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January 2, 2015

Normal’s New Uptown Station Spurs Growth

The multimodal Uptown Station in Normal, Illinois spurred impressive growth in transit ridership and mixed-use private downtown investment, according to a recent study. The transportation center brings together Amtrak, intercity bus lines, local transit, cars, shuttles, taxis, bicycles, and pedestrians. It is the  centerpiece of a LEED-ND certified downtown revitalization plan by Farr Associates of Chicago. Based on the new urban plan, an oddly shaped intersection was converted into a major public space called Uptown Circle--fronted by a new children’s museum, town hall, the transportation center, and mixed-use buildings with shops and restaurants. “Private spinoff development anchored by the transit center, totaling $220 million, is already revitalizing Uptown Normal,” notes Washington DC-based Good Jobs First, which wrote the report funded by the Ford Foundation. “It’s a best-practice model of long-range neighborhood planning focused around transit investments.”

Disaster Preparedness and Recovery

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has developed materials to help businesses be prepared before and after a disaster. Materials include financial forms, checklists and resources in English and in Spanish. 

 

Veterans in Rural America
 
Nearly 4 million veterans resided in rural (nonmetropolitan) America in 2012. They are a rapidly aging and increasingly diverse group of men and women who comprise over 10% of the rural adult population despite their persistently declining numbers; the number of veterans living in rural areas declined from 6.6 million in 1992 to 3.8 million in 2012. A drop in the size of the active military population since 1990, from 3 million to roughly 1.4 million, and natural decrease due to aging (over half of rural veterans were age 65 or older in 2012, compared to 18% of the nonveteran rural population) means the downward trend in the number of rural veterans will likely continue for many years. Read more in the report, Rural Veterans at a Glance
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