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→ ecoRI News: Parking Lots Proliferate at Twin River

Getting a parking lot built in Rhode Island typically requires permits and review by state agencies and local officials. But in one case a large lot at Twin River Casino inexplicably appeared next to a wetland.


→ Urbanophile: Milwaukee’s Relationship with the Chicago Mega-City Revisited by David Holmes

I was intrigued by Aaron’s recent post “Don’t Fly Too Close to the Sun Piece” which focused on the relationship between Milwaukee and Chicago and the notion of whether “proximity to Chicago or another mega-city represents an unambiguous good,” or – as posited by Aaron – may actually be more of a curse than a blessing, and something that drains vitality instead of increasing it. This is a topic that interests me both from the perspective of a long-time resident of Milwaukee and as a long-time fan of the City of Chicago. There are likely unique combinations of factors to consider in this type of evaluation for every city pair – including the distance between the cities, the presence or absence of high speed and/or low cost transit options between the cities, and the relative size. Although I did not comment on Aaron’s post at the time of publication, I thought it would be useful to consider some specific examples of ways in which Chicago enhances or decreases Milwaukee’s economic vitality as both the article and many of the comments on Milwaukee-Chicago and other city pairs, seemed to lack specific examples of both positive and negative impacts.

Some Providence-Boston talk made its way into the comments.


→ The Atlantic Cities: 10 Techniques for Making Cities More Walkable

In Jeff Speck’s excellent new book, Walkable City, he suggests that there are ten keys to creating walkability. Most of them also have something to do with redressing the deleterious effects caused by our allowing cars to dominate urban spaces for decades. I don’t necessarily agree with every detail, and my own list might differ in some ways that reflect my own experience and values. But it’s a heck of a good menu to get city leaders and thinkers started in making their communities more hospitable to walkers.


→ Streetsblog: In Memoriam

Streetblog memorializes the grim list of pedestrians and cyclists who were the victims of traffic fatalities in New York City this year.


→ The Washington Post: Improving the Department of Transportation: A conversation with Ray LaHood

Ray LaHood is the 16th secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), which is ranked ninth out of 19 large agencies in the just-released 2012 “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” rankings. DOT was also the most improved large agency, raising its score 4.1 points from 2011. LaHood spoke with Tom Fox, who is a guest writer of the Washington Post’s Federal Coach blog and is the vice president for leadership and innovation at the Partnership for Public Service, which also publishes the rankings. Fox also heads up the Partnership’s Center for Government Leadership.


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