Articles in the Good Ideas Category
Featured, Good Ideas, Real Estate »
There has not been a new, enclosed mall to open in the United States, the land of malls and honey, since 2006. This might not seem to be too significant, but given our country’s obsession with shopping, the comfort of remaining in a climate-controlled environment for as long as humanly possible, eating at mediocre chain restaurants, and our fetishization of a suburban-style utopia that just wont go away; trust me, it’s a very big deal.
Indoor shopping malls, for the purposes of retail, are dying and it is a good thing. It is good because it is creating the opportunities to re-think what these massive properties can mean for a neighborhood, and how, through their abandonment, help point toward what is truly important and valuable to a community.
Economic Development, Featured, Good Ideas, Urban Planning »
It’s branding season again in Cleveland, so says the Cleveland Plain Dealer. In its 2012 editorial agenda, a main goal for the upcoming year is “[rebranding Cleveland] to change not only the look and feel of our region’s “capital city,”… but also the way the world and Clevelanders themselves look at it.”
But the branding of a Rust Belt city is tricky business, as you’re dealing with the prospect of putting lipstick on a poorhouse, or at least that’s how it can be perceived. For example, Atlantic Cities recently did a study examining perceptions of the country’s big cities, and the Rust Belt claimed six of the top ten spots in highest percentage of negative reactions, with Detroit and Cleveland claiming first and third place, respectively.
Art, Featured, Good Ideas »
Pretty cool video about Cincinnati’s 1970s-era “Urban Walls Movement,” when more than half a dozen large murals were painted on downtown buildings. Murals really dress up a city and give it life.
Urban Walls Cincinnati from Jacob Fox on Vimeo.
I would love to see something like this in downtown Cleveland.
H/t Urban Cincy
Architecture, Featured, Good Ideas, Sprawl, Uncategorized, Urban Planning »
My hometown of Indianapolis has been a logically designed community based on traditional geometric shapes ever since it’s designer Alexander Ralston first put pen to paper. Monument Circle (source of the ‘Circle City’ nickname) sits at the heart of the original mile square, with a radiating street pattern extending outward from there, though it becomes more grid-oriented in the midtown areas. Later, an outer loop (not circle) was created by Interstate 465 and a near perfect oval was constructed for high-speed excitement and adventure in the suburb of Speedway. Because of Monument Circle and …
Good Ideas, Urban Planning »
There’s no consensus in the urban planning profession — or in public opinion more generally — about how to handle declining cities like Detroit.
All sorts of solutions have been proposed, ranging from the outlandish (making Detroit a “skyscraper ruins park”) to the more widely accepted (converting vacant land into urban agriculture).
But lately Michigan leaders have seized on a strategy that may be the most promising yet: placemaking.
From newspaper columnists to business executives, from the Department of Transportation and Governor Rick Snyder, Wolverines of all stripes seem to be coming to the conclusion that creating vibrant, walkable urban places is perhaps as important to the future of the state as the auto industry was to its past.
Featured, Good Ideas »
Recently, I became aware of one woman’s inspiring effort that is underway here in Greater Lansing. Ariniko O’Meara plans to walk (saunter) every single street in the City of Lansing and relay her thoughts and impressions about them across the net on her City Saunter blog, Facebook page, and on Twitter. There is also an interview on YouTube about her project.
While I had heard some previous references to this ongoing project, I never fully realized the scope and scale of it until the past week or two. There are over 600 miles of streets in Lansing, so her saunter will be continuing over an extended period of time. Instead of me trying to express the spirit of her grand crusade, here’s the summary Ariniko provided on her terrific blog found on wordpress.com.
Good Ideas, Headline »
#1. Paint it green/orange/rainbow swirls. Whatever. The point is, it needs some lacquer, like makeup, to spruce it up.
#2. Put some chairs on it. (Tables: bonus!)
#3. Add some barriers so cars can’t drive onto it. Slabs of broken concrete work nicely. Lovely planters are also good if you want to get fancy about it.
Featured, Good Ideas »
In case you needed a reminder how awesome St. Louis is … on Friday the city held its fifth annual MetroLink Prom, a formal celebration of the city’s beloved lightrail system.
Organized by some of the city’s most creative urban-dwellers, the event honors public transit and the vitality it brings to a city.
“Why do we do this year after year? Because MetroLink—and public transit in general—makes St. Louis a better, more accessible city,” event organizers said in a press release.
This year prom-goers even had a marching band to escort them to …
Architecture, Featured, Good Ideas, Real Estate, The Housing Crisis »
Economic Development, Good Ideas, Regionalism, The Media »
This year marks the third annual Pages & Places Book Festival in Scranton on Saturday.
The event is intimately tied to Scranton as a place, its creators say:
“Pages & Places grew out of two overlapping phenomena. On the one hand, there’s the obvious, ongoing revitalization of the city of Scranton, manifest in new construction and the rehabilitation of some of the city’s landmark architecture, in the influx of new downtown residences, and the reinvigoration of long-time and former residents who have committed to opening businesses downtown. On the other is the realization …