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Nature Can Reduce Costs, Extend Life Of Infrastructure Projects

Nature can reduce costs, extend life of infrastructure projects

A newly published article could prompt discussion around adoption of construction designs and methods that utilize nature to cut costs, extend project lifecycles and improve ecological synergy, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist. The lead author is Rusty Feagin, AgriLife Research professor and ecologist in the Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and the Department of Ocean Engineering in the College of Engineering, both at Texas A&M University. In addition to Feagin, 23 U.S. and European professionals…

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Environmental Justice In Urban Development: The Problem Of Green Gentrification

Environmental justice in urban development: the problem of green gentrification

Former railroad turned elevated park, the New York City High Line presents a prime example of creating new green spaces to beautify, ameliorate, and revitalize surrounding communities. Although certainly one of the city’s most popular parks, the High Line also serves as the culprit for a sharp 35% increase in adjacent housing values.   Read more from Chelsea Chen with Environmental Law Institute here.

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The Renewed Environmental Justice Movement Is Bringing In Millions For Texas Southern University

The renewed environmental justice movement is bringing in millions for Texas Southern University

Forty years ago, there was no clear blueprint for environmental justice. While digging into the injustices that wreaked havoc on Houston’s communities of color, Texas Southern University scholar Robert Bullard became the pioneer. Now, widely regarded as “the father of environmental justice,” Bullard, 74, has seen the movement evolve into a force to be reckoned with.   Read more from Brittany Britto with the Houston Chronicle here.

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Is It 2021 Or 1961 At America’s DOTs?

Is it 2021 or 1961 at America’s DOTs?

As a society, we often can't see ourselves in the villains of our history books. Back then was a less enlightened era, we tell ourselves: a more prejudiced one, a more shortsighted or naïve one. The things they did we would surely never do today, because we've learned. Right? Maybe in some cases, but not in the case of the freeway builders.   Read more from Daniel Herriges with Strong Towns here.

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The Infrastructure Bill Has Passed. What Now?

The infrastructure bill has passed. What now?

We highly recommend this nuanced take on recent federal infrastructure funding outlined in the article below from Small Towns. While having additional federal infrastructure funding is crucial to the continued success of our changing communities, we also recognize that with big money comes big challenges. - Hill Country Alliance So, the behemoth of an infrastructure bill finally passed over the weekend. And there was much rejoicing… Well, not from us. At Strong Towns, we’ve been skeptical of the current bill…

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All In The Family

All in the Family

Bryan Parras recalls a time in elementary school when he accompanied his dad on a work trip to Nederland, in Texas’ Golden Triangle. The warehouse where his dad organized county workers was “just one open vacant room with a bunch of chairs like you would see in a movie.” Bryan, now 44, remembers running around outside, playing on a mound of sand, while his dad discussed strategy with Jefferson County employees.   Read more by Irene Vázquez from the Texas…

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Bee Cave Seeking To Become Dark Sky Community

Bee Cave seeking to become Dark Sky Community

The city of Bee Cave will apply to become a Dark Sky Community, a move that would further efforts to preserve the night sky in the Hill Country region by placing restrictions on lights inside city limits. To become a Dark Sky Community, cities must apply through the International Dark-Sky Association and meet certain criteria, which include operating under IDA-compliant outdoor lighting ordinances, educating the public on the importance of the dark sky and gaining community support for the IDA…

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Developers Going Big In Surging Town

Developers going big in surging town

It’s a trend in Texas’ fastest-growing county: growing pains. The population of Dripping Springs, a bedroom community west of Austin in Hays County, boomed over 175 percent in the last six years to nearly 7,500 people, census figures show. Now it needs to upgrade roads and wastewater treatment. And it doesn’t have enough restaurants or middle-priced housing for all the newcomers.   Read more from Annie Blanks with San Antonio Express-New here.

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Developer Aims To Create ‘legacy’ Music Venue With Massive 20,000-seat Amphitheater In Southwest Austin

Developer aims to create ‘legacy’ music venue with massive 20,000-seat amphitheater in Southwest Austin

Developers hope to add a crown jewel to the Austin area's already bustling live music scene: a 20,000-seat amphitheater at the center of a 71-acre entertainment and residential project near Bee Cave. International Development Management Co. aims to open the first pieces of the Violet Crown project in 2023, with the amphitheater targeted to open by Labor Day 2023. Plans also call for two luxury apartment towers, a distillery and tasting room, a Top Golf-style driving range and a parking…

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