Derek Hyra, Associate Professor, Urban Affairs and Planning
According to a recent article, “Redevelopment Looms in West Alexandria” published in the Washington Post, the Alexandria City Council is scheduled to take a final major vote to rezone the West Alexandria, Va., area and allow a significant redevelopment project to move forward. There are plans to demolish over 2,475 modest low-rise apartments in order to build 5,000 housing units as well as stores and offices. According to Derek Hyra, Associate Professor, Urban Affairs and Planning and author of The New Urban Renewal, “This is one of the largest inner suburban redevelopments in the United States. The inner suburb is the new frontier for upgrading and gentrification.”
Selected from amongst 180 submissions, Joe Schilling, Maggie Cowell and Lauren Bulka presented a poster while attending the Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference, “Resilience & Rebuilding for Low-Income Communities: Research to Inform Policy and Practice,” hosted at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC from April 11-12, 2013. The conference brought together a range of researchers, practitioners and policymakers involved with the community development field to discuss collaborative strategies for working with and for low-income communities, as well as to highlight new evidence-base research ideas and data approaches.
The poster presented, “Pursuing Adaptive Resilience: Building Institutional Capacity, Designing a Cohesive Policy Framework and Reclaiming Vacant Properties in Cleveland” sets forth a resilient policy system for reclaiming vacant properties.
The work draws on Schilling’s ten years of participatory research in part through the National Vacant Property Campaign.
Take a look around and it’s easy to see that cycling is booming. The roads of Washington, D.C. are crisscrossed with bike lanes, and the District-based Capital Bikeshare program bills itself as the largest in the nation.
To delve into how good planning equates to safe, accessible, enjoyable cycling, Virginia Tech professor and Metropolitan Institute Faculty Fellow Ralph Buehler will present at the Montgomery County Planning Department’s speaker series on Tuesday, April 9. His talk, Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from Europe and North America, will link transportation and land-use policies with bike use.
Continuing education credits (1.5 hours) have been approved for planning professionals.
Who: Ralph Buehler, Assistant Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning, Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech What: Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from Europe and North America When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 9 Where: Park and Planning Headquarters auditorium
8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring Learn more: www.montgomeryplanning.org/department/speaker_series
Join us on March 28, 2013, as Harriet Tregoning, Director of the District of Columbia Office of Planning, discusses the Sustainable DC Plan and how her office, along with the District Department of the Environment and other partner agencies, plans to transform the District into a “more socially equitable, environmentally responsive and economically prosperous community.”
Joseph Schilling, Interim Director of the Metropolitan Institute and Professor and Program Director of the Urban Affairs & Planning Program-Alexandria, partnered with Kermit Lind, retired Cleveland Marshall College of Law professor in the City of Newburgh, NY to head the launch of its new Strategic Code Enforcement Initiative. Both are law professors with extensive experience in helping cities rebound from near catastrophic conditions. Click here for more details.
Bicycling in cities is booming, for many reasons: health and environmental benefits, time and cost savings, more and better bike lanes and paths, innovative bike sharing programs, and the sheer fun of riding.
City Cycling, co-edited by John Pulcher and Ralph Buehler, offers a guide to this urban cycling renaissance, with the goal of promoting cycling as sustainable urban transportation available to everyone. It reports on cycling trends and policies in cities in North America, Europe, and Australia, and offers information on such topics as cycling safety, cycling infrastructure provisions including bikeways and bike parking, the wide range of bike designs and bike equipment, integration of cycling with public transportation, and promoting cycling for women and children.”
The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), Cleveland State University (CSU), and the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech have launched the Strong Cities Strong Communities (SC2) Fellowship Program with the selection and placement of 17 fellows working to build local capacity in seven SC2 pilot communities: Chester, PA; Cleveland, OH; Detroit, MI; Fresno, CA; Memphis, TN; New Orleans, LA; and Youngstown, OH.
The fellows have varied backgrounds, ranging from planning and economic development to workforce development and program management. Over the next two years, they will work on a variety of high priority projects in each of the communities, including small business development, grant writing, vacant property management, and the creation of data-driven economic strategies. A full list of fellows and brief bios can be found here.
The City After Abandonment (Margaret Dewar and June Manning Thomas, Editors, University of Pennsylvania Press) is a collection of essays from top urban planning experts focusing on policy and planning issues related to three questions: what are cities becoming after abandonment? How did they get here? What should abandoned areas of cities become? By suggesting an urban design scheme for shrinking cities, the books lays out a strategy for policymakers and planners to approach the future through processes and ideas that differ from those in growing cities.
The book features a chapter by Metropolitan Institute Interim Director, Joe Schilling, and former MI research assistant, Raksha Vasudevan, titled The Promise of Sustainability Planning in the Regeneration of Shrinking Cities. Schilling and Vasudevan assessed formulas for addressing vacancy and abandoned urban lots by examining the sustainability plans of Cleveland, Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. They suggest that well-designed sustainability plans would establish strong policy connections between the unique physical, social, environmental and economic challenges that confront many distressed communities by developing new urban regeneration elements. A comprehensive, collaborative, and coordinated sustainability planning framework could establish stronger policy and programmatic connections between vacant property reclamation, green jobs, and sustainable reuse, rebuilding city and civic capacity. Such framework would not only expedite and enhance legacy cities regeneration efforts, but position these communities for a more sustainable, low carbon future.
“Resilience is a term much bandied about these days in the planning and development professions. Buildings, plans, economies and even cities are expected to be resilient to unforeseen externalities in a world of rapidly changing technologies, climates, and cultures. With this in mind, Kevin C. Desouza and his colleagues at the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech would like to engage you, the planning and development community, in a discussion of what exactly it means to be resilient in a planning context, whether this is a laudable goal, and, if so, how we can achieve it.”
Read more at Planetizen and join the discussion here.