Citizens Fight Cookie-Cutter Design in Birmingham

Residents of Birmingham, Alabama are rallying against a drive-through Chick-fil-A going up in their neighborhood, showing a growing awareness of the effect of development on the character of their community.
May 29, 2010, 7am PDT | Tim Halbur
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Using social media, the citizen group I Believe In Birmingham, with the help of Ed McMahon, a Birmingham native and senior resident fellow with the Urban Land Institute, is organizing against chain development.

From the Birmingham News: "The real issue is you have a choice. When a chain store developer - whether it's a McDonald's or a Chick-fil-A or a Walgreens - comes to town, they generally have three designs: A, B or C, ranging from Anywhere, U.S.A., to unique, and by that I mean sensitive to local community character," McMahon said. "Which one gets built depends completely on how much pushback the company gets from local residents and officials about design and its importance."

Another development fought by the group is a proposal to demolish a historic fire station and replace it with a Walgreens.

Thanks to Hunter Morgan

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, May 27, 2010 in The Birmingham News
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