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.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Death sucks

1. DC Latino advocate Saul Solarzano died. Washington Post obituary.

I know him because he was great friends with our next door neighbors, and that's how we met. We talked politics and such even before he put his name in as an interim pick for the then open DC City Council at large seat, and awhile back, he indicated he might be interested in running in 2012. PG County Council has one seat held by a Latino (William Campos) as does Montgomery County (Nancy Navarro) and Arlington County (Walter Tejada).

2. Transportation researcher Lee Schipper died also. New York Times obituary. From the obit:

John P. Holdren, President Obama’s science adviser, said that when he set up the Energy and Resources Program at the University of California at Berkeley, in 1973, Dr. Schipper was his first hire.

“He was one of the first people to point out that people don’t want to consume energy,” Dr. Holdren said, “they want to consume energy services, like transportation, comfortable rooms, cold beer and so forth. And that there was an enormous variation in the amount of energy needed to perform those services.”

I only dealt with him from time to time in passing, as we were on some of the same email lists. It's a loss.

3. Glen Elsasser, a Capitol Hill resident and former Chicago Tribune writer, died. Chicago Tribune obituary. Somehow I met him on the street once. He showed me his house, which he bought in the early 1960s for less than $30,000.

And when I wanted hard copies of the stellar Chicago Tribune series on the state of historic preservation protections in Chicago, "A Squandered Heritage," he got them for me...

One of the reasons it's important to spend time working with "the next generation" of urban revitalizers, graduate students, transportation planners, etc., is that we need to be replaced.

Hopefully, we leave the world a better place when we do, as did Saul, Lee, and Glen.

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