Ryan Holeywell | @RyanHoleywell | July 29, 2016
While the Urban Edge strives to provide readers with daily news and insights about urban policy, we’re also voracious readers of city news ourselves. As part of a new weekly feature, Senior Editor Ryan Holeywell highlights the week’s most interesting articles from around the web about urban policy and city life.
Urban thinkers are aflutter at the prospect of having a former mayor on a presidential ticket. As Richmond’s mayor and Virginia’s governor, Democratic VP nominee Tim Kaine pushed for smart growth, and more recently, he championed the transformation of Tysons Corner in the D.C. area into a transit-oriented development. One observer describes Kaine as someone whose “eyes lit up at the mention of land-use regulations,” City Lab reports.
Miami leaders want to build on a successful public art program by requiring developers to spend 1.25 percent of their construction costs on public art. They’d have the option of installing the art at their development, or simply contributing to a citywide public art fund, the Miami Herald reports. The proposal has faced some pushback from critics who say it would unfairly increase construction costs.
Next City argues that more attention should be paid to the challenging economic conditions facing places like Cleveland and Philadelphia, which hosted the party conventions this year. Both cities are facing population loss; declining employment; and boom-and-bust housing markets. “Since the end of the stimulus funding, budget choices at the federal level, rather than helping cities deal with rising unmet needs and falling local revenues, have instead made their problems worse,” Next City writes.
According to a new survey on how they spend their time, more than half of local government officials say they can’t get all their work done in a standard work week. Long-term planning is among the leading priorities officials have to push off, they say. Governing explores how some agencies are streamlining their effort to get more done with less.
The private market is essentially incapable of creating any new, affordable housing for low-income residents, who instead must do with mobile homes and homes that are rundown, the Washington Post reports. The newspaper cites a new study from the Urban Institute that finds even if builders could dramatically reduce costs, the math still wouldn’t add up — and thus, the only way new housing for poor people can work is through subsidies.