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Placebook: This is MY STATE.


So whose state has grown steadily for 10 years? MINE!

I apologize in advance for those of you who will hear these guys in your head all day.  I just wanted to rub in this article, from Slate, on how my state, MY STATE, the state of my birth, my childhood, my family and friends, my higher educations, my coming of age and my career both on and off this page , that do I sometimes want to leave, has actually gained population 10 straight years in a row. Granted, this news is not from the Census, but it’s not that far off from what they said.  Also, DC is the only other area that’s grown for ten years straight. Considering that’s the only other place I want to live right now…read as you will. And read these things too while you are at it:

Some people are urbanist rockstars. Maybe that’s just because they are my friends in the business and good writers as such, but that just makes me love them more when they come back. Chuck Marohn is one of our best grassroots writer/placemakers we’ve got going. Sure, he does have a few official letters by his name, but it’s really what’s happened with Strong Towns, the evolution of his blog into a series of live conversations, thought leadership, books and a 501c3 membership nonprofit. Read this and see why he keeps us thinking, on our toes and pushes all of us to write better. (And makes some of us blush when he says similar glowing things in front of ones current and future mayor and people who don’t always understand why she’s doing what she’s doing for her city).

André Darmanin, is a similar sort. Although we’ve never had the honor of meeting in person, I know if I ever venture to Toronto, I will have a good time and we will discuss the mess out of progressive planning. He’s also been with me from the beginning, when this was a side piece of my original public blog Waxing Philosophical. He’s finally got a recurring column at Global Toronto. In this particular piece, he’s talking about how craft breweries are a key piece in a lot of downtown and neighborhood renovations. I can pinpoint our own Natty Greene’s as being a key driver of our revitalization in Greensboro.

The City of Raleigh (which I claim just as much as Greensboro because it’s our state capital and where I did my undergrad) is one of the best run cities in America. I like to think that director of planning (and mentor and friend) Mitchell Silver has something to do with that too. They also just passed a uniform design ordinance, bringing a more urbanist-leaning zoning code to one of our largest and most sprawling cities.

And then there’s Gabe Klein. Bikeshare rockstar. You have to thank him for both Capital Bikeshare and for Divvy. This article (behind partial paywall) is mostly about how he did the later.

Also, who doesn’t love a place-based comeback story. Here’s the latest initiative to come to Braddock, PA, a town famous for having a savior figure (who lives in a church basement non the less) . Even though there are critics that say  that these changes are not enough or the changes are one-sided, I like this initiative because it’s truly taking what’s already there and making something of it, this time with the gardens, food and willing workers who are already in training.

And it’s always good to see something in New Orléans come back to life. Especially if it’s the first full-service grocery owned by and catering to African-Americans in the area. It also originally opened in that very spot in 1938 and sells not only the normal stuff, but stuff true to New Orléans. It was also a community gathering place and people are eagerly awaiting its return, under its same ownership

Moving on, I do agree, Facebook is a good place to learn where people are moving. A few years ago with an older version, I used to click on the old stats page to see how many of my friends were from a certain area, dorm, etc.

It is also intriguing to see how migration patterns threaten established views of who belongs and what makes a person a part of a place, in other countries. In this case, we have  France.

What is it like for someone who’s from South Africa, and used to a halfway decent metro system, plus closer to the European and Asian masterpieces, to navigate some of our complicated rail transit systems? Here’s your answer. In addition, The new DC metro cars look nice and spiffy and they are finally going under testing in the DC area.

We now know the top-10 shipping container homes worldwide. Would you live in one by choice?

And finally, when is gentrification, gentrification?

Try to stay out of the polar vortex if you can folks!

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