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RI Future: Taveras Beheads Flanders; Chafee Should Give Him Haircut

Bob Flanders seemed to take a perverse pleasure in threatening other people’s livelihoods. But yesterday he was the one who got beheaded rather than getting a haircut when Providence Mayor Angel Taveras severed the city’s relationship with the Central Falls receiver-turned-municipal bankruptcy zealot.

Taveras fired Flanders yesterday because the retired Supreme Court justice, who was acting as an legal adviser to the Capital City in its quest to avoid going belly up, said he thought bankruptcy was inevitable.

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News & Notes

The Atlantic Cities: The Simple Math That Can Save Cities From Bankruptcy

We tend to think that broke cities have two options: raise taxes, or cut services. Minicozzi, though, is trying to point to the basic but long-buried math of our tax system that cities should be exploiting instead: Per-acre, our downtowns have the potential to generate so much more public wealth than low-density subdivisions or massive malls by the highway. And for all that revenue they bring in, downtowns cost considerably less to maintain in public services and infrastructure.


The Hill: Transportation advocates see little hope for pre-election long-term highway bill

Transportation advocates are losing hope for passage of a highway bill before the election following Congress’s decision this week to pass another short-term funding extension.

Instead of approving the multi-year transportation bill that passed the Senate, lawmakers adopted a temporary extension of legislation that already funds road and transit projects. The short-term measure, signed Friday by President Obama, extends federal transportation funding until June 30.


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PBN: Providence Chapter 9 “unavoidable”

Providence, Rhode Island’s capital and biggest city, probably will seek bankruptcy court protection to deal with a budget deficit, Robert Flanders, the state-appointed receiver for nearby Central Falls, said Tuesday.

“I don’t see how they can get out of it without going there,” said Flanders, a former state Supreme Court justice and a partner at Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP. He put Central Falls into bankruptcy in August and has used the city’s legal status to tear up contracts with city workers and cut pension benefits.

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Taveras warns of Receivership, Bankruptcy at morning Press Conference

Taveras

Reports are coming in from a press conference that Mayor Taveras held this morning, things aren’t good. The Mayor is calling for concessions from non-profits and retirees or the city faces receivership and bankruptcy.

See the end of the post for a Press Release from the City.

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News & Notes

Could cities’ problems be solved by urban acupuncture? [The Guardian]

“Urban acupuncture is a surgical and selective intervention into the urban environment,” said Los Angeles architect and professor John Southern in an interview, “instead of large scale projects that involve not only thousands of acres, but investment and infrastructure that municipalities can no longer provide.”


Urban Green Space Key in Improving Air Quality [The City Fix]

Trees on a street in Seoul

Photo (cc) erasmusa

A new study out of the University of Kent in the UK found that a 10 percent increase in urban tree coverage in mid-size cities, like Leicester, can absorb about 12 percent of carbon emissions, contributing to cleaner air. The study is yet another addition to the argument that any sound urban planning or transit policy to improve air quality must be supplemented with green spaces.


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