I received the text below in an e-mail from the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU). The fourth of four streetcar-related workshops is being held in LA on May 22nd. I don’t expect you to go, but if you have time, and you’re interested in the experiences of other cities, you might want to check out the links to over 50 presentations from the first three workshops in Portland, Denver, and Charlotte and the CNU annual congress in Austin.
Incidentally, you can see just about all the presentations from CNU XVI in some format (audio, video, or slideshow) here.
Street Smart: Streetcars and Cities in the 21st Century, May 22 in LA
Imagine a public-private partnership that leverages tremendous value for property owners and local businesses, helps market new high-rise residential development, mixed-use and a “green” lifestyle, and helps achieve public goals like affordability, sustainability, parks, and high-quality public spaces. Streetcars can be the catalyst for these goals — in downtowns and in urban and suburban neighborhoods.
The spectacular success of the Portland streetcar has revolutionized the way cities think about transit and development by stimulating $3.5 billion in investment in two new neighborhoods near Portland’s downtown. The brand new Seattle streetcar is having similar success in South Lake Union — where property owners put up half the cost of streetcar construction. San Francisco’s F-Line streetcar has played an important role in the rebirth of the Embarcadero as a walkable, transit-oriented neighborhood since the freeway was taken down. And streetcars have promoted economic development and investment in walkable, higher-density, mixed-use neighborhoods in communities as diverse as Kenosha, Wis., Tampa, and Little Rock.
Streetcars are a boon for pedestrians and streetlife, link disparate places into “someplace,” connect to regional transit systems and promote ridership, and create sustainable communities where it’s possible to live without a car. Streetcars are cheaper than other rail transit (affordable even for small cities), fit easily into built environments, they’re energy efficient, and they are strong and proven economic development engines for revitalizing neighborhoods.
Hear about the success of the most robust new streetcar systems at the last of four national workshops, hosted by the national nonprofit Reconnecting America and the Seaside Institute, the American Public Transportation Association, national Community Streetcar Coalition, PB, and other national and local sponsors. Speakers from around the country will talk about the political and funding strategies that are getting new streetcar systems built. The cost of the full-day workshop is $75, at the historic Los Angeles Theatre on Broadway in downtown.
For more information visit http://www.reconnectingamerica.org.
I’m sure all of these presentations are better in person with an actual speaker, but there is still some interesting information in there. It’s unlikely I’ll have time to go through all of this, so if anyone finds anything particularly awesome, please comment with the name of the presentation and a link.