Tag Archives: zoning

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

Land uses which are more often found “Up North”


As a regular visitor and now denizen of “Up North,” the following is my list of those land uses that tend to be found more often in northern locales of North America than in other parts of the country. This … Continue reading

Posted in Canada, cities, commerce, culture, geography, history, land use, North America, planning, sports, tourism, Travel, urban planning, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Most compact American cities with 100,000+ residents


Reno, Nevada has long used the moniker of “The Biggest Little City in the World.” Well, at 106 square miles and 225,221 residents, it no longer fits that title. Based on data from the 2010 Census, at the end of … Continue reading

Posted in cities, demographics, density, economic development, geography, infrastructure, land use, planning, States, Statistics, urban planning, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is there a student housing bubble and is it about to burst?


For many collegiate cities and towns across the United States, the steady influx of international students (and often with their families), from primarily China/Asia, have lifted the local real estate markets out of the post-2008 doldrums. The concern now becomes … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, China, cities, colleges, culture, demographics, diversity, economic development, education, geography, globalization, Housing, humanity, immigration, land use, marketing, new urbanism, placemaking, planning, Statistics, urban planning, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Urban design without fake plastic signs


In many communities across the country, commercial signage seems to be employed in a manner that appears more appropriate in Las Vegas, Times Square, or in this Radiohead video for the song Fake Plastic Trees, rather than on businesses fronting Main Street. … Continue reading

Posted in adaptive reuse, advertising, architecture, art, branding, business, cities, commerce, Communications, consumerism, downtown, economic development, historic preservation, history, land use, new urbanism, placemaking, planning, signs, urban planning, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Unofficial guide to “hipsterhoods” of the Rust Belt (UPDATED)


UPDATED on 10/13/15 to include Rust Belt cities of all sizes. The term “hipster” stirs up a myriad of images and connotations including but not limited to hippie. modern yuppie, bohemian, urban bohemian, counter-culture, geek, etc.  Here is a condensed … Continue reading

Posted in adaptive reuse, architecture, art, beer, branding, brewpubs, cities, civility, coffee shops/cafes, culture, economic development, economic gardening, economics, entrepreneurship, historic preservation, history, humanity, inclusiveness, land use, placemaking, planning, revitalization, Small business, social equity, Social media, spatial design, technology, third places, urban planning, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Eerie winter images of an abandoned mall


Check out this weblink to wintry post-apocalyptic images of an abandoned shopping mall (Rolling Acres Mall) near Akron, Ohio. The photos were taken by photographer Johnny Joo.  The mall opened in 1975 and the last stores closed in 2013. It … Continue reading

Posted in adaptive reuse, architecture, art, cities, civics, consumerism, economic development, economic gardening, film, geography, history, infrastructure, land use, movies, pictures, planning, spatial design, urban planning, visual pollution, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Billion dollar ‘cry’ babies


I am little curious if anyone else in the planning or development review profession has noticed the following: Those applicants (developers, businesses, or firms) with the deepest pockets are the ones most likely to whine about the application requirements. It doesn’t … Continue reading

Posted in architecture, cities, commerce, Communications, land use, planning, urban planning, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ten planning lessons from Winnipeg, Manitoba


The following is another post in an ongoing series which highlights ten important planning lessons from various cities around the world. Below are the ten planning lessons I’ve learned from two visits to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – one in 2005 and the other … Continue reading

Posted in Active transportation, architecture, art, branding, Bus transportation, Canada, cities, civics, Communications, culture, economic development, economic gardening, economics, Economy, entertainment, environment, fun, geography, government, historic preservation, history, human rights, humanity, land use, marketing, North America, Passenger rail, peace, pictures, placemaking, planning, skylines, spatial design, sustainability, third places, tourism, transit, transportation, Travel, urban planning, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Planners should not be just paper pushers and processors!


In the planning profession, there is an inherent risk of urban planners becoming solely mundane paper pushers and permit processors. That is due to several factors, including: The variety of requests being processed – rezonings, special use permits, variances, plats, planned unit developments, site … Continue reading

Posted in Administration, cities, civics, civility, Communications, government, land use, logistics, planning, politics, urban planning, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments