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My 2011 Wishes for the Urban Fabric

Another side wish, more festivals that get people on the streets. (Fun Fourth Festival 2009 Downtown Greensboro, from my personal collection)

As those of you accessing from the direct link can see, I’m all moved in. Still working out some kinks, but I am very happy to be at WordPress(and Blue Host). Also, if you see anything offensive in the Google ad links, let me know and I will see that those are taken down. Now to the meat of the post.

This Grist A-Z has me thinking about what 2011 will mean for communities too. I’m not the greatest at fortune-telling, but I do have a few ideas. Here’s what I hope to see:

Continued change under new DC Mayor Vincent Gray– Having studied the early failures and witnessed modern marvels and dissatisfaction with Black mayors, I hope that Gray can be spoken of in the same breath that many speak of Cory Booker. Smart growth principles are not just the domain of whites, nor are cultural businesses and informal community networks that of minority communities. I hope his One City initiative works and sparks collaboration.

-Speaking of Cory Booker– I hope he can continue the growth and innovation in Newark. In addition, he’s a great role-model for a city leader, utilizing Twitter, the Huffington Post and other mediums to talk to his city, as well as the nation, about how not just cities can improve, but the people inside them too.

Another major company to locate in our new Triad-area aeropolis- Here in Greensboro, it’s painfully obvious sometimes that we live in the shadows of Charlotte and Raleigh. When manufacturing died, so did we as being a major force for employment. However, we are only 90 minutes away from each city, sometimes less  depending on traffic. Local economic development officials are wise to continue the focus on the airport and other aircraft related operations.However, I hope we can encourage more air-related research and development operations to locate here as well. Their energy, innovation, taxes and donation dollars benefit not just their companies, but their neighborhoods and the city as a whole.

Not waiting until the money is there to start a project– Despite the threat of no funding, cities cannot stop with the efforts to build high-speed rail. I saw with my own eyes how beneficial the Florida high-speed line would be to surrounding communities and I hope that the focus doesn’t stop. I hope the community and private industry can rally around the idea of high speed rail in Ohio and Wisconsin, to show their respective governors how much needed these systems are and what they missed by rejecting them. I want more places to be like Braddock, PA. This town was all but written off, but the mayor and the remaining town members have come together to live sustainability and rebuild their town in such a manner. the Middle Tennessee Transit Alliance is rallying the troops in Nashville about a better transit future.With very little money. I want us to .

More cultural urbanism– I want to make it clear right now, that I do not see myself as THE Black urbanist. As in the only and the best and the most important one. I want this site and it’s companion Twitter to inspire more theses, Twitter accounts, conversations and real-life solutions. I want to see other cultures represented in building styles, businesses and on bikes. The urban fabric would not be where it is without the culture that infuses its transit-oriented bones. If you are interested to contributing to this site in some way, let me know, I’ll be glad to have you!

What are your wishes for urbanism, urban life and related topics for 2011?

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