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Place as Economic and Social Engine

Page history last edited by Brian G. Dowling 1 year, 12 months ago



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    • We are a team of civil engineers, planners, and sustainability specialists with expertise in land use planning and zoning, municipal finance, transportation planning and design, stormwater management and green infrastructure implementation, and urban design and placemaking. But, design of elaborate, expensive infrastructure projects is not what we do. The leaders of our organization spent the majority of our careers with large firms designing complex, expensive projects, only to later realize we were making things more economically fragile and unsustainable. We acknowledged that before we could do more of the types of projects our communities need, we'd have to change how people think about the way we have been planning and building our cities and neighborhoods. Rather than sit back and wait, we started VERDUNITY to help lead this change.

    • Diigo Tagssustainabilityinnovationcollaborationcitiesplanningengineeringzoningdesignneighborhoodseconomic development







    • Wikiblock is an open-source toolkit of designs for benches, chairs, planters, stages, bus stops, beer garden fences, and kiosks that can be downloaded for free and taken to a makerspace where a CNC router (a computer-aided machine) can cut them out of a sheet of plywood. Most products can then be assembled without glue or nails, and used instantly to make a block better.

    • Diigo TagsBetter BlockNew Urbanismdesigncommunity empowermentcollaborationgovernancetechnology







    • The mission of Strong Towns is to support a model for growth that allows America's towns to become financially strong and resilient.  The American approach to growth is causing economic stagnation and decline along with land use practices that force a dependency on public subsidies. The inefficiencies of the current approach have left American towns financially insolvent, unable to pay even the maintenance costs of their basic infrastructure. A new approach that accounts for the full cost of growth is needed to make our towns strong again. 

    • Diigo tags: towns financial sustainability community planning politics urbanism urban planning





      • Two weeks ago, we announced a crowdsourced database project in collaboration with Urban3 that aims to collect information on tax productivity of big box stores in comparison with other, more compact developments. We invited your submissions from towns, suburbs and cities across the country. Below is a preliminary map of that data, created by Josh McCarty.

      • Diigo TagsWalmartStrong Townsdatacollectionresearch



Associated Documents




    • Experts from around the world—in academic, business, and public sectors alike—have shown that strategically investing in communities is a critical element to long-term economic development and quality of life in the 21st century. The future of communities in Michigan and elsewhere depends on their abilities to attract and retain knowledge-based workers, entrepreneurs and growing industries. Central to attracting these important commodities is the concept of PLACE. To be successful communities must effectively develop and leverage their key human, natural, cultural and structural assets and nurture them through enacting effective public policy.

    •  That’s one (long) answer.  Another one is, with a tip of the cap to Fred Kent at the Project for Public Spaces, “turning a place from one that you can’t wait to get through into one that you never want to leave.”  I like this one better.

    • Diigo Tagsplaceeconomicsplacemaking




    • CEOs for Cities is a civic lab of today's urban leaders catalyzing a movement to advance the next generation of great American cities. CEOs for Cities works with its network partners to develop great cities that excel in the areas most critical to urban success: talent, connections, innovation and distinctiveness.

    • Diigo Tagsurbancities



    • We help build enthusiastic communities of future owners, tenants and customers for progressive, urban real estate developments targeting creatives committed to a triple bottom line vision. We use the modern market and product development system of crowdsourcing (ie Wikipedia, YouTube, Linux), applied to the authentic placemaking principles of natural cultural districts. For a more complete description of the program, check out our visual guide to crowdsourced placemaking and economic development, Crowdsourcing Cool Places for Creatives and peruse how our clients are taking advantage of crowdsourced placemaking in the examples prominently displayed on this site.

    • Diigo tags: communities crowdsourcing cities community planning community empowerment




Related Pathways to New Community Paradigms Blog posts 



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