Community development turned on its head

A couple of articles that caught my eye, both from the NYT.

Starbucks is closing one of its three locations in Kansas City, Missouri, although the local coffeeshop next door is flourishing. It will be interesting to see what it does in the next several months, as it has not rescinded any of its goals to grow the number of franchises around the world. I'm not opposed to Starbucks, especially when they're able to use their muscle to open a spot in neighborhoods which may be high risk for a mom-and-pop, but no one can like the fact that they have stratically set up shop in places to edge out existing businesses.

In New York City, community groups oppose a big development on public land that seems to be geared for...communities. This is the dispute over Hudson Pier 40 - should it stay as a ball field and risk neglect, since the city has already stated that it does not have the funding to rehabilitate the field? Or should it become a mega-entertainment/recreation complex (complete with ball fields) and serve a greater population? (Methinks that Related could come up with a better compromise to meet the needs of the community, and honestly, parents of the now tony Village, you shouldn't be hoarding ball fields).


On Thursday, Jan 31

Image from my friend's 20x200, get 'em while you can.

This event posting is dedicated to this one, for whom I have a soft spot. Go out and find some inspiration to make the public spaces around you better.

From Design Trust for Public Space:
"Tipping Points: Art, Design, Architecture, Politics, and Civic Engagement"
Moderated by: Susan Szenasy; editor in chief, Metropolis Magazine
Introduction by President Dr. Thomas Schutte
6:30 pm to 8:00pm, Thurs Jan 31
Reception to follow

Seeded with the idea of political engagement and grassroots activism this session will speak to driving change in NYC. The audience will be encouraged to offer ideas and strategies to continue the momentum of change. Open to the community.

o Letitia James - City Councilwoman, Brooklyn, District 35
o Wendy Feuer - Asst. Commissioner for Urban Art and Planning, DOT
o Laurie Kerr - Mayor's Office for Long Term Planning and Sustainability
o Blaise Backer - Director, Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project
o Sean Meenan - Owner, Habana Outpost
o Deborah Marton - Executive Director, Design Trust for Public Space
o Eva Hanhardt - Coordinator, Pratt EMS program

Higgins Hall, Pratt Institute
Southeast corner of Lafayette Avenue & St. James Place, Brooklyn
G train to Clinton/Washington