Safe Routes to School interventions. This proposed intervention framework requires evaluation both of effectiveness in increasing childhood physical activity and of the most promising means of getting policies implemented.
After increasing steadily for decades, the national childhood obesity rate has leveled off. This policy brief examines reports from across the country to learn more about where progress is being made to address childhood obesity.
Over the last two decades childhood obesity has risen at an alarming rate in the United States. In 1999, 13 percent of children ages six to 11 and 14 percent of adolescents ages 12 to 19 were overweight. This prevalence has nearly tripled. Now, the number of overweight children in the nation exceeds 12 million. Evidence shows that children who enter adulthood obese are unlikely to shed the burden. And they also have a higher risk of premature death and disability in adulthood. Sedentary behavior is partly to blame. Forty-three percent of adolescents watch more than two hours of television each day, according to a federal report. But excessive screen time - whether it's the TV or computer - is only one obstacle that limits children's ability to obtain the one hour of daily exercise recommended by the U.S. Surgeon General. The built environment surrounding a child's neighborhood and school can also help or hinder physical activity. Research shows that children who live closer to parks and recreational facilities are more active than those who live further away. And active living, along with eating nutritious foods, plays a key role in maintaining a healthy weight.
A child's health is a key predictor for his or her future success and well-being. Unfortunately, far too many children face barriers that prevent them from reaching their full potential because of where they live, learn and play. The inequitable distribution of social, economic and environmental resources across communities - often called the social determinants of health - create challenges for healthy living. Socioeconomic conditions (e.g., concentrated poverty), access to health care and transportation options, educational and employment opportunities, and aesthetic elements (e.g., green spaces and vibrant public spaces) result in differences in opportunities and exposure to health-promoting resources such as child care, high performing schools, affordable housing, access to healthy food and safe spaces for physical activity. The availability and quality of these neighborhood resources and services have a major impact on the ability of children and families to make choices that support healthy growth and development. When children and families have access to these resources and services, children have more opportunities to thrive. On the contrary, children growing up in communities that lack these often suffer poorer health outcomes than their peers. These differences in health are known as health disparities.