I will be giving the keynote address at the IndyPartnership annual meeting on March 23rd, so Indianapolis readers should check it out. It would be great to get to meet some of you there.
Also, I was just up in Minneapolis yesterday for the Urban Land Institute Minnesota Chapter 2010 annual program.
I’m on the left. Photo by Megan Dobratz
It was a great time with a great group of people talking technology, talent attraction, and other fun topics. And I was reminded yet again of why Minneapolis is such a great city. Like many Midwest cities, they worry about having limited brand visibility and mind share out in the nation at large. But they’ve got a great product. If you haven’t been there, go check it out.
If you are interested in having me speak to your group or at your event, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss a booking.
Also, Planetizen recently gave the Urbanophile an honorable mention in their Top Ten Web Sites of 2010 and also gave the nice quote above which is making me blush. They similarly noted New Geography, where I am a contributing editor. Thanks for the kind words and mention.
1. Richard Layman: Commercial district revitalization and return on public investment. Richard nails it: “The other thing to remember is that it took many decades for neighborhoods and commercial districts to decline, so we have to recognize that it will take a long time for these places to be improved. It takes even longer when we don’t know what we are doing, and we fail to learn from previous practice, not to mention best practice, and we put in minimal amounts of money so that it makes improvement very hard to come about, and we don’t direct money in ways where it can have great impact so that money gets wasted.”
Richard also has another great piece this week called Economic impact of arts-culture events vs. incentives for corporate headquarters vs. building a local economy
2. Ed Glaeser: Why the anti-urban bias? Glaeser describes how cities lose out in transportation funding. You might also be interested in my piece on reforming anti-urban bias in transportation spending as well.
3. Roger Scruton @ The American: The High Cost of Ignoring Beauty.
4. Boston Globe: London from above at night – Simply stunning photographs of London.
GOOD pointed me at this map showing the percentage of each state’s electricity needs that could be supplied from renewable sources:
The folks at INRIX just released their 2009 National Transit Scorecard with travel time details and ranking for America’s metro areas. Here is how the Midwest metros stacked up in the league tables of most congested cities:
- #3 – Chicago
- #12 – Minneapolis-St. Paul
- #21 – St. Louis
- #24 – Pittsburgh
- #27 – Detroit
- #28 – Kansas City
- #33 – Cincinnati
- #36 – Louisville
- #37 – Cleveland
- #42 – Milwaukee
- #48 – Indianapolis
- #55 – Columbus
The Beer Belly of America
Flowing Data pointed me at this analysis from that compares the number of bars vs. the number of groceries in American counties:
World and National Roundup
Shareable: Can we design cities for happiness?
The Guardian: The Pei Master (IM Pei interview)
Libby Brooks @ The Guardian: The Dignity of Labor
The Guardian: Los Angeles on the brink of an abyss.
Ed Glaeser: Betting on Atlanta
Architect’s Newspaper: Lost in Penn Station
Jim Russell: Post-Industrial South
Joel Kotkin appeared on Minnesota Public Radio to promote his book. I thought he got a reasonably positive response, but not from Twin City Sidewalks, who blew a sprocket. See both sides for yourself.
“Possibility Journalism” in Cincinnati
Cincinnati Blog pointed me at this piece about a meeting of journalists in Cincinnati trying to figure out how to create a new and possible narrative of the city. Here’s the video they produced about the event. (If it doesn’t display for you, click through to the article above).
Detroit Population Loss
This Robert J. Cristiano piece in New Geography included this AP graphic of population loss in Detroit:
On the good news front, the founder of Quicken wants to bring 2,400 jobs downtown.
Google Maps Adds Biking Directions
Google Maps will now give you directions for travel by bike, which is pretty cool as this video demonstrates (if the video doesn’t display, click here).
Branding and Biking in Rotterdam
The amazing folks over at Copenhagenize found this inspiring music video/branding film/advert about Rotterdam created in conjunction with their hosting the le Grand Départ for Le Tour de France this year. (If the video doesn’t display, click here).
Ohio won Site Selection magazine’s Governor’s Cup for economic development last year as the number one state in the country for deals done.
Also in Ohio, Community Research Partners took a look back at the Census results for Ohio over the decades.
Tri-State/I-57 interchange will move forward (Tribune) – $570M for one interchange? I think I’m beginning to see why Illinois has a budget problem.
CTA pay for bus drivers is #3 in the nation (Tribune) – #1 if cost of living is taken into account
A love-hate relationship (Urban Out)
Cleveland’s Comeback (Next American City)
Detroit: The Last Days (The Guardian)
Fishers named America’s stop affordable suburb (Business Week)
Abramson wants city or state to buy LG&E or KU if they are for sale (C-J)
Mayor Slay endorses rejoining St. Louis County (Mayor’s web site) – St. Louis is an independent city not part of St. Louis County today.
Designers should plan removal of downtown I-70 lanes (Post-Dispatch) – editorial board endorses City to River
St. Louis: City and River – part one, part two (Exquisite Struggle)
The Chicago Transit Authority has approved the “mobile garden” concept, which would attach a garden car to the L and have it travel the city. Now the organizers are fundraising for the project. Check out their web site if you want to learn more or contribute.