May 09, 2008

Lessons from Hinesville 1 — Army towns

Last week I was in three cities — Phoenix, Seattle, and Portland — that have people who “get it”. But that’s not just true of big cities. There are — all over America — people in smaller places who also understand good urbanism (even if ...

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May 09, 2008

Three Places that have People who Get It — Portland

The City of Portland gets it. What a great — and a steadily getting better — American city. I remember being at a conference some years ago in Portland. A friend of mine, Les Hall from Oklahoma, brought his wife along to the conference since ...

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May 09, 2008

Three Places that have People who Get It — Seattle

My host in Seattle was Historic Seattle, Inc. This is an unusual organization, in that it is in part a membership based non-profit organization (like most preservation groups). But it is also part public development authority of the City of Seattle. This second role has allowed ...

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May 09, 2008

Unintended Consequences of the Push for Density

I’ve always loved Seattle, particularly the grittiness of it. Although the grittiness seems to be disappearing apace. But Seattle has always been at the forefront of trying to address difficult urban issues. They don’t always get it right, but unlike many cities, they don’t shy ...

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May 08, 2008

Three Places that have People who Get It — Phoenix

This week I was fortunate to be hosted by three great preservation groups in three western cities — Phoenix, Seattle and Portland. The Phoenix group that organized a luncheon was theCapitol Mall Association. This is an aggressive community development corporation that not only has historic ...

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May 08, 2008

LEED and Lunacy in Lexington

You all know about LEED, the acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, the checklist process where so-called “green architects” and their allies in the building materials, construction and real estate fields can go about getting certified. It’s the equivalent of getting those gold ...

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May 08, 2008

Sustainable Development and “Green Buildings” Aren’t Synonyms

Sustainable development is critical for the future of the planet. So called green buildings are an important part of a comprehensive sustainable development strategy. An important part, but not the whole thing. Far, far too many environmentalists and “green architects” in the US think that green ...

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Apr 08, 2008

Neighborhood Business District vs Shopping Center in Neighborhood

Neighborhood Business District vs Shopping Center in Neighborhood I learn from my clients — or sometimes their assignment forces me to learn for myself. This was recently the case in a trip to Boise, Idaho. I was invited by Terri Schorzman of COMPASS — the Community ...

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Apr 08, 2008

Best Job in the World

I often tell clients, students and audiences that I have the best job in the world — and that is no exaggeration. Every year I get to visit a hundred or so communities throughout the United States, and in recent years a dozen or so ...

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Jan 09, 2008

You’ve Come a Long Way Baby (or not)

Back in the late 60s when the Women’s Movement was becoming an important and influential voice in American politics, life and culture, the ever opportunistic tobacco industry leaped into the fray. Philip Morris introduced a new brand of cigarettes – Virginia Slims – specifically targeted ...

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