Monthly Archives: February 2013

Peddling politics to pick your poison.

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If the free market could ever assume a bodily form, it would have to be a contortionist.  One of the wonders of our federalist system is how deftly and shrewdly private businesses navigate around ordinances and statutes.  While this is obvious when articulated in print, the real-word incarnations are often subtle.  These maneuverings manifest themselves …Read more…

MONTAGE: Salvaging a sacred space by expanding its use.

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In more than one previous article, I have explored the challenges that urban or inner-city church congregations face.  Their aging buildings are costly to maintain; parking is inadequate in an area where land prices are usually high; the multiple floors and narrow hallways rarely accommodate disabled people; the higher rates of poverty nearby result in …Read more…

Can we sell urban infill to the suburbs?

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At a superficial level, American suburbs have reached a point of inflection in terms of their dependency on automobiles.  The past decade has introduced mandatory sidewalk ordinances within many (if not most) metropolitan jurisdictions, as well as an expansion of mass transit into many of the newer, fast-growing exurbs.  But these initiatives are just a …Read more…

“Trash to treasure” writ large.

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My latest is up at Urban Indy, featuring the local nonprofit People for Urban Progress (PUP), and numerous photos of their many accomplishments as they approach five years in operation.  Always an urban advocacy group (as the name suggests), People for Urban Progress has taken a refreshingly non-partisan route by simply intervening when a building …Read more…

An airport’s hollowed halls.

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After a decade of persistent turbulence within the airline industry, it is no surprise that scarcely a year goes by that one of the big carriers merges with a second, or a third files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  Among industries that the American Customer Satisfaction Index evaluates, airlines elicit some of the lowest scores—if …Read more…

Putting a gas tank in the heart of a neighborhood.

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My latest post is at Urban Indy.  It features the minor controversy regarding a building going through the redevelopment process in one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods on the near south side.  The building itself is architecturally unremarkable: It’s not in terribly good shape, and the owner has had little luck finding a buyer who …Read more…