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.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Speaking of the election

If you look at the election in terms of the electoral college and state by state results, it appears as if Obama, with states won or leaning in terms of voter preferences as indicated by polls, will win handily. Also see "Gallup's verdict: It's all but over for McCain" from the Toronto Globe and Mail.

So that means who runs what agencies. I'd like to see HUD refigured completely into a Dept. of Cities and Regions, with a refocus on sustainability and economic revitalization in a fashion that didn't only focus on poverty. To me, a Dept. of Cities and Regions would include units from the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency on smart growth issues, as well as units from the Dept. of Commerce (Economic Development Administration), with a kind of extension focus a la the Dept. of Agriculture -- in fact, the entire field of community development grew out of the field of Agriculture Extension -- along with the traditional housing focus of HUD.

Umm, Politico reports that Jim Oberstar, Democratic chairman of the House Transportation Committee, and Earl Blumenaur (transportation wonks and geeks know who he is) are the leading nominees for the secretary position for the Dept. of Transportation. See "Dems sketch Obama staff, cabinet."

Since Rep. Oberstar is being a weasel in terms of the wooden steamboat the Delta Queen--it's a non-union operation, so he favors closing the operation down (see "Is this the end of the road for the Delta Queen steamboat?" from USA Today and "Fans of Delta Queen riverboat bid farewell in Ohio" from the Associated Press), I'd prefer Earl Blumenaur or Janette Sadik-Khan (she is the director of Transportation for the City of New York).

The riverboat Delta Queen moves up the Ohio River, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2008, after making what was probably it's last stop in Cincinnati. The Delta Queen, built in 1926 and registered as a National Historic Landmark, will stop operating as an overnight vessel after 2008 as the U.S. Congress has not given the wooden boat an exemption from the 1966 Safety of Life at Sea Act as they have in the past. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)



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