To search for model legislation, research, reports, and more, type your area of interest into the search bar above. You can filter your search by state, level of government, document type, and policy area to match the info you need to your unique community’s progressive goals.
In recent years the frequency and severity of heavy precipitation and floods in parts of the United States have been increasing to a statistically significant degree, and this trend is expected to worsen. This article summarizes some of the liability issues that result from floods, and efforts to control them. Under governmental liability, the author highlights multiple participating factors including sovereign immunity, structural measures, nonstructural measures, flood-related regulations, and land use regulations. Under private liability, the column points to issues regarding neighboring property owners, dams and other obstructions, overflow, insurance, utilities, and design professionals. Lastly, the author draws upon the Hurricane Katrina Case where the U.S. Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in an important case on flood liability.
The Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee approved a Work Plan for Equity, Education and Encouragement that is included in the Appendix.
As a federally-funded demonstration, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) purposefully and openly shares information about implementing the SFpark pilot project that other cities might find useful as they consider how to manage parking. This book summarizes the SFpark pilot project and documents lessons learned from project planning, implementation, operation, and evaluation. It was written in late spring 2014 after the pilot and its evaluation report were completed.
Bicycling is on the rise across the U.S. Adults are capitalizing on the health and economic benefits of active transportation, while an increasing number of young people are forgoing drivers' licenses to save money and embrace more walkable, bikeable lifestyles. The new majority that elected a president - youth, women and people of color - is playing a key role in pedaling the country toward a more Bicycle Friendly America. These diverse communities are embracing bicycling at a high rate, redefining the face and trajectory of the bicycle movement and the way the nation addresses transportation. An increasingly powerful and growing constituency, previously underrepresented groups are cultivating new campaigns and bike cultures that address the needs, serve the safety and improve the health of all residents who ride - or want to ride. These new riders, leaders and organizations are making biking accessible and inviting to all Americans - while making the case for a safer and more equitable transportation system in communities nationwide.
Gold plating is when we make changes to projects that are outside the scope of the original plan, resulting in increased time, expenses, and waste. Gold-plating presents barriers to accomplishing good urbanism in the form of initial financial costs that can completely block growth. A lean infrastructure approach to city planning focuses on smaller, incremental improvements instead of sweeping, inefficient upgrades. It prioritizes long term well-being, expandable and scalable projects, and building community competency and ownership of their neighborhoods. The document provides a theoretical and historical overview of infrastructure planning and lessons learned from past mistakes to help city planners move forward with a recommitment to designing workable solutions that support civilization in an economical and sustainable fashion.
As required by a 2014 state statute, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued official sea level rise projections effective February 22. They reflect a range of possible scenarios; at the high end, sea level in the New York City area could rise 75 inches by the year 2100. Now that they are embodied in a formal regulation, these projections may begin to affect a broad range of decisions in building and infrastructure siting, design, construction and materials; insurance and financing; securities disclosure; and estate planning. The following article details out these changes and their potential implications.
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.
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.
Over the past year, NRDC has been commissioned by the Ford Foundation to lead a cross-disciplinary research team to explore the challenges of generating more and better infrastructure investments to build 21st-century communities. Our work included a literature review, interviews with investors and city officials (including a close engagement in the cities of Denver and Los Angeles), and collaboration with national and international stakeholders through the White House's Build America Initiative and the Clinton Global Initiative America Infrastructure Working Group. We believe that the United States can no longer treat infrastructure like an ongoing crisis, but must approach it as an opportunity not to be missed. We have focused on cities because they often play a critical role in projects' design, planning, construction, and financing. Our findings and lessons, however, apply to any level of local government.