Tuesday, June 16, 2009

From the Times: New Rail Lines Spur Urban Revival

The New York Times has an article about how the construction of rail lines and the corresponding development around them have helped reinvigorate and/or create livable, desirable urban centers. This is, of course, quite relevant to Stamford's current and future plans, which include continued growth in transit-oriented development and possibly even the re-introduction of trolley lines. Several quotes that stand out for me are:
  • “People have rediscovered cities and urban living,” said Shelley Poticha, the president of Reconnecting America, a nonprofit organization focused on integrating transportation systems with communities they serve.

  • ...urban mixed-use properties and town centers scored high among niche property types. “These are the places that will be creating and holding value,” Ms. Poticha said. She said proximity to public transit could raise property values significantly.

  • The most successful projects do more than build housing near transit stations. They take pains to create livable neighborhoods, with parks, paths, retail stores and places for people to gather. “Place-making is key,” Ms. Poticha said.
A city creating livable neighborhoods, parks, retail and gathering places? That sounds awfully familiar! Sure there have been mistakes and cases of poor judgment, and we have a long way to go, but I think our fair city is on the right path.