Survey of 50 U.S. Cities Sees Benefits of Historic Preservation

Los Angeles  Matt Machin / Flickr)
Created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preservation Green Lab, the Atlas of ReUrbanism examines more than 10 million buildings of all ages, scoring urban areas by the median age of buildings, the diversity of ages in an area, and the size of buildings and parcels. According to the report, areas with only new buildings are less likely to promote entrepreneurial activity, density, and diversity than areas with a mixture of new and old. Places with older, smaller buildings... Read more

EDRA Great Places Award Program

edra-great-places
The Environmental Design Research Association, in partnership with Project for Public Spaces, presents the 19th Annual Great Places Awards. The Great Places Awards seek to recognize work that combines expertise in design, research and practice; and contributes to the creation of dynamic, humane places that engage our attention and imagination. Applications due January 31, 2017. Learn more and apply... Read more

Can Spending Money on Trails and Density Grow Tech Jobs in St. Louis County?

A greenhouse that's part of the Danforth Plant Science Center (Laurie Skrivan / The St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
The amenities and density that often help attract a highly educated workforce are somewhat lacking in a suburb developed when planners thought of little more than accommodating cars. Now, area leaders are planning trails and connections to food and entertainment, attributes many believe are necessary to continue attracting the top-notch scientific talent that drives biotech investment. Read more... Read more

Changes in Landscapes and Buildings Could Help Fight Flooding

Using pickaxes to dig a hole at the Woods of Shavano for a rain garden aimed at retaining stormwater and reducing pollutants that reach the Edwards Aquifer (Ray Whitehouse / The San Antonio Express-News)
A curbside garden filled with native plants that attract and feed bees and butterflies. Roofs covered with plants that slow the flow of water. Barrels and tanks that collect the rain pouring off rooftops. Water quality experts believe that these types of landscape and design features, known as low-impact development, or LID, are both an important part of solving San Antonio’s problems with environmentally degraded waterways and flooding, particularly as the city continues to grow. Read more... Read more

Planning & Zoning for Health in the Built Environment

(Source: APA)
This Essential Info Packet (EIP) from the American Planning Association (APA) offers planners a collection of resources to help them better understand the connections between health and the built environment and integrate community health considerations into their planning and zoning work. The EIP is an annotated resource list that allows users to click through to the various websites, APA resources, and non-APA documents collected for this packet. Learn more... Read more

Five Approaches to Reviving Aging Mall Sites

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Aging shopping malls—many burdened with high vacancy rates or even abandoned—are being transformed into vibrant, mixed-use destinations that are connected to their surrounding communities. Once-popular regional shopping malls are being hit from all angles: by the explosion of online shopping, millennials’ preference for vibrant urban experiences, and ever-changing retail customers’ tastes. At the 2016 ULI Fall Meeting, “the mall of the future” was explored by a panel of design, development, and placemaking experts. Read more... Read more

Detroit’s Downtown Rebounds, but Neighborhoods Lag Behind

A vacant house in Detroit's Brush Park neighborhood (Rebecca Cook / Reuters)
While downtown and Midtown are on the rise, several other neighborhoods have yet to bounce back from population loss, disinvestment and scores of foreclosures. The under-construction Little Caesars Arena, which house the Detroit Pistons and the Red Wings, is the centerpiece of a coming 50-block entertainment district in a part of downtown that’s already nearly at capacity with new residents and new businesses. But some say the city is missing the kind of targeted spending that could reduce the number... Read more

Bridging D.C.‘s Starkest Divide

A rendering of proposed 11th Street Bridge (Credit: OMA/Olin)
The gulf between the D.C. neighborhoods of Anacostia and Navy Yard, separated only by the Anacostia River, has become emblematic of the extremes of poverty and wealth in a polarized city. Anacostia is just a mile away, but far removed from the urban playground that is Navy Yard. Can a park over the Anacostia River spur a revolution in urban development? Read more... Read more
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