Friday, August 28th, 2009
Fast Food and the Midwest
Buffalo Rising pointed us at a Men’s Health magazine survey of cities that eat the most and least fast food.
Eats the Most Fast Food:
- #6 Indianapolis
Eats the Least Fast Food:
- #1 Buffalo
- #3 Pittsburgh
- #9 Louisville
- #10 Cleveland
Time Magazine Camps Out in Detroit
Time Magazine has purchased a house in Detroit and is planning to have some of its reporters live there as a sort of Detroit Bureau to write about the city’s challenges and efforts to reinvent itself. Reporters could be based there for a couple of years or more.
It will be interesting to see whether this leads to great depth and sophistication of reporting about the city. A lot of times people like to parachute in, take some pictures of Michigan Central Station, and head out. An article in Vice Magazine (h/t @MWEditor) subtitled “Lazy Journalists Love Pictures of Abandoned Stuff” (warning: this article is fine, but viceland.com can be NSFW) complains about how people come to Detroit only to validate a pre-conceived narrative and ignore anything that doesn’t fit with it.
Of course, there are many legitimate problems in Detroit, such as the 48 vacant buildings “blighted” downtown. Vacant buildings are a problem to be sure, but I’m not sure I’d use the word blighted. Detroit has a treasure trove of pre-war high rises and other great buildings that could, if developed, be a big asset. The pressure to “do something” often leads to pressure to demolish, which in fact simply leaving the building vacant with minor repairs might be a better way to bank the asset.
And the Toronto Globe and Mail reports that Detroit is down but not out.
Lastly, I can’t resist falling prey a bit to the Vice critique by posting this amazing slide show from James D. Griffioen called “The Feral Houses of Detroit“. Here’s a sample:
A Contrary Take on Pittsburgh
American Dirt asks some interesting questions about the Pittsburgh renaissance. This photo sums it up:
This house is in a neighborhood with dramatic views of downtown Pittsburgh from nearby hills, yet appears to struggle. The author contrasts with San Francisco or other places where such dramatic views would command premium pricing.
Vision for Kiener Plaza in St. Louis
Architecture firm HOK did a pro-bono conceptual design for Kiener Plaza on the Gateway Mall in St. Louis. I believe this site is adjacent to the City Garden.
I think it looks cool at first look. Via StL Urban Workshop.
Enrique Peñalosa and the New American City
Here’s a video from the always entertaining Enrique Peñalosa, former mayor of Bogota, Columbia (famous for busways and bike paths), talking about the American city. If you don’t see the video, click here.
Building a Better Think Tank
Eyeweekly.com had an amusing graphic about Richard Florida’s think tank in Toronto:
National and International Roundup
Joel Kotkin says we need “new radicals” in America.
Transport for America has a map showing all the transit cuts and fare hikes in America. On a more positive note, here are some interesting subway maps. And states seek a slice of high speed rail stimulus money.
The winner of the People’s Choice award in the Re-burbia competition was the “Urban Sprawl Repair Kit“.
Ed Morrison has an interesting graph of the strategic process.
The New York Times has more on the Lake Lanier situation in “Atlanta Pitted Against Neighbors in Battle Over Water“.
And the New York Fed has some great charts of county by county credit conditions in America. (via @jwalkersmith)
A user named “scutter” has a great Indianapolis photo series over at flickr.
Cleveland Museum of Art’s new director brings impressive resume (Plain Dealer)
Mayor Frank Jackson believes citizens think city is heading the right direction (Plain Dealer)
Bridges delay risks flexibility for smaller projects (C-J)
Jeffersonville considers innovative canal district (Broken Sidewalk)
Students propose a Shippingport renaissance (Broken Sidewalk)
Smoketown to be transformed by $200 million Hope VI grant (Broken Sidewalk)
Trucks to be diverted from some Zoo interchange ramps (Journal-Sentinel)
A peak at Pittsburgh’s post-industrial peers (Post-Gazette)
Towns rethink plans to enhance communities (Star Tribune)