Tag: place making

Thinking Big on Main Street

As we consider how cities can thrive, we try to look at the big picture.  We often begin at the city level and think beyond it—creating economic linkages with foreign markets, addressing the global issues of energy use and climate change, and focusing on cities’ roles within their regional, national, and international context. But last

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Chicago’s Path to Better Regional Competitiveness

The city of Chicago stands high on a number of rankings that consider benchmarks such as economic output, educational attainment, public transit assets and quality of place. The numbers are pretty consistent across a number of research studies including the most recent one conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In the

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Go Tell the Spartans

Lansing, Michigan – The Spartans of old were the lightly armed, highly determined warriors that defended the pass at Thermopylae in 480 B.C. against a vastly superior force of Persians, bent on the complete destruction of Greece. The modern Spartans are the lightly armed and highly determined municipal officials who battle to prevent Michigan from

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La Rambla de Barcelona

The first thing a visitor to Barcelona may notice is the time shift. At 7:30 in the morning, even the Starbucks is not open. In fact, the only people on the streets of the Gothic Quarter are the tourists streaming from their small hotels past the closed shops with the doors covered in graffiti. Even

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“New Urbanism”: What Does it Mean to City Leaders?

The term new urbanism brings about visions of the constructed reality of Truman Burbank—played by actor Jim Carey in the 1998 Hollywood movie, The Truman Show.  The movie depicts Burbank’s fabricated made-for-TV life in his made-for-TV small town and was filmed on location in Seaside, Florida. Seaside was master planned in the early ‘90s, and

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Places and People are Keys to Thriving Cities

Efforts at “place making” have seldom been so visible in both federal policy and local initiative.  But author Edward Glaeser in his popular work Triumph of the City, suggests that a focus on place is truly, well, misplaced.  “Invest in people,” Glaeser advocates, because at their best cities are job-creating engines that put talent to

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Which Comes First: the Neighbors or the Neighborhood?

The stretch of land has all the attributes to warm the cockles of a city planner’s heart. Bordering the west side is a major sports venue and the nescient development that often accompanies such a facility. At the eastern edge is a moderate density mixed-use federal government property having a significant historical presence and value.

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Ideas Require a Team to Carry Them Forward

The New York Times called John Fetterman of Braddock, Pennsylvania the “Mayor of Rust.” To his credit, the mayor accepts the moniker as a compliment. To be sure, there are many accomplishments for which Mayor Fetterman can be proud. He has embraced land banks, urban agriculture, and green roofing as initiatives to revitalize his community.

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Investing in People and Places

For the United States to remain globally competitive, our economy – especially its workforce – needs to continue to improve, adapt and innovate. The key strength of American enterprise has always been innovation. Here, in the rough and tumble competition of the marketplace, the lone entrepreneur toiling in the garage is the patron saint of

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