One small Michigan city is focusing its efforts on building a strong downtown. A look at some of the challenges and opportunities facing Niles, Michigan.
For generations it was one of the iconic images of Detroit: the majestic Michigan Central Railroad Station & Tower. The image of the Station today still carries a message — but it’s a message of a city in decline. But does that mean the best solution is for the City to tear down the structure?
“Steamtown” is a national park site in the heart of downtown Scranton dedicated to railroading. I worked on the initial plan for Steamtown back in the 1980s when I was a National Park Service planner — and was quite curious to see how Steamtown looked (and worked) today.
I returned to the small town of Richford, Vermont, as the starting point of my travel plans for this Spring. I had visited Richford last Summer to first learn about the Main Street Mill redevelopment.
A look at the increasing breadth of the historic preservation movement as it evolved from the 1920s concern about preserving buildings associated with famous Americans, to today’s recognition of the link between historic preservation and economic development.
Planning Commissioners Journal issue #52 included a series of articles providing an introduction to historic preservation planning and why it is has become important to our cities and towns. The download includes the full issue.
Building codes often make it financially infeasible to rehabilitate older — often historic — buildings by requiring rehab work to meet the same standards as new construction. This approach is changing as states and localities are adopting more flexible building codes.
Until the last half of the 20th century, key public buildings were almost always designed and built to be focal points of their communities. Unfortunately, in recent decades the trend has been to build cheaply in peripheral locations.
Historic districts can bring communities powerful economic benefits, argues PCJ Columnist Edward McMahon.
Planning for tourism can help in identifying and making use of a city or region’s special character. But successful tourism strategies must first take into account the needs of local residents.