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October 05 2012

Global Site Plans Farewell from Alexandria Stankovich

October 5th, 2012Posted by 

What is the future of Detroit? The answer to that question is deeply intertwined with its past, but also enlightened by its present. Global Site Plans offered me the platform to contribute. I am grateful for the opportunity to share in this dialogue and pose my own questions, such as: What encourages bicycle-use in your community? […]

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September 21 2012

UN-Habitat World Urban Forum 6: A Global Application of “The Planner’s Triangle”

September 21st, 2012Posted by 

Due to rapid global urbanization, specifically in Asia and Africa, the United Nations predicts the world population to be 67% urban by 2050. This year’s World Urban Forum (WUF6), held in Naples, Italy, was aptly themed, “The Urban Future.” September 2-6, 2012, leaders from around the world gathered to address pertinent urban planning questions, such […]

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September 07 2012

Evaluating Ridership in Detroit: Woodward Corridor Transportation Alternatives

September 7th, 2012Posted by 

“Mobility” is one of the 14 quality of life indicators that Detroit, Michigan will use as a benchmark of success for their long term regional and urban planning. In December 2012, we begged the question: Will the Motor City (Detroit, Michigan) ever relinquish its auto-centric ideals for the benefits of pedal power? What about buses […]

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August 24 2012

Responsible Waste Management: Coming to a Curb Near You

August 24th, 2012Posted by 

According to the EPA, in 2010, Americans generated about 250 million tons of trash and recycled materials, while composting over 85 million tons of material. Environmental sustainability and responsible resource use are important political and urban planning topics. A study conducted by the Ecology Center of Ann Arbor revealed that Detroit is the only major […]

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August 10 2012

Boarded Up to Start Up: Retail and Risk in Detroit, Michigan

August 10th, 2012Posted by 

Architecture alone doesn’t make a vibrant city, you have to activate the store fronts. Despite its assets, during the suburban growth of the 1970′s, 80′s, and 90′s, Detroit found that it could no longer compete with the malls and shopping centers cropping up in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb County.  In many ways, the 1998 demolition […]

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July 27 2012

Southeast Michigan Regional Partnership Saves Detroit, Michigan’s Convention Center

July 27th, 2012Posted by 

Outdated, poorly maintained, and critically disconnected from the streetscape and RiverWalk, COBO Center was well on its way to becoming Detroit’s largest white elephant.  At risk of losing its contract for the North American International Auto Show, State and local government leaders arrived at an arrangement regarding the Center’s management and modification. Under the control […]

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July 27 2012

Detroit, Michigan Heidelberg Project: A Different Image of the City

July 27th, 2012Posted by 

“Every citizen has had long associations with some part of the city, and his image is soaked in memories and meanings.” Kevin Lynch, The Image of the City (1960) Twenty-seven years later, a young Tyree Guyton reflected on his associations to the city of Detroit, Michigan.  Poverty, drugs, crime, racism, and violence shaped his world. […]

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July 13 2012

Fast Track Land Banking in Detroit, Michigan

July 13th, 2012Posted by 

Architects, urban planners, engineers, and residents realize that Detroit isn’t actually shrinking. The physical boundaries still exist, but, in many areas of the city, the density has been significantly reduced and the vacancy rates increased. Fortunately, land banks can be an effective way to manage this underutilized space and generate tax revenue. According to U.S. […]

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June 29 2012

Detroit Urban Laboratory: Michigan Urban Planning and Architecture Programs Take Advantage of Proximity

June 29th, 2012Posted by 

In many ways, Michigan’s current economic climate is distressing to architects and urban designers. Our regional dependence on the automotive industry has left Detroit, Michigan with a major identity crisis, not to mention the visible fissures indicative of a shrinking city. Then again, these conditions also offer design students a unique landscape for urban study, […]

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June 15 2012

Flexibility, Visibility, Possibility: Blogging as a Job Opportunity

June 15th, 2012Posted by 

The economic recession has changed the job market dramatically. Rather than waiting idly for the resurgence of the architecture sector, design professionals should consider freelance blogging. Writing for The GRID provides value for future opportunities. From urban design related blogging opportunities with Grist and Planetizen, to media, news, and design correspondent positions in the NGO […]

