A Shared Vision for A Shared Future

Thanks to a streetsblog post, I noticed a bold announcement from the U.S. Deputy Secretary of DOT.  I know that he was addressing a regional east coast group, but these words still ring out as a federally endorsed initiative from the top of the DOT command chain.  Via nymtc.org:

Keynote speaker Vice Admiral Thomas Barrett, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, discussed the Obama Administration’s key transportation priorities, emphasizing the role the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will play in the nation’s economic recovery, as well as their approach for integrating transportation and land use through innovative programs such as the recently announced joint HUD/DOT Sustainable Communities initiative. 

I can’t overstate my thought that Denton is poised to become a model city for sustainable multi-modal transit.  It might not happen unless we ask for it, though.  Some key people in the city, like the mayor and Pete Kamp, support multi-modal transit, but so far I haven’t seen a collective citizen campaign to bolster and encourage it.  

Denton stands to gain so much from attracting intelligent innovators, who may have previously thought of Denton as a transitional college town.  This article from Fast Company sums it up succinctly:

If the suburb is a big loser in mortgage crisis episode, then who is the winner? Not surprisingly, the New Urbanists, a group of planners, developers and architects devoted to building walkable towns based on traditional designs, have interpreted the downturn as vindication of their plans for mixed-use communities where people can stroll from their homes to schools and restaurants.

Richard Florida, a Toronto business professor and author of “Who’s Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life,” argues that dense and diverse cities with “accelerated rates of urban metabolism” are the communities most likely to innovate their way through economic crisis. In an article published in this month’s issue of The Atlantic, he posits that New York is at a relative advantage, despite losing a chunk of its financial engine, because the jostling proximity of architects, fashion designers, software writers and other creative types will reenergize its economy.

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