We’ve Been Here Before

“The thing that many people forget about today’s urban revival is that people are actually moving into our downtowns again. ” Mattoon Street Stockbridge Court Armoury Commons* Morgan Square (now Silverbrick Lofts) Ashford Place* (now Museum Park) Classical* The Macintosh Chestnut Towers 122 Chestnut The Kimball Park Street Lofts From the mid 1970’s all through

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The Noho Curbside Chat

My daughter, graduating from Smith College(see curly headed one waving at the camera!): Revisiting the Curbside Chat, and Northampton, for the first time in a while was enlightening. Media reports of the decline of Northampton’s Main Street have clearly been greatly exaggerated; yes there are a few more cell phone stores and corporate outlets, but

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Good Fortune by Design

Chuck Marohn came for a visit last week. No Curbside Chat, no Transportation summit. Just a visit. Chuck and I spoke for hours about many things, but from the perspective of urbanism what struck me was how we arrived at so many of the same conclusions from completely different starting points, world views, philosophies, and

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Closing the Gaps

Holyoke isn’t nicer than Springfield, if anything it’s still the one place in the valley people look down on even more than Springfield. When I was a kid that list included Westfield, Northampton, and even Boston and New York; now it’s just Holyoke. What Holyoke is, is the one community with even more potential than

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When Your Lover Is an Idiot

Peter Picknelly, Victor Bruno, and Chris Cignoli, they love the city and want it to succeed more than anything in the world, but they fail to understand that it is their obsession with cars, traffic, and parking that is what is making the times tougher and our future ever more grim. Moving more cars more

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The Other Side of Resilience

The real point of living a resilient life is making that life worth living. Whatever resilience I may have created begins with the life I want to live. I realized early on that it was the hustle and bustle of the city that I most enjoyed and so my resilient life must flow from that

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Living a Resilient Life

(My feature from Strong Towns with its original quirks and a few different photos) I lower the bar, making success easier to achieve, I stay away from the edge, so small mistakes don’t become catastrophes, and I focus my investments on multi-utility outcomes. These strategies have worked for me.  I could make more money than

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Hola y Adiós

There are signs. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company is selling one of its major holdings in the downtown. The head of the non profit development corporation of which MassMutual is the primary funder has decided to move on. Some subsidiaries are already being shifted to other regions.  GE is moving to Boston, Aetna is moving

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Being the Divide

I was invited to participate in a panel discussion on the campus of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst a few weeks ago because someone had heard a commentary I had done for New England Public Radio. I had no idea what I was getting into, what the format would be, or who would be

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The Call is Coming from Inside the House

It’s funny. So much energy expended in the discussion of building a wall to keep out the Spanish speaking hordes from Mexico, but an island famous for its walls is already inside “Fortress America” and the savage category 4 hurricane named María seems destined to bring hundreds of thousands if not a million of those

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