You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘land use’ category.

…or digs in space.

ALLISON: Since today is moving day (eek) we want to update you on our last – successful – trip to Detroit: the trip where we found a place to live and fell in love with a little bit more of the city. This trip was focused on downtown living options. Not to cut to the chase too quickly, but we found a sweet pad! A downtown high rise with a view of the river and just a few quick strides from the Riverwalk. The Riverwalk is my absolute favorite new development in Detroit. How great is it to have the gorgeous river’s banks be totally accessible to all Detroiters? I am hooked.


“From Downward Dog, raise your arms into Ren-Cen pose. Center yourself.”


Milliken State Park is a nice patch of green along the river. A warehouse looks on in admiration.

ALVIN: After touring around a few apartments downtown (at one point in our walk we found these crazy mushrooms growing under one of the roadside bushes), we headed to a sunny lunch outside at the new Campus Martius Fountain Bistro. Allison tells me there is ice-skating in the winter here, but lunch beside the running water in the summer is all right by me.

ALLISON: On Saturday morning I ran one of my favorite 10K races: the Oak Apple Run. My team won!

ALVIN: Also in Royal Oak is a great community theater company called Stagecrafters, where we caught their end of the season rendition of Mel Brooks’ The Producers (NB: this is not to be confused with Mel Gibson’s autobiographical new production “Beating a Dead Career Some More.”).

ALLISON: As we left we stopped by local shops Hansons and Moosejaw. We are now set for lots more runs along the Riverwalk and our upcoming trip to the Appalachian Trail. Thanks, Hansons and Moosejaw!

All in all, it was a great trip, leaving us excited about our Detroit days to come. We’ll be official residents on Monday — hope to see you around!

Here are some follow-up thoughts on the 2010 Michigan Land and Prosperity Summit.

First, the stats:
Location: Michigan State University
Attendees: 250
Shape of butter pats: Spartan helmets.

The substance:
The day as a whole was lots of food for thought. More than I could address here. However, I heard two major themes emerge from the conversations:

  • The quality of place matters, and Michigan has that quality of place.
  • Transportation options are what make a neighborhood livable and there is a tremendous opening in the market now for walkable, transit-oriented communities.

In their words:
“Place matters. Place assets matter.”
Soji Adelaja, Director of the MSU Land Policy Institute

“Urban land is not a disposable commodity.”
Daniel T. Kildee, President and CEO, Center for Community Progress

“Transportation drives development. Transportation dictates what we build.”
Chris Leinberger, Visiting Fellow at Brookings Institution

Think of the problem in a portfolio. Incorporate time. For some aspects of the problem you need to have patience and for other aspects of the problem you need to push forward.
Lou Anna Simon, President of MSU

“We are not going to succeed as a state without a successful Detroit.”
Bill Rustem, President and CEO, Public Sector Consultants

Other resources:
I highly recommend plugging in your address to obtain your walkscore. The Walk Score team currently ranks the walkability of our current and future homes 14th and 23rd, respectively, of the 40 largest cities in America. Chris Leinberger of the Brookings Institution also cited several data sets demonstrating that improvements in walk scores boost property values. I am convinced!

Also check out this very striking map of the Chicago region by CO2 emissions per household. Households in the far suburbs produce more than 4 times more CO2 than households in the city! If you look closely the red dots on the map spell the words: “please ride a bike.”

I’ll just close by giving a shout out to the Michigan State University Land Policy Institute for hosting an awesome day. Feeling pretty good about Michigan’s future. What are your thoughts on the role of land use in the economic recovery?