Articles in the The Environment 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 …
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.
Book Review, Brain Drain, Economic Development, Featured, Great Lakes, Headline, Labor, Politics, Race Relations, The Environment, U.S. Auto Industry, Urban Planning, Urban Poverty »
It is difficult to describe how truly outstanding the book entitled Nothing But Blue Skies: The Heyday, Hard Times, and Hopes of America’s Industrial Heartland is to read. As a nearly lifelong Rust Belt resident, I can attest to the fact that Edward McClelland’s newly released book simply nails our industrial heritage, decline, and hopeful potential squarely on the head. From nationally known politicians like Dennis Kucinich or Coleman Young to the everyday blue-collar laborer toiling in our mills and factories, Mr. McClelland personifies the Rust Belt like no other book I have ever read on the subject. As a Lansing native, he has personally witnessed the dramatic (and sometimes catastrophic) changes just in his lifetime. In Nothing But Blue Skies, Mr. McClelland takes the reader on a quasi-chronological step-by-step sequence of events that shook the Rust Belt down it its very core.
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. …
Economic Development, Headline, The Environment »
This post originally appeared in The News Outlet.
It’s a Saturday morning and I’m picking up trash in downtown Youngstown.
Lo and behold, what blows down W. Federal Street, landing at my picker? A newspaper called ‘Shale Play’ which covers Northeast Ohio shale activity exclusively.
Wondering where this came from – and assuming it was somewhere downtown – I walked to the post office where most of the local and regional newspapers bins are located.
Brain Drain, Economic Development, Editorial, Great Lakes, Headline, Politics, Real Estate, The Environment, U.S. Auto Industry, Urban Planning »
The title of this post may be a bit controversial, but can also be sadly true. Far too often, it seems a blind eye is turned toward the sins of the past just to generate new economic investment. A perfect example is portrayed in the past week’s (April 17th edition) of City Pulse by an article entitled “A Tax Break Won’t Change This.” While tax breaks are being offered to GM for additional investment in Greater Lansing, a ginormous vacant parking lot blights the near south side of the city, not to mention additional deteriorated sites along Saginaw Highway on the west side of town.
Brain Drain, Education, Green Jobs, The Environment, Urban Planning »
Published annually by Fourth Economy Consulting of Pittsburgh, the Fourth Economy Index identifies those counties that are “ideally positioned to attract modern investment and managed economic growth.” The index is broken down into micro (<25,000 population) small (25,000-49,999), mid-sized (50,000-149,999), and large (150,000-499,999) counties based on population. The following five metrics are utilized as foundations for determining future economic success:
Below is a list of the Top 10 large counties as determined by the Fourth Economy Index – six of which are Rust Belt counties (shown …
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 …
In what may be a first for the nation, Michigan Governor Snyder recently signed legislation establishing a “Dark-Sky Coast” on 21,000 acres of State-owned land in Emmet County, located north of Petoskey and west of Mackinaw City. An aerial photograph of the newly designated Dark-Sky Coast is shown.
Combined with the existing Headlands International Dark-Sky Park, it is hoped the two sites will increase tourism while also literally displaying the numerous benefits of protecting the night sky from sources of light pollution, particularly sky glow or the urban halo effect created by communities which do not require downshielded lighting and shut-off fixtures.
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.