Articles in the Urban Planning Category
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 …
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.
Economic Development, Featured, Great Lakes, Public Transportation, Regionalism, Urban Planning »
Since reading the book Aerotropolis several months ago, the topic of intermodal logistics has been on my mind. One logistical issue that routinely comes up in the Great Lakes Region is the congestion and delays that take place in and around Chicago. Being a chokepoint for numerous rail lines and highways at the south end Lake Michigan, the Chicago Region is critical hub for cross-country freight movements. With the rapid growth in just-in-time delivery, containerization, container ports, and intermodal facilities over the past few decades, any bottlenecks and/or delays here …
Urban Planning »
Build skywalks all over it, a la Detroit. This way people can spend all day in your city without even stepping foot in it, conveniently floating a safe 25 feet above street level all day!
It pains me that I even I have to write this article, but here goes, I am holding my nose. Officials in the city of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County are planning to build two of these babies right in the heart of downtown around major new developments–above the protests of residents and young people.
Sometimes, in Cleveland …
Headline, Urban Planning »
Writers of all different stripes been winding up to give creative class guru Richard Florida a verbal spanking, after one study questioned whether his theories, put into practice, offer much by the way of help the poor.
Florida himself brought it up in a column for Atlantic Cities, how one study had shown that “talent agglomeration” in cities did lift income levels broadly. However the study showed that the income gains in these trendy metros were eaten up by increased housing prices.
It’s an important finding, and to give credit where credit is due, Mr. Creative Class himself was the first one to bring it to anyone’s attention. Since then, a parade of writers have basically been calling him a fraud who’s ruining America.
Featured, Urban Planning »
Last week , it was announced at a Youngstown City Council Community Development Agency committee meeting that the city will be working toward securing funds for a downtown and main city corridor plan.
The funding is being spearheaded by SC2 Washington D.C. Fellow Scott Smith whose mission, in part, is to help actualize a number of the recommendations listed in Youngstown’s recent 251-page, $250k efficiency study.
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)
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 …
Education, Featured, Politics, Urban Planning »
The other day I was browsing through Twitter and I came across a tweet about Columbus Public Schools’ reorganization, or “reinvention”; I can’t remember the exact term they were using, but I’m sure it was snappier than that.
It got me thinking. Because when I was last living in Columbus, and that was about six years ago now, they were doing the same thing. I’m pretty sure if we had a time machine and we could travel to the future of Columbus, one, six, 12 years down the line, they’d be …