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City's zoning overhaul targets sustainable development

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/30/12 @ 3:00pm  |  Posted in Vibrant cities, Home landscaping

Zoning is a powerful tool for cities. It shapes development and establishes priorities for how land is used. It can subtly shift social patterns that lead to a better life. But, left to languish, it can have the opposite effect. And that's why zoning needs to be updated-as the City of Cleveland Heights did this week-to reflect the values of...more

What it takes to do infill development

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/23/12 @ 7:00pm  |  Posted in Vibrant cities

Ari Maron, developer of E. 4th Street and Uptown, shared his thoughts on Cleveland's future with non-profit community developers last week. Inviting an influential private developer to a neighborhood summit is a bit like the fox in the henhouse, and Maron's comments about concentrating resources seemed to be a mild rebuke of the patchwork of neighborhood bricks and mortar projects...more

Akron urban core plan: Rubber meets the road

Marc Lefkowitz  |  03/21/12 @ 4:00pm  |  Posted in Vibrant cities

"Eds and Meds" are being hailed as engines of urban revitalization, much the way 'retro' baseball parks like The Jake and Camden Yards were in the 1990s. There are striking similarities between these two types of big bang development schemes. In the end, a metric of success applied across the two might be, How often do marquee structures like hospitals...more

Shaker's town center retrofit: Inside the $44M plan

Marc Lefkowitz  |  03/16/12 @ 2:00pm  |  Posted in Vibrant cities

Cities, like corporations, project an image. Put another way, cities have 'a brand'. Brands attract customers, or residents, who express their affinity to the brand when they buy or rent a place. Shaker Heights. Just say the name and it conjures images. Great Tudor mansions, tidy Colonials with expensive cars parked in the drive, well-kempt yards. But when thinking about Shaker's...more

Can affordability share space with infill development?

Marc Lefkowitz  |  03/13/12 @ 3:00pm  |  Posted in Vibrant cities

Cities and suburbs looking for a post-Recession edge are planning redesigns of derelict shopping centers and ways to address the mono-culture of single-family homes. Both are liabilities if not handled properly. But examples of retrofits are surfacing daily, from University Circle's Uptown to Dublin, Ohio's effort to attract young workers by bolstering its traditional downtown with walkable urbanism. A perennial concern...more

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