Category Archives: civics

From institutional to inspirational


Unlike this amazing aerial shot, photographs taken from the ground can hardly depict the enormous size and impressive setting of Grand Traverse Commons (formally Traverse City State Hospital or Northern Michigan Asylum). Once an imposing (and probably intimidating) institutional facility, … Continue reading

Posted in adaptive reuse, architecture, art, business, cities, civics, commerce, economic development, economic gardening, entertainment, entrepreneurship, health, Health care, historic preservation, history, Housing, infrastructure, land use, new urbanism, pictures, placemaking, planning, product design, recreation, revitalization, shopping, skylines, spatial design, third places, tourism, Travel, urban planning, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Transforming the mundane into the m-a-r-v-e-l-o-u-s!


There are certain mundane objects that we see each and every day, but hardly think about. They have become the equivalent of background noise in our visual world. Such mundane items might include light poles, mailboxes, dumpsters, utility boxes, overpasses, … Continue reading

Posted in adaptive reuse, art, branding, bridges, cities, civics, civility, Communications, culture, diversity, fun, infrastructure, land use, pictures, placemaking, planning, product design, spatial design, urban planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An artistic planning masterpiece


  As an urban planner, I have seen some very well-written and thought-provoking master plans in the past 25+ years. But recently I stumbled across a specialized plan that I think may top them all – the Public Art Program … Continue reading

Posted in Advocacy, architecture, art, branding, Cities, civics, culture, downtown, economic development, economic gardening, education, entertainment, fun, geography, government, historic preservation, history, humanity, inclusiveness, infrastructure, land use, landscape architecture, music, nature, new urbanism, placemaking, planning, spatial design, sustainability, tourism, Travel, Uncategorized, urban planning, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Designer dumpsters of Traverse City


It’s not often you see dumpsters that once could call “artistic,” but here in Traverse City, there is a series of painted ones dotting the downtown alleys between Front and State Streets. These designer dumpsters were painted by elementary school … Continue reading

Posted in art, business, cities, civics, civility, culture, downtown, economic gardening, environment, infrastructure, land use, placemaking, planning, pollution, product design, recycling, urban planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Even paradise has cloudy days


Over the past few months my praise and love for the Traverse City area has been expressed in many posts here on Panethos, on Facebook, or in conversations with family and friends. But even paradise on Earth can have cloudy … Continue reading

Posted in bicycling, Biking, books, brewpubs, cities, civics, civility, Communications, environment, family, geography, health, history, holiday, humanity, Love, movies, nature, pictures, placemaking, reading, seasons, tourism, Travel, weather | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eliminate shopping bore by frequenting your city’s core


This holiday season is the first one in my life where I recall making most of our family purchases at downtown stores instead of at a shopping mall, big box retailer, lifestyle center, or other strip suburban commercial complex. One … Continue reading

Posted in architecture, art, cities, civics, civility, commerce, consumerism, culture, downtown, economic development, Economy, entertainment, geography, historic preservation, history, holiday, infrastructure, land use, marketing, placemaking, planning, shopping, spatial design, sprawl, Statistics, Trade, urban planning, walking, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Two triumphant and ironic films – “Brooklyn” and “Trumbo”¬†


My wife and I had the pleasure of seeing two outstanding films over the past weekend. On Friday night, we bicycled to the charming Bijou by the Bay Theater in downtown Traverse City and watched Brooklyn. This beautifully crafted and … Continue reading

Posted in art, censorship, civics, civility, Communications, culture, entertainment, film, history, movies, peace, politics, racism, Religion, social equity, theaters, video, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment