Lewis Center research on economic development includes also the areas of infrastructure investment, such as highways, parks, affordable housing, and crime prevention; and specific efforts in neighborhood development, small business development, business retention and expansion, technology transfer, and real estate development.
After decades of sprawl, state and regional governments are now focused on encouraging compact, infill and transit-oriented growth as a key strategy to reduce vehicle travel and greenhouse gas emissions. According to this logic, growth in already-developed areas that are more central and better-served by transit will result in less driving and fewer emissions. Cudahy is such a community, and has upzoned a significant portion of the City to accommodate future growth.
But Cudahy is also unprepared for growth in various ways. First, it has fundamental existing deficiencies in water and sewer infrastructure. The City needs to assess such deficiencies as well as future needs, and develop a financing mechanism to sustain these systems. Second, there has been very little permitted development in Cudahy in the past decade. This indicates that the market for new development is poor, and points toward the possible existence of regulatory barriers that affect financial feasibility of new development. Finally, when the City does grow, it lacks a financing mechanism to sustain public infrastructure; the City struggles with constrained resources. There is no local funding source for infrastructure for walking, biking, and transit access, which are crucial to support a growth strategy aimed at overall reductions in auto travel and emissions. Likewise, the City will have difficulty maintaining and expanding its park system for a growing population.
The project thus has two primary goals: (1) we seek to identify and remove unnecessary regulatory barriers to growth in Cudahy, and (2) we seek to create financing mechanisms that will sustain multimodal transportation infrastructure and park access under future growth.
Toward the first goal, we begin with an attention to minimum parking requirements. These are the largest regulatory burden placed on developers in Cudahy, and […]