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Thursday, December 31, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 25

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality


Barrie said an enormous number of houses are in HOAs, which results in private zoning that denies affordable or even attainable housing.

“HOAs are able to overlay regressive and restrictive rules, creating privileged enclaves that live by their own rules,” Barrie said. 

“We have a strong storyline in our country, that it is the country of opportunity — then we create all kinds of pre-emptive state laws, zoning codes and HOAs that make it not an equitable nation.” 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 24

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

Barrie said some states and cities — Oregon, Minneapolis, Denver and Grand Rapids — have eliminated exclusive single-family zoning or are moving toward that. 

He supports efforts to allow more diverse and dense housing.

He is not a fan of Home Owner Associations, noting they can impose deed restrictions and covenants that would be unconstitutional if they were in city zoning and building codes.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 23

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

Thomas Barrie

Thomas Barrie, professor of architecture at NC State University and director of the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Initiative, published a powerful op-ed in the Charlotte Observer in June titled: 

“To fight racism, throw out neighborhood zoning laws that lead to segregated housing.” 

He is interested in cracking the code that gives the reason behind why places look like they do and why disparity is built into the system.

“North Carolina has all sorts of laws, put in for dubious reasons, that inhibit or greatly limit affordable housing,” he said.

“We can’t have inclusionary zoning or rent control.

There are limits on cities creating their own housing laws, state law that limits the ability to create form-based codes. 

I’m an educator. It is my role to write op-eds and inform people about laws that limit justice, inclusion and equity.”

Monday, December 28, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 22

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

“I would add an element of planning focused on creating places that people care about,” Brown said.

“Look at how well it’s maintained by stakeholders, local government, or volunteers.  

The care of a space represents its respect, its success and its dignity. Are we creating spaces with respect for humanity and environment—- regardless of people’s social identities?”

Sunday, December 27, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 21

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

Representational justice. 

The key question is: do people feel like their experience and history is represented in the space?

In many planning activities in hot real estate markets, there is a growing concern around gentrification and displacement. 

One of the ways to mitigate these concerns about cultural erasure is representational justice. 

Make sure people’s history is represented in the new space, through development or redevelopment. 

Many public spaces have monuments and plaques detailing the achievements of white people. 

We need to have more inclusive plaques and markers that talk about the history of the place made by all people.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

 FROM HONEYBEAR, HEIDI AND YOURS TRULY

According to HoneyBear, our beloved Siamese rescue cat, 2020 has already come to an end.

Note in the picture that she has closed my laptop and commenced sun bathing flat on top of it till Jan. 4, 2021.

While I envy such dedication to respite and restoration in light of the incredibly challenging year, I will not be out till then (but do hope to spend much time with my amazing partner of 33 years – Heidi – most of the last week of 2020.)

I just wanted to drop a warm note of thanks to everyone who has been a part of my life in these tumultuous times.

I won the lottery of life when I met my Heidi and I have grown to be the most-fortunate man I know – working only with clients that are focused on making the world a better place.

I earn my daily bread providing editorial services and marketing writing for highly-respected planners, urban designers, architects, engineers, mobility specialists, landscape architects, sustainability experts, disability access advocates academics, non-profits and urban infill developers.

Yours in an inclusive, equitable and accessible built environment for all,

--Steve


Friday, December 25, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 20

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

Procedural justice. 

This is about ensuring the full and fair participation. 

We must ask questions (such as) who has influence over the design, the programming — of these networks? What’s the power dynamic? — not only historically but presently.

Interactional justice. 

This gets at concerns around what makes people feel welcome or unwanted at a space. 

If we are to pursue interactional justice, we must make sure all people feel welcome. 

This touches on every aspect of identity (including but not limited to) sexual orientation, race, religion, and disability.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 19

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

Brown urges planning professionals to evaluate projects and plans through the lens of equity. 

He said defined equity as the presence of justice and fairness within the procedures and processes by an institution. 

Adapting forms of justice developed by Setha Low, director of the Public Space Research Group at the City University of New York.

Brown has detailed how the pursuit of justice should impact planning:

Distributive Justice. 

We must ask who has physical access to that street, that park, that trail, that building?

That applies to pedestrians, persons with disabilities, the modes in which a person can access a street or trail. 

It examines public transit vs. driving disparities.

It evaluates the impact of an auto-centric environment. We must ensure that transportation includes (space and safety) for bikes, people with disabilities, micro mobility, and pedestrians.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 18

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

Charles T. Brown

Charles T. Brown, MPA, senior Researcher at the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University, is committed to creating equitable cities. 

“It’s important that all parties be more knowledgeable of the historic land-use and transportation issues that have disproportionately impacted racial and ethnic minorities and low-economic communities,” he said. 

