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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.
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.
The scope and severity of flood risk and flood-related damages in the Chatham community are among the worst in Sangamon County, Illinois. At the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), our water program promotes practical changes in the way people manage water as a resource and changes that are good for residents, good for businesses, and good for the environment. Through programs like our RainReadySM Initiative, we help homeowners and municipalities save money by installing green infrastructure solutions like rain gardens and bioswales for stormwater management. Much of our work is done to prevent and alleviate flood issues which includes community outreach and development of the RainReady Midlothian Plan and six community plans in Illinois.
To manage parking provisions and minimize the negative impacts of excess parking effectively, policy makers need a full understanding of how much existing parking is used and how factors affect its use. This paper presents a study of multi-family residential parking occupancy and related factors at 80 sites in Madison, Wisconsin. It found that during the evening peak, the existing supply of parking was only 67% occupied. This excess parking increases construction costs and congestion. Practitioners should put policies in place to reduce excess parking while ensuring that buildings provide the minimum amount of parking needed to satisfy demand.
The benefits of transportation investments are not distributed equally among communities, as some social groups have not reaped the rewards of developed transportation infrastructure. This report uses GIS software, U.S. Census data, and the Bicycle Equity Index to spatially identify populations in relation to the provision of bicycle infrastructure, in order to investigate the city of Chicago’s level of accessible, equitable biking. This analysis is used to create several maps that indicate areas in need of priority investment.
In December 2000, Massachusetts’ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued the Beyond 2000 Solid Waste Master Plan — A Policy Framework, its plan and vision for managing solid waste over the coming decade. This report outlines necessary steps DEP needs to take in order to reach the waste reduction goals articulated in the Master Plan. It includes an assessment of the best strategies to reduce waste at its source and increase participation in existing programs. It also identifies the most critical areas to expand recycling and composting access and infrastructure to move toward the 70% waste reduction goal.
The built environment, climate change, and public health are closely connected; human-generated greenhouse gases derive from aspects of the built environment such as transportation systems and infrastructure, building construction and operation, and land-use planning. Transportation affects human health directly through air pollution and subsequent respiratory effects, as well as indirectly through physical activity behavior. Buildings contribute to climate change, influence transportation, and affect health through the materials utilized, decisions about sites, electricity and water usage, and landscape surroundings. Land use, forestry, and agriculture also contribute to climate change and affect health by increasing atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, shaping the infrastructures for both transportation and buildings, and affecting access to green spaces. Working across sectors to incorporate a health promotion approach in the design and development of built environment components may mitigate climate change, promote adaptation, and improve public health.
This publication by SPARCC offers a definition of equitable Transit-Oriented Development (eTOD) and spotlights work underway in various US cities. Successful eTOD requires planning not just for transit but coordinating how this type of investment will advance larger community needs such as affordable housing, workforce, and small business development, improved community health outcomes, and environmental clean-up. Achieving equitable outcomes involves an inclusive planning process during the transit planning and community development phases. The report cites that the compounding benefits of TOD make it a smart investment for individuals, institutions, and investors as it continues to gain market traction.