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Placebook: City with a Chance of Rain


I’m usually not a fan of the rain. However, there’s something about seeing the rain come down on a city street, while people continue to scurry about and everything’s just close enough that you might be able to slide into the next bar or coffeeshop (or now bookstore) without using your umbrella. Of course, there’s summer rain too and the rainbows I’ve seen that rise above the skyscrapers, letting you know the weather’s about to get awesome again. Or, you can retreat and go inside, wrap up in a blanket and finally start that book you want to start. I did a little bit of both last night and because I did come in out of the rain, here’s your news for this Wednesday.

NC Roundup

Trader Joes has finally said yes, I want to come to Greensboro. And yes, in the spot we’ve all been waiting for them to show up in. Meanwhile, hometown hero grocers The Fresh Market are dealing with lowered stock prices and a less successful westward expansion.

Some of what happened at the city council meeting last night.

Several local cyclist deaths are raising questions on safety.

The High Point Council’s ceded to High Point University’s wishes and will close Montileu Ave next to the campus.

The City of Greensboro, Guilford County and the state will have to figure out what to call the new part of the Jamestown Bypass that will somewhat replace Gate City Boulevard, or still currently  High Point Road outside of the Greensboro city limits.

Lee Mortensen, formerly with Downtown Greensboro, Inc and the driver of many of the special events in downtown is now the executive director of the  Greensboro Farmers Curb Market.

Wake County Schools at capacity again in several popular neighborhoods, but will reassign district -wide to help with the crunch.

Raleigh has been selected as one of 7 national research hubs on ways to prevent and deal with droughts faced by farmers.

Mecklenburg County has outsourced its health services to a private company.

Charlotte planners are asking, who will build our next skyscraper? Meanwhile,several changes, including Charlotte’s new H&M, happening at Southpark Mall and the Sausarita’s chain, which is based in Charlotte, is adding a fast-casual (a.ka. Panera-style) Italian restaurant to it’s portfolio.

Charlotte Douglas Airport moves to expand the foreign trade zone around the airport.

And the 2nd Congressional District race officially has a big infusion of celebrity.

US and World Round-up

Meanwhile, in Portland, a Trader Joes has been rejected for being a potential driver of gentrification. Wendell Pierce of the Wire and Treme opens his first Sterling Farms grocery in the New Orleans area, bringing high end grocery back to an underserved area.

Harriet Tregoning is leaving the DC Office of Planning for HUD. Reflections from the Washington City Paper and Greater Greater Washington on this news.

The Atlantic Cities has began a new series on the Future of Transportation, with a focus on why the US hates their commutes and how Europe’s commutes ended up better than ours.

What you learn on a train.

Now that there’s a new mayoral regime in NYC, what planning professionals and others engaged in planning hope the new mayor will do.

And finally, in the spirt of sharing our love for places and the people that make them: Valentines for Planners.

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