Archive for May, 2008

Our team in Milwaukee likes their Brady Street Neighborhood. You can see a great collection of photos here, and the GLUEsters thoughts about the neighborhood, below:

What is the mix of commercial and residential housing?
Steady balance of practical stores and boutique places, low-rent, high-rent, condos, and home owners

What is the racial breakdown of residents? Age breakdown?
Majority white, far from all white though. Both young and old people, families, students, and workers
16-25% minority residential

What is the average income in the neighborhood?
77,820 (home-owners only)

What do most of the people who live there do for a living?
Healthy mix, decent student population

What are the schools like?
Both private and public schools, high school, middle school, and elementary school all within a mile

What urban amenities exist there? annual street festival
a short walk from the beach, easttown shopping and entertainment and the North & Farwell area (Oriental Theatre, Whole Foods, etc.)

What unique culture can be found there? For what is this neighborhood known?

  • Historically Italian, then hipsters, corner pubs (social centers)
  • Fairly eclectic mix of people and businesses
  • Neighborhood characters
  • Community invest by people to preserve look of neighborhood

Does anyone know anything about the history of the neighborhood?
Once Italian, then hipsters, now diverse

Is there any public transit, in, out, or around?
Bus line through it, walking corridor from lake to river, prevalent amount of bike racks

What draws people to the neighborhood?
Food, bars, hardware store, lake, other people, coffee shops,

What makes it different from the rest of the city?
Not a prevalence of chains, but some of them.
Good buildings, history to them

One of our GLUE organizers, Dan Knauss, also blogged about this meeting, and GLUE’s activities in Milwaukee. Party on!


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Our friends in Indy love the Broad Ripple Village. Why? Locally owned shops… a mix of housing… an atmosphere of creativity… They were apparently inspired by that creativity, and decided to show, rather than tell us why this is their favorite neighborhood, in this 1-minute video!

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Duluth shares discussion notes regarding the topic: What’s your favorite neighborhood?

The first discussion item considered was “choose a neighborhood that works and try to determine why.”

We had a good discussion on how we define a neighborhood that works. What does that really mean? We thought it meant something different for Duluth than other communities – we don’t really have the “ideal” neighborhood.

We agreed that there were good things about a lot of neighborhoods; the neighborhood group in Park Point, the business coalition in West Duluth, and the diversity across the city. But we couldn’t identify one neighborhood that “had it all.”

Canal Park has seen a huge transformation from a run down, seedy, waterfront area to a tourist destination with restaurants, hotels and specialty shops. But it doesn’t have a core residential component.

One attendee shared a metaphor for Duluth – a widow in a big old house. At one time, the house was beautiful, vibrant, full of family and life. Now the husband has passed, the children have moved away, and the elderly woman can keep up, it is more infrastructure than she needs and can handle. We felt like this might explain a bit about why Duluth doesn’t have just one perfect neighborhood.

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From: Jim Cossler, Chief Evangelist, Youngstown Business Incubator

To: You

And we’re open for business!

With former Governor Bob Taft as our honored guest, the new $6 million Taft Technology Center was officially opened yesterday in Downtown Youngstown.  Located adjacent to the Youngstown Business Incubator, the Center will house accelerated companies from the YBI program.

But, we discovered a problem. The Taft Center is already completely full.

So… shortly we will begin a $3million renovation of the Semple Building, adjacent to the Taft Center, to house more of our accelerated companies.

And in 2010, we will begin renovations of the Wells Building on the other side of YBI.

And in 2012…..

Well, you get the picture. We’re not stopping until we are the most recognized software application cluster in the Midwest.

Heck, we’re not stopping even then.

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Will Milwaukee, like Youngstown, wither? Forum would study how cities thrive

From our friend Dan Knauss in Milwaukee on this recent Journal-Sentinel piece (http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=749831):

This is at least the second time I’ve seen a recent story on Longworth that picks up on a comparison he’s making between a category of cities-that-can-be-saved (Milwaukee is one) and others that are the negative examples, apparently beyond saving or virtually guaranteed to go on in terminal decline. This gets attention, but is it accurate? St. Louis may be barely half as big as it once was, but is it really just a “strange, empty, echoing place?”

If Youngstown, Detroit, Cleveland, etc. really are in the category of those that “truly may not come back,” how do we interpret “may”?

Sounds like Dan should talk to our friends in Buffalo.

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On Valentine’s Day, we urged Presidential candidates to support the future of America’s cities and to develop a serious urban platform.

Earlier this week, our Milwaukee-dwelling friend Dan forwarded us Senator Obama’s belated Valentine. It is not clear from the Senator’s website when this platform was unveiled, or to what fanfare, but it is critically important that those of us who care about America’s cities look closer at this proposal.

We at GLUE have stressed, and will continue to stress, the major role federal policy must play in the creation of more sustainable, equitable, and prosperous urban centers.

In addition to supporting much-needed core infrastructure investment, a fully funded Community Development Block Grant, and the transformation of historic manufacturing centers into clean technology centers for an adequately trained workforce, Senator Obama laudably proposes the creation of a White House Office on Urban Policy.

This kind of high-profile federal attention paired with a Congressionally ratified Great Lakes Compact would catalyze an inevitable resurgence in cities like Buffalo, Milwaukee, and Detroit.

Senator McCain is also running to represent our metropolitan nation. He should follow suit and develop a comprehensive urban platform sooner rather than later.

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Michael Allen has been a passionate advocate for neighborhoods on St. Louis’ North Side for years.  Sarah and I had the chance to spend an afternoon with him a few weeks ago when we were in town.  In addition to having encyclopedic knowledge of virtually every building on the North Side, he maintains an inspiring hopefulness about what our cities can become, and how.

I was, of course, excited to find a recent articulation of that sentiment on his blog:

Without imagination, we couldn’t think through changing our own circumstances. Now, granted that some people have mighty fine circumstances and probably don’t want to imagine a change in the world that may benefit others. The rest of us, though, need to have the power to envision our neighborhoods and own lives improved physically, economically and spiritually. In St. Louis, imagination fuels the work of my neighbors in Old North St. Louis as much as it keeps developers like Craig Heller going. Sometimes it’s not acknowledged, and rarely gets political play, but we need imagination to make this city a better place….

And later:

Change without imagination is tantamount to continued loss of opportunities. We can’t let the technocrats plan our future through financing formulas. Without a vision — a dream — of what shape we want St. Louis to be in, we won’t be able to resist or even influence the people whose dull plans are despoiling the landscape that once was an international city.

Thanks, Michael.  Keep fighting the good fight.

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