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June 01 2012

Urban Planners: How to Choose the Best Social Media for your Purpose

June 1st, 2012Posted by 

One of the most important components of your work as an urban planner is engaging community stakeholders. For urban projects in the main street district, the downtown development authority, city leadership, planning and zoning commissioners, historical district commissioners, architects, and neighborhood residents are all integral partners. Projects that deal more with regional issues require collaboration […]

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May 18 2012

“Empowered, Intentional, Bold:” TechTown Detroit, Michigan Values at Work

May 18th, 2012Posted by 

Once home to the innovations of the Burroughs Adding Machine Company, American Electrical Heater Company and General Motors, the New Center area breathes new life into Detroit, Michigans’s entrepreneurial spirit. In April 2004, the partially-renovated Chevy Creative Services building designed by architect Albert Kahn, opened its doors to Detroit’s start-up community as TechOne. The TechTown […]

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May 04 2012

Phase I Collaboration begins on Detroit, Michigan’s Bloody Run Creek

May 4th, 2012Posted by 

Daylighting Detroit, Michigan’s Bloody Run Creek will be no small feat, but it’s a project that truly embodies a new and sustainable direction for the city. St. Louis developer, Richard Baron, has been pitching redevelopment ideas to Detroit since the 1980’s, but until now, nothing’s stuck. Flowing south, just east of downtown and into the […]

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April 26 2012

Benefits of Blogging in a Down Economy: Developing Your “Career Portfolio”

April 26th, 2012Posted by 

According to Huffpost Detroit, Michigan’s unemployment rate has dropped slightly to 8.8%, while Detroit is hovering at 19% unemployment. Conditions are grim.  Architects have been hard-hit by the recession, and unfortunately, our recovery is contingent on the vitality of other industries. When I returned to Michigan in fall 2011, my plan was to find work […]

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April 12 2012

Social Media Networks Contribute to Detroit, Michigan’s Transformation

April 12th, 2012Posted by 

Social media is changing the way we live, work, and play. Our networks are larger, our interests broader, and our opportunities more abundant than ever before. Thanks to this dynamic, digital infrastructure, Detroit, Michigan is making a comeback and gaining esteem as a city of possibility. The new direction is small and sustainable. There is a […]

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March 29 2012

The Story of Demolition City: Detroit, Michigan

March 29th, 2012Posted by 

In February 2012, I wrote a post called Assessing the Damage: Preserving Detroit, Michigan’s Historical Places, describing the delicate balance between restoration and demolition. Incorporating preservation efforts into Detroit Michigan’s priorities is vital, but there will always be the reality of budget cuts, insufficient public services, community needs, and generally, too little, too late. Detroit […]

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March 15 2012

The Skinny on Business Card Design for Urban Planning Firms

March 15th, 2012Posted by 

While social media is changing the way designers collaborate and connect, face-to-face networking is still an important step in gaining industry distinction. At roughly 3.5 inches by 2 inches, business cards carry significant influence in this networking process. As designers, urban planners are expected to make a statement with their business cards. What kind of […]

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March 01 2012

Diamond in the Rough: The Positive Urban Planning Impact of American Baseball on Detroit, Michigan

March 1st, 2012Posted by 

Opening day just five weeks away, Detroit Tiger’s fans are clawing to get back into their orange and navy blue. Baseball has always been considered America’s favorite pastime. For Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, and Detroit,  four of the American League (AL)’s “Classic Eight,” the ballpark itself has been an important element of urban design and economic […]

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February 16 2012

Featured Urban Planning and Urban Design Conferences of 2012

February 16th, 2012Posted by 

Today, thanks to social media, innovative planning strategies and sustainable technologies are shared globally within the environmental design community. Are you part of that dialogue? If you’re reading The GRID, you’re off to a good start.  Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are also valuable resources, but there is something to be said for attending these discussions […]

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February 02 2012

Assessing the Damage: Preserving Detroit, Michigan’s Historical Places

February 2nd, 2012Posted by 

Many agree, Detroit, Michigan requires restructuring, on a physical and political level, but the process is still unclear. From the Art Deco and Neo-Renaissance buildings of downtown, to the Tudors, Victorians, and Bungalows of Detroit’s diverse neighborhoods, the architecture tells a tale of the city’s rich and painful history. In order to save the city, Cityscape […]

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