Las Vegas Uses New Markets Tax Credits to Rehab Historic Former School

The historic Westside School in Las Vegas (Credit: KME Architects)
Westside School in west Las Vegas was the public school attended by Native American students from the Paiute Indian reservation and the first school in the city to be racially integrated. But by the time the building entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, it was unoccupied. Last year, the city-owned property re-opened after rehabilitation as a community center and office space. Read more... Read more

Buffalo’s Zoning Code Steps Into the 21st Century

Buffalo, New York (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)
The Buffalo Green Code unanimously passed the Common Council, ushering in the first overhaul of the city code in 63 years. City planning will move from a suburban model of development to one considered progressively urban in its approach to green and smart-growth principles. Read more... Read more

The New American Suburb: Diverse, Dense, and Booming

Downtown Naperville, Illinois, an example of denser suburban development (Credit: Ian Freimuth / Flickr)
American suburbs are far from a static set of cookie-cutter housing developments. But a forthcoming new report, Demographic Strategies for Real Estate, suggests that this archetypical part of the American landscape is in for some massive changes over the next decade that will reshape planning, land-use, and the real estate market. Read more... Read more

We Need Code Reform: How Do We Get There?

Petosky, Michigan (Source: CNU Public Square)
We know that traditional zoning and development codes can be harmful to building strong, prosperous communities. So why has progress been so slow—why do rules that actively hinder the development that we say we want persist in most of our cities and villages? The Michigan Municipal League recently hosted a workshop that connected five Michigan cities with a team of national development code-writing experts convened by Congress for the New Urbanism to dig into this question. Read more... Read more

Uptown Office Buildings Ditch Dull Lobbies for Bars and Restaurants

Renovation work is ongoing at the Bank of America Plaza building's ground floor (Credit: Davie Hinshaw  / Charlotte Observer)
Some of Charlotte’s most prominent office buildings are getting major ground-floor makeovers. Out: Blank walls, reflective black glass and bank branches. In: Hip new restaurants and bars that invite pedestrians to step inside. Several factors are driving the wave of uptown renovation projects, estimated at a total of $80 million. Read more... Read more

Detroit to Test Out Zoning for the “Urban Life We Want”

Astro Coffee in downtown Detroit (Sam Beebe / Flickr)
Plenty of cities want to boost small business development, but that’s harder to do when zoning and regulatory requirements stand in the way. In a bid to ease some of those burdens, Detroit is sourcing designs for revived neighborhood main streets. According to the Detroit News, the city has put out a call for urban planners, architects and designers to propose concepts for walkable, mixed-use development in three commercial sites. Those designs will then be tested against the city’s zoning... Read more

Diet From Design: How City Planning Can Prevent Obesity

Mixed use development, a model of city design that addresses obesity through incentivizing healthy behavior. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
Initiatives to curb obesity are plentiful, but a strategy based in the discipline of city planning merits particular attention. The concept is mixed use development, a model in urban design where the physical layout of a city – the streets, roads and built structures – is composed of numerous interconnected, pedestrian accessible neighbourhoods, each containing a range of services or functions people would normally travel for. Read more... Read more
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