Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

When it comes to land use, it's business... as usual

I meant to include a link to this article from the Examiner from the previous week, in relation to the blog entries about local schools. The article, "Startup seeks D.C. school renovations," describes how "business" usually gets done in the City of Washington--behind closed doors, at the behest of the developers and financiers who really run the city. From the article:

A startup education management organization with some big-name board members and strong financial backing is making the rounds of city and school officials in hopes of securing a role in renovating the District's ailing public schools. The nonprofit, called EdBuild, was established in late September by John W. Hill, CEO of the powerful Federal City Council, and financed with an initial $375,000 from the NewSchools Venture Fund, a national organization with strong ties to the charter school movement, officials said.

Several school officials and advocacy groups said they knew little about the group before Hill made its existence public during a D.C. Council committee hearing last week on a proposal to raise $1 billion for school modernization. The group's newly appointed executive director, Neil Albert, who resigned Sept. 28 from his position as D.C. deputy mayor for children, youth, families and elders, said the group's founders have been in informal talks with city officials for the past year.

Today's Post has a column, "The Clarksburg Cabal," by Michele Dyson about the debacle in Montgomery County's planning circles over changes in plans and lack of oversight in development in Clarksburg. She ascribes this to campaign donations, not really understanding to my way of thinking, that this is merely how things are done. As an example, check out


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