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.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

The Washington Post real estate section needs to up its game

The Washington Post real estate section feature on neighborhoods, called "Where we live," and written by freelancers frequently is under-researched and the articles tend to contain errors  of fact.

That's definitely the case with this weekend's feature on the H Street Northeast neighborhood ("The H Street Corridor is Reborn").  The article attributes the improvement on the corridor to the Transportation and Streetscape Study.  It happens that particular study and plan followed the economic revitalization study called Revival, which was finished in 2003.  The Revival plan recommended that a Transportation and Streetscape Study be conducted.

There are other factual errors in the piece also.

It happens that I was talking the other day with a Post columnist who writes on real estate issues and s/he lamented that editor of the section doesn't really understand urban planning and land use issues.

I lamented that unlike the paper of a couple of decades ago, people won't be able to look at back issue articles online and be able to make sense of how the city has (re)developed over the decades, because the coverage is no longer authoritative and lacks depth.

WRT real estate issues and general accuracy, probably the Monday Capital Business section is a better bet than the Saturday Real Estate Section.



At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the WaPo is NOT a hometown newspaper- it once WAS the hometown newspaper as well as a national paper but now it has gone over to transients who have virtually zero knowledge of the city proper. If anything- it is far more suburban-centric .

At 10:58 AM, Anonymous charlie said...

I'd say -- and this is fair -- that if you asked the Post they would say it isn't their job to make future reasearcher's job easy. There is a lot of source material out there now that didn't exist or was easily accessebile 50 years ago.

And history is, well, highly imperfect to begin with. I'd agree that by not knowing it we lose a lot. For example, the lower part of U st didn't gentrify until Rebpulic Gardens was shut down and it became a lot safer to move in. Or that the Reeves center is a big deal to Barry because of his history with the black panthers. (I didn't know that one).

But newspapers have always been the first draft of history.

More on Bezos:

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