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Placebook: News and Views for January 23, 2014

This is Placebook. Here you will find the news you need every weekday to create and maintain awesome cities, towns, neighborhoods, farms and everything in between. Subscribe on the left to get this information in a daily email and share using the social buttons below.

Engage Greensboro Image, via Engage Greensboro MindMixer

A Message from Kristen

I first discovered MindMixer at a conference back in 2011. I was very excited to submit ideas to our conference planning committee and know they were considered. The software  is built for cities and other organizations to do public outreach without requiring people to attend meetings. It does not replace meetings, but allows for groups to get feedback from people who can’t attend meetings, but still care about the direction of where they live. Also, once you sign up for one site, you are logged in for any other MindMixer-powered site. In addition, the voting and points system on the site allows municipalities and organizations to award prizes to frequent commenters or those who have ideas that are voted up the most.

There are two MindMixer sites in the Triad area right now for people to use if they want to send feedback to government/planning officials. The first is the Piedmont Voice site, run by PART via a Sustainable Communities grant from the federal government. The other is Engage Greensboro. Engage Greensboro is run by the City of Greensboro and can be thought of as an extension to both the Speakers on the Floor segment of council meetings, along with public hearings and public feedback. While there are many categories of issues and policy needs that people can comment on, I want to draw attention to a feed just for the Renaissance Co-Op grocery. This week there was a public hearing for feedback on next steps, but with this feed, anyone who was not able to attend can submit their ideas and be heard by city officials.

North Carolina  Round-Up

News of note in the Triad area and throughout North Carolina

Promotions in the Greensboro city managers office due to the promotion of Assistant City Manager Jim Westmoreland.

A different neighborhood issue in Greensboro’s Glenwood neighborhood, this time, a scrutinized agreement between two neighbors.

In Winston-Salem, the 25-year battle to get a piece of land redeveloped.

The NC Museum of Art receives a Cassat.

Facebook users, check out these then and now pictures of the Charlotte skyline.

In a show of the power of youth and young professional entrepreneurship, these guys who I met at a entrepreneurship meet up when we were barely out of college 7 years ago, are now a major part of the retail renaissance in Downtown Raleigh.

Sen. Kay Hagan has a Democratic challenger and the mayor of Apex has resigned after 18 years to join the state DOT.

Nation and World Round-Up

Urbanism and placemaking news from around the nation and the world

Yes, the millennial drift to the cities is still real and happening not just in major cities, but some cities thought to be on the brink.

The latest on gentrification: how not all low-income people are afraid of it and a more concrete proposal to address it.

An update on the battle between the elderly men and the Queens, NY McDonalds.

The kinds of people you don’t want on your planning committee and the kinds of things you do want to do for your neighborhood. The benefits of Brazilian cities who have participatory city budgeting.

How drive-thrus are discriminatory to those without able bodies and cars.

Why worldwide megacities remain poor. What would happen if we paid the US poor a stipend.

What it means when you say no to bad development ideas. Also, a counter post to those who wish to reclaim flood zones that are occupied.

A graphic of what New York City could look like in 2050. Meanwhile, the AOL of China is building a corporate campus inside one large skyscraper. Meanwhile, Apple continues to build their suburban spaceship, but may lose potential workers because of its location.

Do you wonder what we mean when we talk about traditional new urbanism? Here’s a hint.

Today in transit technology: the benefits of bus tracking software on ridership and opinions of the bus and how Europe does in fact build streetcars, just not the same way US cities do.

Some fun reasons why everyone should visit Detroit.

And finally, the latest snowball fight at Dupont Circle, quickly becoming a DC tradition when and if it does snow in DC.

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