Tag Archives: Nextgen

Investment Ready Places: The New American Frontier

How do you know if your neighborhood is ready for investment? Investment Ready Places was just launch by friends Atul Sharma, Joseph Nickol, Kevin Lavelle and James Michael of Street Sense. The premise is:

The small towns and cities of America are once again becoming the new frontier for development.

The thoughts and ideas that are included in this tool are on target with the type of triage thinking that we need in so many of our country’s smaller towns and cities. There are six key characteristics of Investment Ready Places that are essential for attracting investment that will contribute to the creation of authentic, pedestrain scaled places.

  1. Nourishment for residents
  2. Stable supply of water
  3. Manageable infrastructure
  4. Connected places
  5. Creative knowledge
  6. Heritage and living culture

I would encourage everyone to hand out the checklist at the back of the report to their city council, community leaders and neighbors. There is a good dose of reality in this little booklet that is timely. This is a new paradigm tool for an increasingly more competitive landscape of places that get it and those that are going to be left behind economically, culturally and, unfortunately, environmentally. It was so great to hear from Atul and Joe as they were developing the core ideas that are now so nicely conveyed in this booklet. Please pass it along and use it wisely.
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Chuck Marohn gave a great lecture last night at MIT, I’ll have blog coverage of it here soon, and thanks Chuck for the much more solid review of IRP on the Strongtowns.org blog.

Tactical Urbanism

Tactical Urbanism Final

What do street fairs, pop-up retail and chair bombing all have in common? They are low cost, high impact “tactics” for improving a neighborhood. Every city planner, developer or active citizen should start to think about how they can execute short term experiments that help build momentum for a project, change the perception of a place or energize support for bigger plans in your community. We have started doing this in Providence, and I plan to write about them in the coming weeks under the new topic of “Tactical Urbanism”.

My friend Mike Lydon defines Tactical Urbanism over at Pattern Cities as:

– A deliberate, phased approach to instigating change;
– The offering of local solutions for local planning challenges;
– Short-term commitment and realistic expectations;
– Low-risks, with a possibly a high reward; and
– The development of social capital between citizens and the building of organizational capacity between public-private institutions, non-profits, and their constituents.

For more info on this emerging set of tools you can download the report here, read about the idea here, here, and here. Hope you are enjoying your weekend, and, perhaps, heading out to enjoy a Pop-Up Cafe or an Open Street.

Living Urbanism Publication Preview Party

2009_06_livingurbanism_partyOur new media project, Living Urbanism, had a great preview party for the next issue due out on July 1. You can find Living Urbanism online here. Big thanks to the CNU Nextgen and the local ULI Young Leaders group for coming out and making it a great event. The party was at Lodo’s which has a fantastic vista of the roof tops of the neighborhood anchored in the background by a good urban stadium.