The Urbanophile rewarded for transit ideas

March 30, 2009

blue-line-emptyYou may remember my writing earlier this month in Standing room only that I had met with a couple of other bloggers, including Aaron Renn, The Urbanophile (see Blogroll in right column).

I’d say I was keeping good company.  Aaron Renn has just won a $5,000 prize from the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce for his ideas about how to increase transit use.  The Chicago Tribune reported on it, but I direct you over to The Urbanophile’s own post: The Urbanophile Wins Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Transit Innovation Competition, where you can find more Chicago and transit related posts.

Aaron’s ideas may appeal to Peopling Places readers for their urban focus.  Read the winning entry and three honorable mentions in their entirety at InnovateNow.

Blue Line photo by reallyboring on Flickr.


Toward better benefits and a wider voice

March 20, 2009

Thursday, Greater Greater Washington posted Helping communities win better benefits agreements, about leveling the playing field between developers and communities in negotiations.

If a developer wants to build something above and beyond what’s allowed as of right, it’s reasonable to expect the community to also receive some benefit from the development.  But, those who practice development day in and day out for a living bring a level of expertise and sophistication to the negotiating table that community groups (in D.C., Advisory Neighborhood Commissions) that may do a variety of things and/or that are loosely organized on volunteer time may not.

The Washington, D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commission itself is an interesting model in concept as it is designed to give a community voice to a whole host of issues that may impact a neighborhood (including, but not limited to, zoning).  I can’t speak to its execution.

The Greater Greater Washington post also argues for input beyond traditionally recognized community groups, especially in this day and age when there are new ways of organizing and groups that may morph in and out over time rather than establish as a perpetual organization behind a particular issue or constituency.

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