Thursday, June 18, 2015

Commercial District News Round Up

What is Urban Decay? (And Why the Answer Matters)
Very interesting read regarding urban decay, how to define it, the legal battles over fighting urban decay, and how to resolve it.  This story mainly focuses on California and their development of urban decay laws that deal with environmental analysis for proposed projects, typically big box stores.
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Mall-centric no more: Aging suburb targeted for a sweeping makeover
An area in Fairfax, Virginia called Seven Corners, near Arlington, is being considered by city officials for a major overhaul that would include three new residential villages and roads over the next 40 years. The idea is to make a more livable environment, friendly to pedestrians, and oriented to nearby public transportation. The area used to be occupied by a mall, which is a question of our times, "How to retrofit former malls and surroundings to meet today's needs"?
Image source: Fairfax County Office of Community Revitalization
Are Cities Becoming Less Authentic?
In a quest to understand Millennials, Klaus Philipsen discusses the other most desirable attribute that Millennials seek: authenticity.  This desirable authenticity is also disappearing, as he documents, in many major American cities such as Baltimore and with it taking away important historical artifacts. Philipsen notes that in Baltimore this means that historically significant black sites are being replaced by Starbucks, Chipolte etc without sensitivity to the history and authentic fabric of the neighborhood.
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Detroit relights neighborhoods at blazing pace
The installation of nearly 40,000 LED streetlights, that are both brighter and more energy efficient than the previous lights, is expected to be completed by the end of July, about six months ahead of schedule.  Lights are going up in streets that have not had street lights for two decades in some cases. Statistics are already showing decreased burglaries, larcenies, vehicle theft and other property offenses - 18% decrease from the same time last year.
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Meet the 606: Chicago's New Elevated Bikeway and Park
A time lapse video takes you through the new 606 in Chicago, an elevated bikeway and park similar to the highly popular High-Line in Manhattan.
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