Tag: urban

Cities Kick-Start Innovation

Context matters in rankings, whether it is for universities, sports teams or cities. Columbus, Ohio and Medellin, Columbia, are two cities that were recently singled out for recognition. In the case of Medellin the title bestowed was Innovative City of the Year by Citi Group, The Wall Street Journal and the Urban Land Institute. Columbus

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Detroit and DETROPIA

The words come at you harshly and powerfully. Decay. Ruin. Emptiness. America’s Pompeii. These words accompany images of Detroit from photographers Andrew Moore and Camilo Jose Vergara. The photos have been part of two exhibitions at the National Building Museum in Washington, Detroit Disassembled and Detroit Is No Dry Bones. Using a large-format presentation, Moore

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A Way Forward for Local Infrastructure Investment

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is raising the bar on implementing solutions to his city’s infrastructure needs.  During a wide-ranging discussion in Washington, D.C. today, Mayor Emanuel ticked off the challenges he and other local leaders face in cities and towns across America – congested highways, obsolete water and sewer systems, low capacity telecommunications networks and

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A Focus on What Divides Us

Democracy is messy. Big surprise! There are no philosopher kings with boundless wisdom available to make decisions for us. We are on our own and each citizen must decide for him or herself what is truth and falsehood and what is reasonable or what is unacceptable. Battles between neighborhood residents and real estate developers are

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NLC’s Delegation to Europe: Day 4 [Hamburg, Germany]

The delgation’s second day in Hamburg began with a boat tour of the Port of Hamburg, one of the most productive ports in the world.  Delegates were able to converse with representatives of the Hamburg Port Authority and witness several of the innovative practices happening at the Port, including technologies for shorepower connections and automated

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NLC’s Delegation to Europe: Day 3 [Hamburg, Germany]

On day three of the NLC delegation’s tour of Europe, we arrived in Hamburg, Germany, the European Green Capital in 2011. Hamburg is a beautiful and bustling city that is home to the second largest port in Europe and is a center of renewable energy, aerospace, and media. Our visit to Hamburg kicked off with lunch at

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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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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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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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Building Affordable Housing is Risky Business

Please note: This post is a collaboration between James Brooks and Michael Wallace at NLC.  For the past two days, The Washington Post has lambasted the Department of Housing and Urban Development and local housing authorities and community development corporations for failing to adequately manage programs that build or rehabilitate affordable housing. There is a

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