Why 'place' is the new American dream

August 05, 2014
Better Cities & Towns

The new American Dream will transform cities and towns in the 21st Century. To understand it, we have to grasp a few features of the previous American Dream, which created the metropolitan regions that we know today. That Dream is still operative — although it has faded a bit since the 2008 housing crash. A Pew study shows the country now evenly split between two visions of the good life.

There were many good parts to the 20th Century American Dream. It provided shelter for three generations of Americans. It delivered a house, a yard, and a car (later two or three cars) to most households.

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Q&A: How placemaking strategies strengthen local, state economic development

July 22, 2014

Chastity Pratt Dawsey of Bridge sat down recently with Gary Heidel of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority to talk about how to improve connections among residents in Michigan communities.

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America's New Main Street: What Does It Mean to You?

July 01, 2014
NBC News

What does Main Street in America mean to you? Does our vision of Main Street differ by age or by region? Does it vary by class or ethnicity? How might it change in a city or a suburb or a country town? Is it even a real, physical place any more, or just another name for the home screen of our smart phones? We're asking for your help, and we want you to send us your pictures via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and tag it #SeekingMainStreet.

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New study shows that walkable urbanism will provide "an economic foundation for the US economy"

June 17, 2014

It used to be simple: there was the city and there were the suburbs. Now, according to Chris Leinberger in a new report Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America's Largest Metros, the distinction is a lot more subtle. A lot of suburban town centers have been getting denser and more walkable. Quite a few cities are not. Now, the more critical definitions are walkable (often urban) and driveable (often suburban.) The report notes:

The future growth of walkable urban places could provide the same economic base in the 21st century that drivable sub-urbanism did in the mid-to late-20th century . However, this growth will not be realized without appropriate infrastructure, zoning, and financing mechanisms at the federal, state, and local levels .

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Former Project Rehab buildings part of $10m-$15m plan to bring more apartments/condos to East Hills

June 05, 2014
Rapid Growth

The plans are not anywhere near set in concrete, but the preliminary vision for four properties on the southeast and southwest corners of Eastern Avenue SE and Cherry Street SE could be the pieces of a possible $10 million to $15 million residential project.

Cherry Street Capital has options on the properties. The company's partners, Chad Barton and Jim Peterson, have been working with the East Hills Council of Neighbors (EHCN) and the Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission to develop a workable plan for converting the properties to apartments and/or condominiums with commercial spaces.

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