Author: Jess Zimbabwe

In Detroit, Neighborhood Redevelopment Starts With “Trusting Your Gut”

Last Monday, the City of Detroit emerged from Chapter 9 Bankruptcy — nearly five years after it filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The June 2013 filing came at what was perhaps the nadir of the city’s spirits, battered by decades of population and jobs losses. A few months after the filing, the

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Public Spaces and Local Democracy

On Tuesday, the Tennessee House of Representatives voted to exact revenge on the city of Memphis — approving a measure to withhold $250,000 in funding that had been appropriated for the city’s bicentennial anniversary celebration. A little backstory is required. In December, two statues of Confederate leaders were removed from Memphis parks — a long-awaited

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Affordable Housing is the Real Issue Behind the Oakland Warehouse Fire

Clutter, code enforcement, and safety regulations are simply distractions. Here’s how city leaders can prevent tragedies like the Ghost Ship fire in their own communities. The tragedy of the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland earlier this month may be a difficult one for cities to absorb. How much was the fire a result of the

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A Crash Course in Urban Development

The Urban Land Institute has recently developed a day-long training geared specifically towards elected officials to help them better understand the nuts and bolts of municipal real estate projects and how they’re financed. Community activists sometimes decry market-based urban development projects (and their managers) using words like monstrosity, Satan, and scumbucket. But any public official

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