Planning and zoning officials have powerful influence over the future shape and land use of our communities.

Making sure we leave our children and grandchildren livable communities and a livable environment is reason to consider planning and zoning approaches that move toward sustainability.

SLW-ability Yields Stronger Local Economies

SLW-ability Yields Stronger Local Economies

During the AMPO (Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations) conference the past two days, the three words I think I heard most often were Sustainability; Livability; and Walkability. What’s more all three of these were often tied in to another phrase: economic competitiveness.

Young people working on a community garden in Flint, Michigan

Not Giving Up On Flint — Part II

While Flint, Michigan, has received lots of negative attention in the media — in some ways becoming the poster boy of urban disintegration — what’s also clear is that there are many who are not giving up on Flint.

part of huge green roof at Ford Motor's River Rouge assembly plant in Dearborn, Michigan

When Rouge Turned Green

Instead of closing down its River Rouge assembly plant in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford Motor Company has reinvested it — with an emphasis on energy-saving technologies, including an enormous green roof.

plans for Slavic Village section of Cleveland, Ohio

Audacious … or Realistic?

I met with planners trying to deal with the large amounts of vacant land in Cleveland’s inner-city neighborhoods. Their approach to turn things around: implementing creative, green-oriented strategies.

E is for Ecology

E is for Ecology

It is logical that ecology should be integral to planning. The natural environment is the community’s birthplace. Terrain, soils and tree cover, underground water, surface streams, vegetation, and wildlife all form an interdependent unity of impact and adaptation.