Friday, October 30, 2009


October 30, 2009 Susan Merrow. 860-537-5302


The Board of Trustees of 1000 FRIENDS of Connecticut announced today that its President and CEO, Heidi Green, will be taking her leave of that position in late November. Heidi Green has held that position since September of 2005, having come on Board as 1000 Friends’ first full-time staff person. “We have learned and grown so much under Heidi’s guidance these last few years. We will be sad to say goodbye, and we will be working even harder to capitalize on her hard work,” said Susan Merrow, Board Chairperson. “Heidi has put us on the map in the smart growth public policy arena. Her tireless promotion of the principles of rational, sustainable growth, sensible land-use planning, better transportation and tax policies have left their mark on our state, its laws, and policies. We wish her all the best, and we will welcome her back as one of our most valued ‘FRIENDS’,” Merrow continued. The Board of 1000 Friends has begun the process of seeking a new CEO. Heidi Green will be joining the leadership giving staff of Trinity College. 10000 FRIENDS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the principle of smart growth in Connecticut through an educated citizenry and the promotion of sound public policy.

In the last year alone,
• the organization saw legislative success. We helped make it easier to clean up environmentally-contaminated sites, reuse historic mill buildings, finance green developments, and make our streets more bicycle and pedestrian-friendly;
• our Smart Growth Project Evaluation Team endorsed and publicized three smart growth real estate developments: Storrs Center, in Mansfield; 360 State Street in New Haven; and MetroGreen Apartments in Stamford; and
• we gave our first ever award -- the Smartie -- to Smart Growth Champ Tom Condon, indefatigable Hartford Courant columnist and Place Section editor, at our Fourth Annual Meeting.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Smart Growth America President Cheers Senate Climate Action

SGA Partners,

I wanted to be the first to give you the great news. Thanks to your
efforts to educate your Senators on the many benefits that smart
growth and green transportation strategies have for the environment,
the economy, and quality of life we were able to get an increase in
funding in the Senate climate bill for these strategies.

The latest version of the Senate's Clean Energy Jobs and American
Power Act includes about 2.4% for smart growth and transportation, up
from a max of 1% in the House climate legislation. While this might
look small, this achievement should not be underestimated. We were up
against many other interests for additional funding from the bill,
including industry groups with deep pockets and better access. Our
efforts couldn't have succeeded without the help of our national
partners to go to Capitol Hill and convince Senators of the benefits
of these strategies and especially the help of all of you in the field
telling your Senators that their constituents want these investments.

I think we should all take a moment to celebrate this victory. But,
we need to realize that this isn't the end. We will continue to work
to increase the revenue going to smart growth and green transportation
to 5%, while at the same time protecting the policy language and
funding we currently do have. Kate and Stephanie will continue to keep
you updated as the climate bill moves forward so please keep an eye
out for their messages.

Thanks again,


Geoffrey Anderson
President and CEO
Smart Growth America
1707 L St. NW
Suite 1050
Washington, DC 20036

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October Smart Growth ENews

Hot off the presses, 1000 Friends of Connecticut's October ENews.

As always, to subscribe or unsubscribe to the newsletter.


Washington, D.C. – Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) met with Jay Walder, the new Chairman of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, today to discuss how to improve Metro-North service in Connecticut. As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Dodd oversees transit issues and will be responsible for transit as Congress takes up a major rewrite of transportation law in the coming months.

“Chairman Walder and I had a good discussion about the challenges facing Metro-North and how we can improve it to make sure that Connecticut residents can count on Metro-North for fast, safe, reliable travel every day,” said Dodd. “Thanks to stimulus funding, we’ve already begun work to upgrade the Danbury branch line, extending safer and more reliable rail service to communities all the way from Norwalk to Danbury. As I told Chairman Walder, I’m committed to improving the Metro North experience for passengers and expanding it to encourage more Connecticut residents to take advantage of what it has to offer.”

Dodd is working to expand transit opportunities in Connecticut and across the country.

In April, Dodd held a field hearing in New Haven to discuss the transit challenges facing Connecticut. Metro North President Howard Permut testified, along with Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe Marie and several other transit experts. Dodd is also working to develop the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail line, bringing Connecticut officials to Washington to meet with leaders of the Federal Transit Administration and Federal Railroad Administration, and inviting federal officials to Connecticut.

