ReThink: Making It Happen

Americans Choose Walkability Over House Size

Americans are increasingly prioritizing walkability over house size. According to GOOD, more than three quarters of Americans consider having sidewalks a top priority, and six in ten people would sacrifice a big house to live in a mixed-use, walkable community. This new survey data reinforces CEOs for Cities data in Walking the Walk, the 2009 report that revealed homes in more walkable neighborhoods, measured using WalkScore, command premiums over comparable homes in less walkable neighborhoods.  Americans are revising the American Dream to incorporate accessibility over house size. 

An Excellent Las Vegas Adventure

Inc magazine recently profiled CEO Tony Hsieh in an article titled "Tony Hsieh's Excellent Las Vegas Adventure," an apt description of Hsieh's plans to stimulate an authentic local community in Sin City's mostly overlooked downtown, located just two miles north of the famed Vegas Strip. Last week, CEOs for Cities' Lee Fisher and Julia Klaiber flew to Las Vegas with Columbia College of Chicago's Alicia Berg at Hsieh's invitation to see first hand what the enigmatic shoe entrepreneur is doing to cultivate a culture that supports local businesses and tech start-ups and attracts young, talented creatives to Las Vegas. To start, Zappos has entered into an agreement to take over City Hall; the company will move its famously zany corporate headquarters from Henderson, NV into the building next year. Adjacent vacant parcels are planned for compact mixed-use development, business incubators and arts and cultural uses. It is an ambitious plan, but when asked by an NPR reporter what would happen if he failed, Hsieh confidently replied, "Well, you can't do much worse than a surface parking lot."        

Akron Revitalizes Through Anchor Institution Partnerships

Akron, Ohio is utilizing its anchor institutions to revitalize its core. By uniting the University of Akron, three major hospitals, and Akron Public Schools, Akron is powering a new downtown through collaboration. The University Park Alliance has big ideas for reshaping downtown Akron into a mixed-use, vibrant community that will provide great places between the anchor institutions. For more examples of ways to leverage anchor institutions to achieve urban success, read How to Behave Like an Anchor Institution, a piece of research by CEOs for Cities and Living Cities. 

Federal Transportation Bill Update

The battle over a new surface transportation law continues. The bill’s most recent iteration slashes funding for non-highway programs, which includes all transportation alternatives. It also cuts Amtrak funding, and it eliminates the transit trust fund. The transit trust fund previously provided a designated portion of the gas tax to transit. However, under the proposed cuts, there will be no dedicated future transit funding after five years. This endangers all local public transportation. To defeat this bill, encourage your representative to vote 'No' on HR7. For more, visit Transportation for America.

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