CONSULTING PLANNERS OF MASSACHUSETTS
Expertise for Communities
“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:
Jane Jacobs Lecture: Sustainability in Urban Communities
David Queeley is the director of eco-innovation for the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation working to combine neighborhood scale sustainability, transit-oriented development, renewable energy, waste reduction, and climate preparedness through resilience.
The Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics at Boston College Jane Jacobs Lecture series explores the challenges of political and community leadership in the urban context. Speakers are selected for expertise and practice creating diverse and vital communities, particularly in urban areas.
From Mass-ACP member Mark Favermann:
Mass-ACP member Jeff Levine, city planner and MIT researcher, explains:
"And all those apartments and houses downtown? ... if some of the changes we've seen from COVID-19 become permanent, they'll be invaluable for keeping those areas vibrant.
...What some cities have been doing in terms of encouraging housing downtown is a huge plus,...Local businesses need more disposable income nearby than they used to in order to survive. Looking at those areas that used to be offices above retail and really encouraging them to convert to residential I generally see as a good thing - particularly if we keep having a lot more remote working. Those offices are harder to rent as office space in the future."