Earlier this year, Dodd passed a measure to allow transit agencies to use up to 10 percent of the funding they receive under the Recovery Act to cover operating expenses to help transit agencies prevent fare increases, avoid lay-offs, furloughs and significant cuts in service.

Dodd has also introduced the Livable Communities Act, a bill to help local communities plan and implement projects that improve transportation, housing, and economic development.

The MTA the largest public transportation agency in the country, carrying 2.8 billion passengers a year on New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North, Long Island Bus and MTA Bus. Metro-North’s New Haven Line, which Metro-North operates for the Connecticut DOT, is the largest commuter rail line in the nation and in 2008 carried 38 million of Metro-North's 84 million passengers.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Benefits on reusing dirty sites and GHG reductions

The EPA recently released a report that quantifies the climate-changing greenhouse gas imacts of sprawling land use development and the benefits of reusing brownfield sites. It estimates GHG emissions related to greenfield development -- from the “decay and release of organic carbon to the atmosphere… bio‐carbon can be released from soil, plants, and dead organic matter, such as leaf litter.” The study concludes that these bio-carbon releases may comprise 4 percent of total GHG emissions.

The report also calls particular attention to the potential to reduce GHG emissions by converting “EPA-tracked contaminated land for utility-scale solar and wind,” and “increasing re-cycling of construction debris.”

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Coalition for an Accountable Recovery to advise media on data

October 9, 2009

For Immediate Release

Contact: Michelle Lee 202-232-1616 x 211

Or Brian Gumm at 202-683-4812

Coalition for an Accountable Recovery to Advise

Media on Data Ahead of 10/15 Release

Washington, DC – The Coalition for an Accountable Recovery (CAR) will convene a telephone briefing on Tuesday, October 13th for journalists covering the first quarterly round of spending data from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which is due out on Thursday October 15th.

The purpose of the briefing will be to: review those forms of ARRA spending that will be disclosed (and those that will not); to review what is known about what the data will show; and to answer any questions reporters have about this and future data releases. (Much more data will be issued October 30th.)

The briefing will be led by Gary Bass, executive director of OMB Watch, and Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First. The two organizations co-chair CAR.

Date: Tuesday, October 13th, 2009
Time: 1:00 pm Eastern
Call-in: 219-509-8020
Code 287971

The Coalition for an Accountable Recovery
(CAR) was formed in February 2009 by about 30 groups to promote transparency and accountability in the $787 billion Recovery Act. In numerous communications, meetings and public events since, it has helped diverse organizations learn more about the act and participate in the debate over its implementation.

OMB Watch is a nonprofit group founded in 1983 to promote government transparency and accountability, equitable regulatory and budgetary processes and policies, and active citizen participation in our democracy. Good Jobs First is a nonprofit founded in 1998 to promote corporate and government accountability in economic development and smart growth for working families.

So, you want to help your community develop sustainably, but you don’t know how?

A new report takes a comprehensive look at the state of tools municipalities can use to model and evaluate relative climate change benefits earned by developing differently. The tools it explores can be employed at the project, neighborhood and metropolitan scale. It summarizes the relationship between urban form and climate change and features four case studies on how tools are being used today.

We won’t be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with technology alone, we will need to combine technological change with changes in our behaviors, transportation priorities, building design and placement, economic development strategies, and fair housing policy. In Connecticut, most planning is done locally, these tools offer ways for volunteers and town staff to develop the analysis they need to plan successful and sustainable communities.

The tools discussed are:
• Athena Impact Estimator for Buildings;
• Community Energy and Emissions Inventory;
• Community Viz;
• Development Pattern Approach;
• Energy Demand Characterization;
• Envision Tomorrow;
• INDEX and Cool Spots;
• MetroQuest;
• Neighborhood Explorations the View of Density;
• Tool for Evaluating Neighbourhood Sustainability; and
• UPlan.

