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NHC Beyond 4 Walls Podcast

Transit Trend of 2011: Light Rail Takes Off

The ability to make homes affordable to all in America is only one piece of the puzzle NHC and the Center are striving to solve this upcoming year. Another major piece of the complex puzzle is a thriving transportation system for the community’s workforce. This has been an issue NHC and the Center care deeply about and was the theme of our 2010 National Symposium, Including Affordable and Workforce Housing within Transit-Oriented Development. Cities across the nation have started to step up to fill in this missing piece with light rail as the solution.

NPR highlights Denver’s ambitious 12-year multi-billion dollar light rail transportation project that city planners and politicians hope will reshape the economic landscape of the city.

Denver is only one project of many that has jumped aboard the light rail phenomenon that has swept the nation in the past year. The economic downturn has called for new and more innovative ways to guide development. Light rail not only has the potential to increase development but also increase benefits to the local workforce, and has been relatively well-accepted with the car-culture folks.

There is now, more than ever, due to global economic competition, a “need for cities to become magnets for talent, become true world-class cities,” according to NPR reporter JJ Sutherland.

Does the key to obtaining such magnetic force lay in light rail? Only 2011 will tell.

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