urban planning http://michiganradio.org en A former housing project challenges Detroit's urban planners http://michiganradio.org/post/former-housing-project-challenges-detroits-urban-planners <p>To those of us who have seen those decaying buildings along I-375 near downtown Detroit, it’s pretty difficult to realize that the Brewster-Douglass Projects were once seen as a shining example of public housing.</p><p>First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt turned up on Sept. 7, 1935 for the groundbreaking. And when Brewster homes opened in 1938, they became the America’s first public-housing project built for African-Americans.</p><p>Brewster-Douglass went on to become home to names like Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, Smokey Robinson and Lily Tomlin.</p><p>The projects helped launch many blacks into the middle class.</p><p>Now the last phase of demolition is under way. No one will miss the crime-ridden, decaying housing project that sat empty since 2008. And now the question is: What should be done with the site?</p><p>We welcome June Manning Thomas. She’s an urban planner with the University of Michigan College of Architecture and Urban Planning. We also talk to her colleague, urban designer Roy Strickland.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 19:26:20 +0000 Stateside Staff 17075 at http://michiganradio.org A former housing project challenges Detroit's urban planners Eight Michigan cities chosen for development projects http://michiganradio.org/post/eight-michigan-cities-chosen-development-projects <p>The Michigan Municipal League is supporting eight communities with development projects. Those projects are part of the <a href="http://placemaking.mml.org/">PlacePlan program</a>.<br /><br />It's a partnership between Michigan State University, the Michigan Municipal League and the Michigan State Housing Authority. The projects are focused on increasing economic activity in those communities.</p><p>Luke Forest is with the Michigan Municipal League. He says these projects will make Michigan cities more attractive to employers and young people.</p> Fri, 15 Nov 2013 17:21:11 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15304 at http://michiganradio.org Eight Michigan cities chosen for development projects Flint city council to get a look at the city's draft master plan Monday http://michiganradio.org/post/flint-city-council-get-look-citys-draft-master-plan-monday <p>The Flint city council will get its first official look at the city’s proposed master plan Monday.</p><p></p><p>It’s been more than a half century since Flint leaders have drawn up a master plan for their city.</p><p></p><p>Since then, the city’s population has dwindled and much of its economic base has shifted.</p><p></p><p>Two years ago, city leaders started work on a new master plan to guide the development of residential neighborhoods, new business districts and city parks. There have been dozens of meetings, involving thousands of Flint residents.</p><p></p> Sun, 11 Aug 2013 18:03:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 13920 at http://michiganradio.org Flint city council to get a look at the city's draft master plan Monday Stateside for Monday, February 25, 2013 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-monday-february-25-2013 <p>Today on Stateside, Cyndi talks "sequestration." The word is on the tip of everyone's tongue in D.C.</p><p>We’ll get a break-down of how those across-the-board cuts could directly affect Michigan's economy.</p><p>We also look at the challenges around re-inventing abandoned and distressed neighborhoods.&nbsp; Cyndy gets a perspective from two urban planning experts.</p><p>Also, it was a very busy weekend for the Michigan Democratic and Republican Parties.</p><p>Both held their conventions this weekend, and for one party, it means a brand-new state leader.</p><p>So Rick Pluta, the Lansing Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network, stopped by to help fill in the details. Mon, 25 Feb 2013 21:27:08 +0000 Stateside Staff 11413 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Monday, February 25, 2013 Free water park an oasis for Grand Rapids neighborhood http://michiganradio.org/post/free-water-park-oasis-grand-rapids-neighborhood <p>The two acre park is a step towards <a href="http://www.grand-rapids.mi.us/download_upload/binary_object_cache/planning_Green_Grand_Rapids_Report_LowRez.pdf">the city&rsquo;s goal </a>to have every Grand Rapids resident live within &frac14; mile of some kind of greenspace. That goal has been difficult to achieve since nearly all of the city&rsquo;s land has already been developed. Plus, city government <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/transforming-city-government-grand-rapids">has been cutting down on spending </a>for years.</p><p>13-year old Ashley Jones remembers the old vacant lot where the park is now. She refered to it as a &lsquo;hot mess&rsquo; before the renovations.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;It looked crazy. It had the prickles when you walked it would stick on your shoes. There was no shade or nothing. And it was kind of boring.&rdquo; Thu, 30 Jun 2011 04:19:13 +0000 Lindsey Smith 3086 at http://michiganradio.org Free water park an oasis for Grand Rapids neighborhood Trying to improve Detroit's grocery stores http://michiganradio.org/post/trying-improve-detroits-grocery-stores <p>All this year, Michigan Radio has been taking a weekly look at things that are working to improve the state. Today: we take a look at food and Detroit. The city has been called a &ldquo;food desert,&rdquo; because of its lack of grocery stores. One group has been trying to change that. Sarah Fleming is the program manager of the Green Grocer Project. It was launched a year ago by the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, and we asked her how it&#39;s going. Mon, 25 Apr 2011 11:40:17 +0000 What's Working 2200 at http://michiganradio.org Trying to improve Detroit's grocery stores Zoning out: Cities rewrite codes to transform their look http://michiganradio.org/post/zoning-out-cities-rewrite-codes-transform-their-look <p>Zoning is the DNA of a community: it controls how you live, shop, and work.</p><p>After nearly a century of many cities separating those uses, now, they&rsquo;re going back to the future: trying to recreate an old way of life.</p><p>Streetsboro, Ohio is one such place.</p><p>http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/michigan/local-michigan-960059.mp3</p><p>Drive down its main commercial district and it has nearly every chain store you can imagine: A Walmart and a Target, a Lowes and a Home Depot.</p><p>Some call it sprawl. Streetsboro calls it economic development.</p><p>This six-lane strip of big box shopping centers has served this city well since its explosive growth started in the 1960s. It just doesn&rsquo;t look like a traditional town.</p><p>The town center is an intersection with a grassy knoll on one side. But Jeff Pritchard is in charge of planning there now and he&rsquo;s aiming for a future Streetsboro that would look very different.</p><p>These big box stores could eventually be replaced by attractive housing and shops. The way towns and cities used to be.</p><blockquote><p>&nbsp;&ldquo;A place where they can walk to a corner store, maybe live above a store, says Anthony Flint of the <a href="http://www.lincolninst.edu/">Lincoln Institute of Land Policy</a>. &ldquo;And, those kinds of things, that&rsquo;s illegal in America today in so many of our communities.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>Illegal because of zoning. &nbsp;In many cities and towns, zoning codes don&rsquo;t allow living and working in the same place. And, when zoning spread across the country in the 1920s and 30s, that was considered a good thing.</p><blockquote><p>&nbsp;&ldquo; You didn&rsquo;t want to have a slaughter house next to a residential apartment,&rdquo; Flint says.</p></blockquote><p>But those issues aren&rsquo;t as big a deal anymore.</p><p>As the Great Lakes region reinvents itself, there&rsquo;s a growing feeling among planners and thinkers that much of the public wants to spend less time in their cars. Mon, 28 Mar 2011 21:43:06 +0000 Dan Bobkoff 1821 at http://michiganradio.org Zoning out: Cities rewrite codes to transform their look