Friday, May 29, 2009

Which Way ABQ: Portland or Denver?

Thanks to UrbanABQ for sharing this link to a PBS video "Road to the Future." Story details how federal government has subsidized sprawl by providing 90 percent of highway/freeway funding. Documentary highlights how two cities — Denver and Portland — took very different paths to transportation planning in the 1970s which has led to very different results.


• Streetcar has inspired well over 3 billion dollars in development
• Not only does streetcar deliver customers to businesses, but Portland now manufactures streetcars and reaps billions of dollars in revenue (note: Portland company is one of two Tucson is considering for their streetcars)
• Portland mayor puts their approach in capitalistic terms: We can make developers more money because we provide complete neighborhoods as opposed to communities beset by strip malls, sprawl and the assumption of cheap energy
• Urban growth boundary has created tension with rural residents who want the ability to sell small lots for sub-divisions

• See Rio Rancho (just kidding, but not completely)
• Story centers on efforts to build and complete beltway which has led to rampant sprawl


Tim said...

While I like how they differentiated the two cities, they failed to mention Denver's new, balanced approach. I believe the result will actually lead to an urban environment on par with Portland in the coming decade.

Dan Otter said...

I too was a bit surprised at the harsh assessment of Denver as I think their light rail and core redevelopment are to be emulated. But having ridden that beltway it feels very Southern California-sprawlish. I have this vision of ABQ as Portland with better weather (not my words, but those of another recent transplant). I think we'll get there but not at the speed I would like.

Julie said...

think we'll get there but not at the speed I would like.
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Jenifer said...

It feels very Southern California-sprawlish..
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