CONSULTING PLANNERS OF MASSACHUSETTS
Expertise for Communities
Local leaders in Virginia are banking on mall redevelopment projects to revive their tax bases and create more mixed-use neighborhoods.
"Cities around the world are reconfiguring their urban grids to support local communities and economies. Boston should do it too.
OVER THE PAST YEAR COVID-19 HAS FORCED DRAMATIC CHANGES in our communities, especially when it comes to outdoor public places. Gyms moved fitness classes into parks. Retailers found new opportunities for "sidewalk sales." Restaurants claimed parking spaces and roadways for outdoor dining service. And in the process, we've sensed how much better our cities and local economies can be after the pandemic.
We hear less traffic on city streets and are exposed to lower levels of harmful pollutants. And we’ve gained an entirely new way of thinking about space in our cities and towns."
"One of the things Lynne Peskoe-Yang, a science writer who lives in Tarrytown, New York, misses about life before social distancing is working from one of the two coffee shops in her town. In fact, now that she's stuck at home, she sometimes plays an eight-hour YouTube video of ambient coffee shop noises while she works. She says it helps...pending most of our days inside our homes, we could be almost anywhere. And yet, where we live — and the public spaces we use to connect with our communities — still matters, maybe even more now than ever. "
“Whatever white people do not know about Negroes reveals, precisely and inexorably, what they do not know about themselves.”
By James Baldwin
Have all cities lost people due to COVID-19, or just a few high-cost ones?
There have been many, many stories about a decline in demand for urban housing* caused by the COVID-19 recession. Because many people can work for home, they no longer need to live in expensive downtowns. As a result, rents in midtown Manhattan and urban San Francisco have plunged. One possible interpretation of these facts is that the 2020s will be like the 1970s, when cities declined and suburbs exploded. Another interpretation is that the most expensive cities are losing people, but that cheaper cities are doing no worse than usual. Which story is supported by the data?
Strengthening U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's civil rights enforcement could send a powerful signal to communities resistant to changing discriminatory housing rules.
With commuters grounded and passenger numbers likely to remain low in U.S. cities, public transportation leaders should focus on a different metric for usefulness: transit access.
“I don’t know whether it’s a post-disaster thing,” Dalziel says. “But for me, it’s sometimes hard to remember what was there before.”
Many Christchurch residents say the same. Their home has undergone enormous transformation in the past 10 years after a 6.3-magnitude earthquake killed 185 people, disrupted tens of thousands of lives and reduced 80% of the city centre to rubble.
Today, the streets of Christchurch are bustling, following a period of sustained construction: first, commercial development of glass-fronted office blocks and high-end retail space – and then civic and cultural buildings, which were either restored or replaced.
The Winter 2021 issue of Mass. APA Planning magazine features Mass-ACP review of "I am Not Your Negro" film and panel discussion sponsored by Mass-ACP and seven things planners can do to advance racial justice.
See pp. 12 and 13 https://www.apa-ma.org/2021/02/02/massachusetts-planning-winter-2021/
Public Art is very different from studio art. The artist is not creating art for themselves, but expressly creating work for the public with particular attention to the environment where it will be placed.
Mark Favermann, long time member of the Mass. Association of Consulting Planners. Check www.favermanndesign.com and read one of Mark's articles here: