Why is it that neighborhoods with older, smaller buildings often seem more vibrant than those with larger, newer ones? Ed McMahon explores this question, highlighting some recent research.
Taking a Closer Look
Over many years, urban analyst Edward McMahon has taken a closer look at many issues facing our communities — from growth, to development patterns, to urban design. Starting this Fall, columnist Steve McCutchan will also be reporting on PlannersWeb on a broad range of challenging community concerns.
Whether you love them or loathe them, Walmart — one of the most recognizable symbols of modern suburbia — is going urban, as senior ULI analyst Edward McMahon explains.
Successful communities have strong leaders and committed citizens. It’s true: a small number of committed people can make a big difference in a community.
The more any community in America comes to look just like every other community the less reason there is to visit. On the other hand, the more a community does to protect and enhance its uniqueness whether natural or architectural, the more people will want to visit.
Successful communities know that today’s world requires cooperation for mutual benefit. They understand that very few small towns have the resources, by themselves, to attract tourists or to compete with larger communities.
All development is not created equal. Some development projects will make a community a better place to live, work, and visit. Other development projects will not. The proof is everywhere, communities that set low standards or no standards will compete to the bottom.
Successful communities use education, incentives, partnerships, and voluntary initiatives not just regulation. While regulations are essential in setting minimum standards — and can prevent the worst in development — they rarely bring out the best.
Twenty-first century economic development focuses on what a community has, rather than what it doesn’t have. Creating a vision for the future begins by inventorying a community’s assets: natural, architectural, human, educational, economic, and so on.
Planning and land development analyst Ed McMahon looks at ways in which communities — large and small — can succeed. In today’s first installment, McMahon speaks of the importance of having a vision for the future.
Long-time Planning Commissioners Journal columnist Ed McMahon on why the era of strip commercial development may be nearing an end.
Why cities and towns benefit when they just say “no” to the continued proliferation of billboards. A report from PCJ contributing writer & ULI Senior Resident Fellow Ed McMahon.
Why fostering a sense of place is key to having a strong, economically vibrant city or town. Observations from PCJ contributing writer & ULI Senior Resident Ed McMahon.
High-rise buildings are not necessarily the best answer to promoting denser, more walkable communities, argues Urban Land Institute Senior Resident Fellow & PCJ contributing writer Ed McMahon.