Faculty Articles


Growing the New American Economy: Public-private partnerships for the development of Transit Greenways

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As the new Obama-Biden Administration begins to plan for the implementation of a stimulus plan to jump-start the economy and create new jobs by various tax cuts and spending programs, this panel of experts shows how a multimodal approach could enhance the infrastructure benefits expected from the infrastructure expenditures proposed. By proposing unique public-private partnerships in connection with new transit communities, immediate and long-term economic growth can be projected. Specific methods, applications and implications are presented and discussed, and a specific stimulus policy is recommended. Among the common themes that urban studies in America share, two are critically important. One is the need to return to denser urban planning, which contributes to economic development and commerce, while facilitating a high quality of life, social and economic integration, and environmental sensitivity. The second is the need to mitigate traffic congestion that has persisted even with the continuing expansion of the road network. Negative and destructive consequences from traffic congestion include: environmental and global weather consequences, public health threats, and productivity losses. By coordinating investments in mass transit with housing and mixed-use development at passenger rail station sites and transit stops, passenger rail and transit use will significantly increase. Only by providing for high quality pedestrian linkages to and within these new American transit communities and providing for enhanced opportunities for higher education and job training, will such communities substantially contribute in the near and long term to growth of the economy. Only with a proper concern for the impacts of such built environments, will the quality of life for residents and visitors be improved and sustainable natural environments preserved. Merely rebuilding aging bridges, rail beds, and creating new highways will not solve our mobility, energy, and economic problems. A change from past transportation and community planning is necessary and a new integration of policy, political, and implementation efforts must evolve. Public-private partnerships leverage public investment and allow market-based economics to support synergies of interest. Substantial public investments in infrastructure serve as the catalyst. By focusing on pedestrian urban mobility, education and a decision to build a globally competitive multimodal transportation system, we can move people to employment through investment in infrastructure, growth in the economy, and predictable improvements in the quality of life. The authors (26 individuals with expertise in community development, public finance, and public policy development) welcome opportunities to discuss these matters with national and state policy makers. The following article describes proposed tools for economic growth and the preferred community in the 21th Century and clearly defines these unique pedestrian-oriented, educationally enhanced transit communities. The Author Resumé Statements, Endnotes and Appendices are available from Tom Gustafson on request at: tgiscis@aol.com or tgustafs@nova.edu.


Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences | Osteopathic Medicine and Osteopathy