Urban alleys become pathways to revitalization

April 22, 2014
Model D

Activating alleys is not just about beautification, it's about improving infrastructure. Chicago is known as the alley capital of the country, with 13,000 alleys. Its Green Alleys program has outfitted more than 100 alleys with more sustainable infrastructure, including permeable pavers, to redirect flow away from overtaxed sewers.

The Green Garage, a sustainable business incubator in Detroit's Midtown neighborhood, has also privately spearheaded a push with neighbors to green up their alley.

Link to article

Missing Middle Housing: Responding to the Demand for Walkable Urban Living

February 12, 2014
Logos Opticos: Composing Vibrant Urban Places

"Missing middle housing," such as duplexes, fourplexes, bungalow courts, mansion apartments, and live-work units, are a critical part of the solution and should be a part of every architect’s, planner’s, real estate agent’s, and developer’s arsenal. They are classified as missing because very few of these housing types have been built since the early 1940s due to regulatory constraints, the shift to auto-dependent patterns of development, and the incentivization of single-family home ownership.

Link to article


February 06, 2014
MSU Land Policy Institute

The purpose of this short article is to address several common questions. “What is the definition of placemaking?” “What distinguishes different types of placemaking?” And, “When should different types of placemaking be used?”

Placemaking is catching on as another way to improve the quality of various places in a neighborhood, and by extension, the community and region in which those places are located as well. However, the myriad uses of the term are sometimes confusing and contradictory, and this dilutes the value of the concept and undermines its utility in helping neighborhoods and communities imagine and create a better future.

Link to article

Washtenaw Avenue: The region's next best place to live?

January 29, 2014
Washtenaw Avenue: The region's next best place to live? Raise your hand if you love Washtenaw Ave. No one? No takers?
The jam-packed drive between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti shares a common struggle with many corridors across the state: it holds a lot of potential and gets very little love. As a generally congested strip of land with an intermittent feel of sprawl, it's no wonder Washtenaw Ave. is wanting for affection. But the county's Reimagine Washtenaw project has its sights set on changing all that.
Link to article

How Marquette became the livable, walkable city to follow

January 29, 2014
Upper Peninsula's Second Wave
Marquette may not be the first place you think of when it comes to sustainability and placemaking, but you should reconsider. In terms of small cities, it really stands out above the crowd. 

Marquette might not be the go-to example of a sustainable city. That fame is typically reserved for cities like Minneapolis and Boulder, Colorado. But in reality, Marquette has arguably been just as ahead of the game when compared to other American cities, especially of similar size.

Link to article


Subscribe to News