Articles in the Architecture Category
Architecture, Brain Drain, Crime, Economic Development, Headline, Sprawl, Urban Planning »
To me, Canton, Ohio, is a place that drips memories. I can see and feel them come at me in great waves as I drive down Cleveland Avenue to the still-beating heart of a once great city. Canton: a place I knew as an outsider from the suburbs; a place where I first saw both the solemn ugliness of the world and the gentle beauty of street life. This is a city of wonder and a city of ugliness. Even at its nadir in the 1990s, you knew Canton was a place that many once cared about deeply.
Architecture, Economic Development, Editorial, Featured, Good Ideas, Real Estate, The Environment, Urban Planning »
I don’t know about your community, but here in Greater Lansing there seems to be an intense love affair between public utilities and power poles. “Holy pincushions, Batman, you’d think they’d all been raised by a family of porcupine.”
In some places, the primary roadway corridors look like a long, linear parade of power pole blight. Sadly, all too often this leaves communities in the region with disjointed and unpleasant streetscape aesthetics to overcome. I know Greater lansing is not alone, as I have seen power pole blight across many parts …
Architecture, Art, Brain Drain, Economic Development, Editorial, Education, Featured, Good Ideas, Green Jobs, Public Transportation, Sprawl, The Environment, Urban Planning »
I had the great pleasure of visiting Boulder, Colorado for the first time over an extended weekend. As an urban planner, I was able to take away many useful lessons for Rust Belt communities from the lovely city abutting the Front Range. Granted, not every place can be set aside majestic mountains, but every community does have unique attributes.
Here are what I would quantify as the top ten. Many of these are remarkably similar to the ten lessons from European industrial cities published earlier this month.
Cherish, protect, enhance, and enjoy …
Architecture, Art, Economic Development, Editorial, Featured, Good Ideas, Politics, Public Transportation, Urban Planning »
I have had the distinct privilege and honor of visiting the great cities of Dublin, Ireland; Glasgow, Scotland; and Manchester, England in the past four years. All three of these industrial revolution-era urban centers can provide America’s Rust Belt will valuable insights about overcoming past malaise and degradation to chart a new economic paradigm. Here are ten lesson I have learned from visiting them and observing what makes all three so vibrant:
Architecture, Featured »
The St. Louis Place neighborhood on St. Louis’ north side offers an array of nearly every condition found in the city’s body: elegant Gilded Age architecture, ravaged abandoned buildings (including some struck by brick thieves), vacant lots, infill construction of all kinds, the city’s only mud-walled building and experimental agriculture of all scales. The neighborhood’s core was platted in 1850, when the city limit was still to the east. By 1900, St. Louis Place was a dense mixed-use walking neighborhood, settled mainly by German-Americans.
Architecture, Crime, Economic Development, Featured, Great Lakes, Politics, Public Transportation, Race Relations, Real Estate, Sports, Sprawl, The Media, U.S. Auto Industry, Urban Planning, Urban Poverty »
As a Michigander for the past 21 years, I’ve heard my share of Detroit criticisms, jokes, and put downs, both from within and outside the Great Lakes State. While fingers can be pointed at the lack of past civic and political leadership in Detroit, our collective actions (or lack thereof) can certainly share in the responsibility. Some may scoff at such a notion, but here’re a few reasons why:
As a nation we elected leaders who adopted a tax code and laws that advocated, promoted, and accelerated flight from cities and …
Architecture, Art, Economic Development, Featured, Good Ideas, Public Transportation, Real Estate, The Environment, Urban Farming, Urban Planning »
In a number of cities, there are certain derelict streets that are nearly denuded of dwellings or businesses. Desolate and forlorn, these streets resemble something out of a post war apocalypse. Detroit may be the poster child du jour of such stark and sad emptiness, but there are many other examples across the Rust Belt and elsewhere. What to do with neglected streets has long been a source of planning discussion and conjecture. In some instances entire abandoned neighborhoods have or are being converted to urban agriculture or community gardens. …
Architecture, Economic Development, Editorial, Featured, Headline, Politics, Real Estate, The Media, Urban Planning »
Once again, it appears that “build it and celebrate it” no matter the past sins (or future consequences) reigns supreme among economic developers. While hyping an announcement of more jobs and new construction in Greater Lansing, the fact that the insurance company in question challenged its property taxes using the “functionally obsolete building” scheme in 2010 was conveniently overlooked (see article in City Pulse).
If you are not familiar with the “functionally obsolete” tax game that is being employed most often by big box retailers, the claim that is made is …
In 2012, Grand Rapids, Michigan and Asheville, North Carolina tied in a nationwide vote as Beer City, USA. The Grand Rapids consolidated metropolitan area has no less than 19 craft breweries dotting its scenic West Michigan landscape and at least one more set to open soon. According to experiencegr.com these include:
· B.O.B.’s Brewery
· Brewery Vivant
· Founders Brewing Co.
· Harmony Brewing Co.
· The Hideout Brewing Co.
· Grand Rapids Brewing Co.
· Jaden James Brewery
· Michigan Beer Cellar (Sparta)
· The Mitten Brewing Co.
· New Holland Brewing Co. (Holland)
· Old Boys’ Brewhouse (Spring Lake)
Architecture, Economic Development, Featured, Good Ideas, Green Jobs, The Environment, U.S. Auto Industry, Urban Planning »
Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo recently installed a bank of 15 solar-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in one of its parking lots at Miller Auditorium. What a great idea for making green driving greener.
Utilizing the sun for recharging eliminates the need for electric infrastructure upgrades, uses Mother Nature as the power source instead of fossil fuels, and in theory eliminates the need for the property owner and/or the vehicle owner would have to pay a utility for the electric charge since it is derived from sunlight.
Here is a brief …