Articles in the Sprawl Category
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, 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 …
I wrote a story this week at Streetsblog attributing Detroit’s bankruptcy to sprawl. Someone left this comment that I thought was really brilliant. It’s about no-growth sprawl, like we see in Detroit and Cleveland and Youngstown and Buffalo–really any rust belt metro.
Check it out:
I call this type of sprawl, in which the wealthiest keep moving further out in search of something newer and better, the “clean plate” theory of urban development, after this exchange in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: “‘I want a clean cup,’ interrupted the Hatter: …
Book Review, Featured, Public Transportation, Sprawl »
What makes a city great? According to Jeff Speck, the secret sauce is, quite simply, walking. If your city is a good place to walk — that is, walking is safe, comfortable, interesting, and useful — everything else will fall into place.
In Walkable City, his talked-about manifesto about healthy urban places, Speck lays out a simple formula for any city to become a pedestrian haven. “Putting cars in their place,” “mixing uses,” “getting parking right,” and supporting transit and cycling are a few of the 10 principles, he says, that separate the successful cities from the rest.
Architecture, Economic Development, Headline, Public Transportation, Sprawl, The Environment, Urban Planning »
The last few times I have visited my home state of Indiana, I have noticed a number of new hospitals recently opened or being constructed along the I-69 corridor in the Indianapolis and Fort Wayne regions. Along I-69 north of I-465 in Indianapolis, it seems like new hospitals are rising from the cornfields at each interchange. IU Saxony Hospital, Community Hospital, and St. Vincent Hospital have all recently migrated to this corridor between Indianapolis and Anderson. The map below does not even include the pre-existing Riverview Hospital in Noblesville (just above the top of the map) or the two existing hospitals in Anderson (Community and Saint John’s) located about 10 miles to the east.
The Obama Administration’s Sustainable Communities Initiative was tailor made for communities like greater Cleveland. Northeast Ohio has been sprawling for decades without adding any population, emptying out the notoriously troubled central city while the regional economy consistently under-performs.
During the last decade the city of Cleveland lost 17 percent of its population. Inner-ring suburbs didn’t fare much better, shedding five to eight percent. Meanwhile, exurban Avon — a tax haven built on cleared forests and farmland 25 miles distant from the center city — grew 85 percent. Northeast Ohio had never undertaken a formal regional planning effort to address the rapid abandonment of its urban areas for unplanned, exurban development.
Brain Drain, Economic Development, Featured, Good Ideas, Green Jobs, Politics, Public Transportation, Sprawl, The Environment, Urban Planning »
At the conclusion of this post is a list of Rust Belt metropolitan areas where clusters of bicycle-friendly organizations (communities, colleges, and businesses) have agglomerated. The numbers are based on those organizations which have been recognized as “bicycle-friendly” by the League of American Bicyclists. These clusters are important for several reasons:
The data shows that more places are “getting it,” not just “progressive” enclaves.
They show that coordinated efforts are taking place in a variety of metropolitan areas, and broadly within each metropolitan area, not just in lone islands of bike friendliness.
Economic Development, Featured, Sprawl, Urban Planning »
Economic Development, Editorial, Featured, Politics, Public Transportation, Sprawl, The Environment, Urban Planning »
Yes. I do believe this to be an accurate statement over the long run. Frankly, any major American city that solely relies on streets and highways for its transportation network will fail to remain competitive and will falter economically over time. That includes cities with bus transit systems that rely on the same streets and highways.
By rail, I am including subways, commuter rail, or light rail (tram, trolley, and modern streetcar). I am not including BRT (bus rapid transit), because they use the same thoroughfares as traditional buses and automobiles. …
Economic Development, Featured, Real Estate, Sprawl, Urban Planning »
Those immortal song lyrics come from Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee and fellow Hoosier John Mellencamp’s classic rock tune entitled “Pink Houses.” On my return trip to Michigan from Indianapolis on Sunday afternoon, I decided to follow the road less traveled and was fortunate enough to visit one very proud small town for an hour or so and take in some of the local history and culture.
Most small towns cannot claim a legendary icon as their native son or daughter. Charming Fairmount, Indiana, set amid a patchwork quilt of rural farms and with an population of approximately …