“The environmental justice movement demands that we ensure the full and fair participation by all potentially affected communities in our decision-making process.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 17

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

Livable design advocates for flexible, accessible, age-in-place housing with stepless entries and wider doors and hallways, kitchen convenience and functionality improved with multi-height work surfaces and ample space to move around easily, a ground floor bathroom with reinforced walls and towel bars, and a bedroom on the ground floor

“I believe the best way to make the most significant impact in residential home design is for municipalities to incentivize builders to incorporate Livable Design into their homes through fee reductions, fast-tracking projects, or a combination of both. 

This approach will motivate builders to seek creative solutions and deliver a better result for the community. Win-win,” said DeMure, president and CEO of Jeffrey Demure+Associates Architects and Planners in Granite Bay, Calif.”


Monday, December 21, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 16

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

Thompson said planners should build support for accessible housing by educating communities and builders that the cost of making a home accessible from the start is only five to 10 percent more expensive than a non-accessible dwelling.

Retrofitting is where high costs come in. 

But wider doorways, roll-in showers and accessible kitchens do not drive up costs significantly if incorporated into design from day one.

“I have had many conversations with municipalities, stakeholders, builders, and developers about Universal Design, visitability, ADA for single-family residential, and whether a component of accessibility should be mandated. 

As a broad statement, when you prescribe something, you take away a piece of its soul,” said Jeffrey DeMure AIA, author of “Livable Design: From Commodity to Community with Affordable, Adaptable, Beautiful Home Design.”

Sunday, December 20, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 15

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

“More housing for people with disabilities creates a more diverse, stronger community. 

Twenty percent of the population will have some kind of disability and the majority of those impact mobility. 

Designing for universal access is simply meeting the market demand,” said Thompson, who believes office buildings left vacant by the work from home trend will be prime for converting to accessible housing located close to transit, jobs, healthcare and education.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

TALKING TRASH…AND ABANDONED HOUSES PLUS VACANT LOTS IN SHENANDOAH

ON LET’S TALK MIAMI PODCAST WITH CAMILA CEBALLOS

Rules should force absentee owners to restore abandoned houses to original code-compliant condition. Those who do illegal demolition should be ordered to rent restored units as affordable for 5 years.

I am gratified to have talked about activism in the historic Shenandoah neighborhood of Little Havana for more than a half hour with podcaster Camila Ceballos.

I was proud to be her end of the year, final program.

We chatted about the city needing to do a better job of cleaning up, securing and redeveloping abandoned houses and vacant lots.

We differentiated between owner-occupied homes, with elderly or poor residents who do not have the ability or money to keep their roofs, windows and lots in perfect shape – vs. absentee owner speculators who often do illegal demolition then walk away from their unsafe structures.

We talked about the need for swifter action to push the hands of investors who trash core neighborhoods, encouraging blight, squatters while discourage healthy investment from young families and others who would otherwise move into the neighborhood and become rooted in it.

View the podcast here:                          

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHOOoetlIh8&feature=youtu.be 

I feel that these lots could be built with properly-scaled affordable housing. Abandoned houses could be rehabbed to become attainable rental properties for workforce housing.

As a longtime advocate for people with disabilities, I noted that less than one percent of housing in Miami is move-in ready for a person who uses a wheelchair for mobility. So, a good chunk of the infill housing on these blighted lots should be build accessible.

We also discussed research that has shown upwards of half of the people of Miami pay more than half their total income toward housing – a totally unsustainable housing gap, because the average family should pay no more than one third of its income on housing.

Camila Ceballos, host of Let's Talk Miami Podcast

We also touched on my Twitter storm and TV interviews underscoring the blight caused by illegal dumping in Miami’s older, core neighborhoods.

We agreed that whether you are a Republican, Democrat, Independent or other – maintaining quality of life in a decent, diverse, mixed-income neighborhood is important to you.

There is no political bias – red or blue – when you work to punish both speculators who destroy dozens of viable lots in a neighborhood and fly by night contractors who illegally dump trash on side alleys and on vacant lots.

I support my elected officials – being a public servant for the City of Miami was one of the most satisfying jobs of my long career – but I expect them to never hide behind excuses of process…while always leaping in to cut red tape to help the little guy.

Happy Holidays.

If you want to play Santa for working class Miami, then share this blog item and the link to the podcast with your elected officials, neighbors and friends. 

Alternate link to podcast:

https://anchor.fm/miamitalkspolitics/episodes/Abandoned-Lots-in-the-Heart-of-Miami-enrrpg 

Your tireless advocate for urban living with HoneyBear the Siamese rescue cat

Friday, December 18, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 14

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

Mark Thompson, PVA

When it comes to planning inequities for people with disabilities, HUD surveys have documented that fewer than one percent of all housing is move-in ready for wheelchair users. 

Virtually all of that tiny one percent is new build multifamily housing. 

Fewer than five percent of all housing is even moderately move-in ready for people with physical disabilities who do not use a wheelchair full-time.

