LIVABILITY + AFFORDABILITY
Governor Brown Signs Art + Culture Districts Bill
“This week, the National Organization of Minority Architects is holding its annual conference in New Orleans . . . exploring how design and place-based interventions can drive social change..”
Bay Area’s Young Creatives, Transient?
“74% of millennials surveyed said they are considering a move in the next five years, largely because of concerns over being able to eventually afford a home in their desired neighborhoods.”
What happens for SF’s economy if they leave is not pretty.
How to make them stay? Affordable housing + public realm improvements!
Congratulations SPUR in regional scope!
CMG has been honored to support SPUR for over a decade. SPUR's been at it much longer. After over a century of service to San Francisco, SPUR’s important urban research and initiatives are now scaling up to do justice to the size + interconnectivity of our regional Bay Area. We’re excited to see how this milestone change in governance expands SPUR’s impact towards better cities.
SPUR :: Its Official Spur Regional Organization
SPUR’s Agenda For Change
“What’s wrong with the Bay Area, the report argues, is fixable, but it will require two main things: ‘Elegant density’ and diversity by design.”
To Densify or Not, that is the question, or is it?
SF Chronicle :: SF Explores Housing Density Bonus If Affordable Units Added
Affordability + Inclusion Through More Housing
CMG had the privilege of hearing Gabriel Metcalf’s speech firsthand at SPUR’s Silver Luncheon 2015. We commend his stronghearted and levelheaded dose of wisdom in the face of ever-polarizing affordability and density debates.
HUD Gives to Neighborhoods
“As part of HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods initiative, grants of up to $2 million will be given for projects like reclaiming vacant properties, attracting new business and engaging communities in transformation plans.”
“’HUD’s mission of expanding opportunity extends beyond a family’s front door to the neighborhoods where they live,’ HUD Secretary Julián Castro said.”
“The agency cites everything from improving Internet access to beautifying storefronts on its list for what the funding can help achieve.”
Gentrification Slowed, “Just Green Enough”
Gentrification was all abuzz at the ASLA 2015 Annual Meeting in Chicago earlier this month. Some wisdom to balance environmental justice with skyrocketing property values . . . simplicity.
“Instead of creating “shiny new parks” that spur on redevelopment, they can work with existing communities to design public spaces that are “just green enough” and celebrate a community’s diversity.”
“The most damaging effect of gentrification is displacement, which can affect cultures, industries, and people alike, said Curran. ‘Ethnic communities and manufacturing factories can be pushed out, and low-income communities left out of the democratic process.’ Gentrification results in higher property values, eventual upgrading or homogenization of the environment, and the privatization of public spaces.”
Debunking myths of mutual exclusivity between the ecological and economic.
“. . . the data on both sides agreed: The eco-districts were valuable in fueling growth in the industry.”
MUSE + MUSINGS
Literature flings ours doors open to the elusive unknowable. A welcome complement to the fact-seeking lines on our maps, diagrams + analytics in the making + remaking of cities.
A (personal) favorite to add to the author’s list:
“Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places.” Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
21st Century Colossus of Rhodes
Seven wonders of the ancient world is back in contemporary time. The 30-meters tall Greek God Helios once stood over the Rhodes port city as a conspicuous symbol of the people’s victory-over General Demetrius. In 2017, Dan Pearlman is bringing the idea back. With 20 different giants in 20 different cities. And, they’ll move. And, be lit up. And, be projected upon. And . . . just kidding. Hmm.
Coming to a city near you?
Charismatic Fauna :: The Otter
This furry finned creature’s charisma quotient is a chart-topper, plus, they are intelligent (they use tools!)
1. Sea Otters are one of the few animals that use tools. They mainly use rocks, but have been seen using glass soda bottles and cement blocks.
2. Sea Otters have built in pockets under their arms.
3. A group of Sea Otters resting together is called a raft.
4. Sea Otters’ fur has 10x # of hairs per square inch than we have on our entire head. (humans 100,000; otters 1,000,000)
5. Wild adult Sea Otters eat 25% or more of their body weight a day, or more than 12 pounds of seafood. A 150 lb human would need to eat 37 lbs of food a day!
Home Is Where You Cave-Carve
“A mile deep in the wilderness of New Mexico, 70-year-old Ra Paulette is working alone on his ‘Magnum Opus’, an extraordinary livable artwork buried in the geology of a rare type of sandstone. Ra has been digging caves for 30 years, spending most of his time working in solitude, running only on passion, instinct and the company of his dog.”
Artist J. Frede fuses time and space in his collages of found photographs.
“Arranging these into new landscapes that never existed speaks to the stitching together of human behavior and how we relate to time and the past: How many people have stopped at that rest stop and taken nearly the same photo of the plain hillside? All locking their own associations into the view, first road trip with a new love; last road trip to see grandma; one of many road trips alone.”
Golden Gingko Rain
“This towering ginkgo tree is located within the walls of the Gu Guanyin Buddhist Temple in the Zhongnan Mountains in China. Every autumn the green leaves on the 1,400-year-old tree turn bright yellow and fall into a golden heap on the temple grounds drawing tourists from the surrounding area.”