Jess Zimbabwe's blog

Jess Zimbabwe is the Executive Director of the ULI Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership.
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A City that Takes its Planning Seriously (or Not)

Portland is a city that's often better known by the representations of it—like the television show Portlandia—than as an actual working city.

UK cities, mayoral powers, and "tall poppy syndrome"

This morning over at Atlantic Cities, Richard Florida aptly refuted an opinion piece by Kevin Meagher that appeared in the Guardian last week advocating for doing away with the position of Mayor in London. Florida lays out several strong arguments in favor of a strong elected mayor who can act as an advocate for his or her city.

Liveblog: ULI Rose Center Kansas City Study Visit

I'm writing from the audience of a presentation this morning in the Hotel Phillips in Kansas City. The presentation will cover the initial observations and recommendations of a national team of experts who've been invited here by Mayor Sly James and his team of Daniel Rose Fellows.

The Kansas City Daniel Rose Fellows:

What Yesterday’s Elections Results Mean for Cities and City Government Across the U.S.

If you can make it past rhetoric around healthcare, abortion, collective bargaining, and immigration, the November 8th election results tell a more cohesive and calming story about American’s political sentiment. Despite a widespread expressed attitude of “throw the bums out,” incumbent mayors won in every big city race on the ballot yesterday: Baltimore, Charlotte, Houston, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia.

A foray by HUD into telling small towns how best to use their land

In April 2009, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan spoke to the ULI Spring Council Forum in Atlanta; he stated that his administration’s goal was “to put the UD back in HUD,” and explained that HUD’s over-reliance on housing solutions wasn’t helping cities address their complex revitalization needs. Just over two years later, this small new funding program caught my eye on a list of new HUD announcements:

*** HUD HOPE VI – $0.5 million
Application Due: August 22, 2011
Eligible Entities: Local governments

wish you were here: liveblog from the Association for Community Design Annual Conference

I’m watching local Rochester-area advocates respond to presentations by three panelists on the subject of “Community Food Supply and Environmental Justice” at the Association for Community Design annual conference. We’re here hosted by the Rochester Regional Community Design Center.

Take a ride on the Scwebebahn

I’d been obsessed with it ever since I saw The Princess and the Warrior. (Between that and the funicular in Flashdance, there is just something about bad-ass chicks that commute via unique transit.) So, when I found myself with an unexpected free morning in Essen, Germany, after especially cooperative weather for photographing the day before, I hopped on the S-Bahn towards Wuppertal to see the famed train. 

Cul-de-sacs verboten?: Tim Kaine and Roman Polanski on dead-end streets

As you may have heard in yesterday's Planetizen Podcast, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine doesn't like cul-de-sacs.

Most news reports on the story have claimed that the state is "forbidding," "banning," or even "outlawing" the cul-de-sac. In fact, Virginia municipalities can still design, build, and approve any road patterns they wish, but the State will no longer agree to foot the bill for the ongoing maintenance of cul-de-sacs. The news item came up in a staff meeting yesterday and one colleague told us that a friend he was having dinner with declared the move "Un-American!"

post-Starbucks planning

Starbucks stores have seen a lot of protests. Due to its international brand recognition, the chain became an easy mark for activists looking to draw media attention to concerns from genetic engineering to union busting, from store placements in historically sensitive locations to the company’s opposition to Ethiopia’s application to trademark three types of coffee.

Liveblog from the MICD Santa Rosa Technical Assistance Team Session

In early 2008, the Mayors' Institute on City Design received a generous gift from the Edward W. Rose III Family Fund, directed through the National Endowment for the Arts, to support technical assistance teams going into the communities of alumni mayors who have already attended one of our traditional Mayors' Institute sessions. The four cities that we selected for the pilot phase of this work were Santa Rosa, CA, Lincoln, NE, Cincinnati, OH, and Tulsa, OK.

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