Articles in the Good Ideas Category
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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 …
Featured, Good Ideas, Headline »
There is a popular thought experiment that goes a little like this: ‘What would you do if you had a million dollars?’ Frankly, I have no idea. A million dollars is something I cannot even fathom. I work two jobs, and fill my ‘free-time’ working to get ideas off the ground so that one day, I can pursue one of these more meaningful endeavors as a full-time gig. So, for the sake of discussion, lets scale things down to a more human scale; ‘What would you do if you had $10,000?”
This is a question I have an answer to!
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:
Featured, Good Ideas »
Taking a drive from the rural outskirts of Youngstown down State Route 224 to Canton, Ohio is in many ways akin to taking a trip back through time. At one point, before the interstate highway program, US 224 was an important route for truckers. Small towns thrived along its edges, along with farms both large and small. The construction of the expressway ultimately diverted much of the economic lifeblood of 224. And though much has been said about the subsequent decline of the small communities on the route, much less …
For many legacy cities in the former Industrial Heartland of America, waterfronts were never much more than alien spaces. Cargo shipping, steel mills, chemical companies, and other industrial concerns ruled rivers and lakefronts. Manufacturing enterprises even rendered waterways into toxic dumping grounds in the decades before the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Water Act. This is especially true of the former steel city of Youngstown, Ohio.
For most of the twentieth century, miles of massive steel mills covered both banks of the Mahoning River, which snakes through the city of Youngstown.
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. …
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The growth of car-share has helped people forgo the expense of car ownership in major cities like Washington and Seattle, where it’s been widely adopted. But not every city has the market to sustain car-share services from companies like Zipcar or Hertz. In his book Walkable City, Jeff Speck writes that your city might not be “ready” for car-share if, when you stick out your hand downtown, a cab doesn’t stop.
Now an organization in Buffalo, New York, is working to open up car-share to new markets and new demographics. The non-profit Buffalo CarShare has grown to serve 500 members since it launched four years ago in one of the poorest cities in the country.
Featured, Good Ideas »
Warren-based volunteer group gregg’s gardens (www.greggsgardens.org) announced today that we have received $10,000 in funding from the Trumbull 100 (www.trumbull100.org ) – the largest singular gift we have received to date.
Gregg’s gardens are named for the late Gregg Snyder, a lifelong Warren resident who was tragically killed in a 2011 bicycling accident. It is a land re-use strategy that seeks to convert derelict post-demolition residential lots into native plant and wildflower gardens. It is a passive land re-use tool meant to complement other strategies for repurposing the glut of vacant lots in Warren, including residential yard expansion as well as gardens and food production sites.
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 …
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Video after the jump