The report is Urban Planning Tools for Climate Change. Its authors are: Patrick M. Condon, Duncan Cavens, and Nicole Miller. It was published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and is available for purchase in hard copy or free download at

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Obama orders guidelines for locating federal buildings in or near central business districts and transit

Lee Epstein of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation reported, "President Obama issued an Executive Order Oct. 5 instructing federal agencies to set greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for 2020 within 90 days.

The order also requires a 30 percent reduction in vehicle fleet petroleum use by 2020, a 26 percent improvement in water efficiency at federal agencies, a 50 percent recycling and waste diversion rate by 2015, and a requirement for federal buildings to achieve net-zero energy use by 2030.

Agencies also will be required to use federal contracts to promote environmentally responsible products and technologies and follow forthcoming guidelines for locating federal buildings in or near central business districts and close to transit.

'As the largest consumer of energy in the U.S. economy, the federal government can and should lead by example when it comes to creating innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, conserve water, reduce waste, and use environmentally-responsible products and technologies,' Obama said in a statement.
Obama said the order 'builds on the momentum' of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Pub. L. No. 111-5) 'to help create a clean energy economy and demonstrates the federal government's commitment, over and above what is already being done, to reducing emissions and saving money.'

According to the White House, the federal government 'occupies nearly 500,000 buildings, operates more than 600,000 vehicles, employs more than 1.8 million civilians, and purchases more than $500 billion per year in goods and services.'

Obama's order builds on Executive Order 13423, signed by former President Bush in 2007, which set goals for federal agencies in energy and resource conservation and pollution reduction, the White House said (16 DEN A-1, 1/25/07).

Taxpayer benefits include substantial energy savings and reduced costs due to improved efficiency, the White House said.

Under the order, each agency will develop and implement an integrated strategic sustainability performance plan for meeting the goals of the order. Implementation will be managed through the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive, working in close partnership with the Office of Management and Budget, the Council on Environmental Quality, and the agencies."

Governor Rell, give you any ideas?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Transportation and Smart Growth Provisions in the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions Through Transportation Efficiency (Sec. 112) and Transportation Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Program Grants (Sec. 113)


Section 112 of the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act integrates accountability for reducing greenhouse gasses (GHG) into transportation planning and infrastructure decisions. Below is a brief summary of the provisions of Sec. 112.

National Transportation GHG Reduction Goal

Directs the EPA Administrator to consult with the DOT Secretary to establish a national goal for transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions reductions commensurate with the goal in the overall bill, recognizing the need for complementary actions beyond the cap to reduce emissions in the transportation sector. EPA and DOT assess progress toward reducing transportation-related GHGs every 6 years.

Models and Methodologies

EPA in consultation with DOT develops models, methodologies and best practices for states and regions to use when developing transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and plans.

DOT in consultation with EPA improves transportation planning models, tools and can update planning requirements to meet the goals of this section.

Transportation Planning Process to Include Oil & Sustainability Considerations

Amends the state and MPO transportation planning process to add additional factors to consider, as well as additional agencies to coordinate with when doing developing their long range transportation plans:

Adds to the policy section that is in the national interest for transportation planning decisions to: reduce (replacing minimize) fuel consumption, as well as minimizing reliance on oil, impacts on the environment, and transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.

Adds to planning factors that should be considered in the transportation planning process to include: promote sustainability and livability, reduce surface transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on oil, adapt to the effects of climate change, improve public health. These factors get added to an existing factor that deals with the environment, energy, and quality of life. Also includes need to promote consistency between transportation improvements and housing and land use patterns.

MPO long-range transportation plans must be developed in cooperation with state and local agencies responsible for transportation, public transportation, air quality, and housing, and in consultation with public health agencies among other agencies.

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets and Strategies in State and MPO Planning

Amends the state and metropolitan planning process to include transportation-related greenhouse gas reduction targets and strategies and increase coordination between agencies:

Requires States and large MPOs (above 200,000) to develop surface transportation related greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and strategies within two years of final regulations from EPA. Smaller MPOs can opt-in to the process.

