Category: Urban Form

Savannah’s Cultural Arts Center: let’s do it right

If you’re a regular Spoleto U.S.A. attendee, you’re probably already familiar with the excellent venues available in downtown Charleston. The Emmett Robinson Theatre at the College of Charleston isn’t as grand or historic as other festival venues, but it makes…

A few thoughts on the connection between “nonviolent” street crime and really violent street crime

So we had a big night on Tuesday — a new mayor and two new city council members were elected. And for a handful of families, it was a tragic night. I hadn’t been in bed very long when I…

Food trucks in Savannah? A case study of the old Sears parking lot

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In my City Talk column on Sunday, I wrote about the restrictions in the city of Savannah’s first draft of a food truck ordinance. Sure, sure, sure, city officials keep saying that it’s just a draft and that everything in…

Photos of historic Frankfort, Kentucky, on a quiet afternoon

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I’ve been spending a lot of time in my hometown of Frankfort, Kentucky, over the last year and a half. I was up there again for Labor Day weekend, and I took a long walk on Sunday afternoon. I started…

What are our options for redesigning Drayton and Whitaker streets in Savannah?

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In my City Talk column on Sunday — Is it time to talk traffic calming in downtown Savannah? — I focused entirely on Drayton Street and Whitaker Street. Many drivers on those streets greatly exceed the posted speed limit (35…

Demolition of Meldrim Row cottages will expose other problems – photos

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In my City Talk column for March 29, I talk again about Meldrim Row. (Click here for a post from June 2014 with more detailed background.) It’s absurd that the homes weren’t saved on the basis of their history, but…

On Savannah’s Broughton Street: Ben Carter vs. Who????

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I’ve been writing about Broughton Street changes in my City Talk columns for over 14 years, and I have a slightly different take on the recent moves by developer Ben Carter, who now controls about three dozen retail properties in…

Savannah’s Victorian District chosen one of 2014’s great neighborhoods by the American Planning Association

Savannah’s Victorian District isĀ among 10 neighborhoods recently chosen by the American Planning Association’s for recognition in its Great Places series. Other neighborhoods on the list are in Oakland; Denver; Washington, D.C.; Dorchester, Mass.; Jackson, Miss.; St. Louis; Albany, N.Y.; Richmond,…

This is the only property in the Landmark Historic District on the official list of the 100 worst properties in Savannah

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In today’s City Talk column in the Savannah Morning News, I have a few preliminary thoughts on the city of Savannah’s new 100 Worst Properties list, which is part of the Blight to Bright campaign. I find it so interesting…

What can we do about rapid gentrification of Savannah’s older neighborhoods and the likely increase in suburban poverty?

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In my City Talk column today detailing reasons why Savannah should be encouraging more residential density downtown, I touch again on the massive demographic shifts that we’re seeing in some neighborhoods in Savannah. If you want to get a sense…

Saga of blighted building on Waters Ave. turning into another embarrassment for Savannah city officials and a state senator

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Where to begin? A month ago, the city of Savannah was taking nominations of blight for the 100 Worst Properties List. Three weeks later, there is still no sign of that list. I’ll try to find out when it will…

Flawed search process propelled Savannah’s plans to raze historic cottages for a new police station

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In my sort of obsessively detailed City Talk column today, I continue to look at the city of Savannah’s plan to destroy 36 historic homes facing 33rd and 34th streets between MLK and Montgomery. The site would become the new…

Savannah’s plan to destroy historic homes for new police precinct is even worse than I thought

The city of Savannah’s plan to replace relatively recently renovated historic workers’ cottages with a new police precinct is one of the worst public policy decisions I’ve seen since I’ve been writing columns about city life. (That’s 14 years and…

As suburban poverty increases, what options do we have?

I’ve written off and on here about some of the challenges created by sprawl and by the suburbanization of so much of America over the last 60 years or so. One of the thorniest issues is transportation, and that issue…