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Lightweave: Washington DC attempts to replicate (and improve upon) Indy’s stalled Swarm Street.

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My latest article just posted in Urban Indy, despite the fact that it’s fundamentally about a new project going on in Washington DC.  What’s the rationale behind this?  Well, take a look.  Here’s the underpass in question in Washington DC: And here’s the proposed art installation, known as Lightweave:Those attuned to urban development in Indy …Read more…

CityWay Phase Two: retail retreat and its impact on the street.

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My latest just went up at Urban Indy.  It focuses on the CityWay mixed-used development in downtown Indianapolis, which includes a few hundred apartments, multiple restaurants, a hotel, and a multi-level YMCA.That’s phase one, at least.  Now the developer is embarking on Phase Two, which will double the apartment units (to nearly 500), add some …Read more…

How long before the robots tell us “Thank you, come again”?

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In the suburban fringe of Indianapolis, just within the city limits, patrons of a regional supermarket chain encounter this…um, mural?—as they exit the premises.“See you tomorrow.” Clearly it’s a marketing ploy, gently cajoling the visitor into making the grocery trip a daily occurrence. More than anything, though, this sign is a nod to nostalgia, evoking …Read more…

Unisex restrooms: a truce amidst the eternal battle.

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In an era when unisex facilities have escalated into a nationwide debate, it’s comforting to see that one family operation hasn’t forgotten what its like to be a little lighter on its feet.  This sign was quite the novelty when I saw it at a café in southern Mississippi several years ago; since then I think …Read more…

Subsidization and its discontents.

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My latest just recently went to post at Urban Indy. The subject, a parking garage in an Indianapolis neighborhood, might seem dry or parochial to those outside of that metro region, but it speaks powerfully about the potential pitfalls of poorly prepared public-private partnerships.  Here’s the garage: It sits at a prime corner in Broad …Read more…