Sets minimum requirements for these targets and strategies that they should:
* Demonstrate progress in stabilizing and reducing emissions;
* Inventory surface transportation related GHG emissions;
* Apply to modes of surface transportation addressed within the existing planning process
* Use the models and methodologies developed by EPA and DOT;
* Be integrated into state and MPO transportation plans and TIPS;
* Use scenario analysis to evaluate the emission reduction effects of a variety of strategies including: public transportation, walking and biking infrastructure, zoning and land use changes, travel demand management (including pricing, telecommuting, carpooling), better system management, intercity passenger rail, bus and freight, hybrid vehicle facilities, and other efforts that are shown to reduce GHGs from transportation.
* Requires each MPO and state to publish these plans and targets on their website and submit to the DOT Secretary as a part of their regular long range transportation plans.

DOT and EPA will review and approve the greenhouse gas emission reduction plans based on whether the plan is likely to achieve the greenhouse gas emission target and complies with the minimum requirements.

There is no penalty for non-compliance, except that the state or MPO is not eligible for the funding described below.


Section 113 of the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act creates a planning grant for all MPOs and a competitive grant program to provide funding for states and MPOs to implement transportation-related greenhouse gas reduction plans. This program is funded with 10% of revenue dedicated to the “State and Local Investment in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy” fund in Section 202. Separately, public transportation agencies receive 45% of the funding from the “State Climate Change Response and Transportation Fund” for existing transit formula programs. (The overall allowances dedicated to these programs, which determines their funding level, were not included in the legislation and are expected to be released in 1-3 weeks.)

Planning & Competitive Grant Program (in the State and Local Investment in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy” fund, Section 202)
Maximum of 5% of funds in this section for MPOs to develop the greenhouse gas reduction plans, distributed by formula based on population.
DOT in consultation with EPA would develop a criteria for distributing the remaining funds as grants to states and MPOs for projects and programs within transportation greenhouse gas reduction plans. The federal share is 80%. The formula takes into account:
* Quantity of GHG reductions estimated from plan
* Cost-effectiveness of GHG reductions over the life of the plan
* Progress toward achieving reductions
* Reductions previously achieved
* Plans that address mobility needs of people without cars, with low incomes, minorities, the elderly, disabled, etc
* Other factors such as innovative approaches, economic development, and other benefits.

States and MPOs can sub-grant funds to local governments, air quality agencies, zoning commissions, transit agencies and other non-eligible public entities.

Transit Funding (in the State Climate Change Response and Transportation Fund)
Allocates 45% of this fund to public transportation agencies, which can be used for capital needs and preventative maintenance (as well as potentially operating assistance in areas under 200,000), which is distributed as follows:
* 80% to urbanized areas through section 5307 of title 49
* 10% to areas other than urbanized ones through section 5311 of title 49
* 10% to states via the growing and high density states formula through section 5340 of title 49

Thank you, Smart Growth America.

Find out more about bus rapid transit and follow Cleveland's lead

A coalition of six organizations (Center for Public Policy and Social Research at CCSU, Fund for the Environment, Capitol Region Council of Governments, Regional Plan Association, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, and Connecticut Fund for the Environment) is sponsoring a Bus Rapid Transit Symposium on October 15, 2009, from 9 am to 12 pm, in Room 2B of the LOB.

The agenda will include an expert panel with our keynote speaker, Joseph Calabrese (see below for more information), representatives from CONNDOT, the National Bus Rapid Transit Institute, and regional planning agencies, among others. As Connecticut legislators with experience and special interest in this area of public policy, your attendance would bring a significant and valuable practical perspective to the subject matter under discussion.

The event is being widely publicized by the participating organizations. A flyer for the event is attached. Please feel free to call me if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you on the morning of October 15.


Steve Kliger, Executive Director

Center for Public Policy and Social Research

Central Connecticut State University

On behalf of: Tri-State Transportation Campaign, The Connecticut Fund for the Environment, Regional Plan Association, Capitol Region Council of Governments, Transit for Connecticut, and Fund for the Environment.

Keynote Speaker Biography:

Joseph A. Calabrese, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is the keynote speaker. The RTA oversees the HealthLine, the recently opened and acclaimed BRT system that connects the city’s cultural, educational, medical and business centers, as well as local businesses in between. The HealthLine has generated over $4 billion in investment, is helping to revitalize Cleveland and Northeast Ohio and already exceeds projected ridership levels. For more information, see