“Much like affordable housing, you give developers an economic incentive to get them to build accessible units: increasing density or expediting permitting — if they provide more universally accessible units,” says Mark Thompson, AIA, senior associate director of Architecture for Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 13

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

The APA guide is filled with concrete action steps to create more equitable policy. 

Wood said zoning decisions tend to be based on creating individual wealth vs. a holistic gain for the community.

She said planners have an obligation to inform city officials of all impacts and consequences of land-use decisions.

“It has to do with empathy and humanity — we need to have a fully functioning community,” said Wood, a planning project manager with the Regional Transportation District in Denver. 

“The intent behind the guide is to address all who are underserved — people of color, of low income, with mobility issues … by creating policies for inclusive growth and equitable economic distribution.”

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 12

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

Susan Wood

“Planners are uniquely positioned to make a difference. 

They are out in the communities. They can look at housing, transportation, health, environmental justice — and set policies that create quality of life for everyone equally,” said Susan Wood, AICP, one of the guide’s authors and co-chair of the project that produced its tools to address inequities and influence decision makers.

The pandemic has underscored the need. 

People who can least afford to shoulder the burden have been the most negatively impacted. In a marginalized community, if you don’t have access to healthy living, transportation, doctors — you can die.”

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 11

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

“It is important for planners to recognize the past and present role the planning profession has played in creating and perpetuating discriminatory practices against communities of color, the LGBTQ communities, women, and persons with disabilities. 

For example, zoning, which is intended to separate incompatible land uses, has also been used to exclude certain population groups from single-family neighborhoods and to exclude multifamily rental housing from neighborhoods with better access to jobs, transit, and amenities,” the APA Equity Policy Guide states.

Monday, December 14, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 10

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

The American Planning Association’s (APA) Planning for Equity Policy Guide was approved by its board and published in April 2019, before the wide-ranging rallies for social justice and disparate impact of the pandemic became headline news in 2020.

Created by a diverse base of APA members, the first page of the 30-page document takes a head on approach toward acknowledging the profession’s history with inequity.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 9

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality 

BAR is addressing environmental justice by working with a Jefferson County commissioner to build new, ADA-compliant, three-bedroom houses that will be worth about $100,000 but sold to qualifying families for around $50,000. 

Along with providing safe, affordable housing, the initiative will help build equity in greater Birmingham when it is formally defined and launched in 2021.

“REALTORS advocate for property rights – just because that adds value to the (real estate) industry, but also because it adds value to the community. BAR uses a lot of NAR tools for community building,” Baylor said.


HOMELESS IN PARADISE

DO SOMETHING CHARITABLE AND LOVING FOR THE HOLIDAYS

You have cabin fever.

You can’t get used to wearing a mask.

Your candidate lost.

Your cruise to the Caribbean got canceled due to COVID.

The toilet flushes during your work from home Zoom.

The company cut your pay by a fraction due to the pandemic.

These are minor problems. 

They are fractional reductions in quality of life while we heal physically, psychologically and politically.

People have lost their lives.

Households have lost every job that support them.

Vulnerable people are living each day in fear.

Back off the attitude.

Stop griping.

Search your soul for bias and bigotry -- erase whatever it is that’s causing those destructive thoughts and behaviors.

Do someone a favor.

Buy a grocery gift card for someone in need. Bonus points, do it anonymously.

Embrace life.

Embrace people.

Find something enchanting and interesting and life-affirming in someone who is completely different than you – It’s very easy to do.

Work to make the world a better place.

Do something hands-on to help those who are homeless, jobless, hopeless.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and Super Solstice.

About the image: This was taken in the early morning in Downtown Miami. In the postcards boasting sun, sea and sand – Miami is a paradise. To the eyes of anyone who walks the Central Business District between the Miami River and Biscayne Bay – sidewalks, overhangs, vacant storefronts and space under bridges is home to hundreds of homeless people. Was it hard to take this picture? Yes. I walked past a half dozen times. But I am a street photographer and storyteller. As an advocate for people with disabilities in specific and marginalized people in general – I am compelled to tell stories (visually and in words) that are painful, sad and challenging. Harsh images, in turn, can help compel people to get involved in positive change. That is why I left this person to their hopefully peaceful slumber while capturing their heart-tugging image.

Friday, December 11, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 8

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

Add caption

The Birmingham Association of REALTORS (BAR), supported the master plan and continues to work with the city’s mayor and other elected officials on issues of community, development, planning, land use, business and urban living.

“We are actively involved in restoring the value that was taken away by redlining,” said William Baylor, Vice President of Government Affairs for BAR.

“REALTORS are natural canvassers. 

They are in the neighborhoods, they see trends – positive and negative – so it natural for them to build relationships with Mayors, City Managers and other leaders to address local issues.”


Thursday, December 10, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 7

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

Gilchrist cited the City Center Master Plan Update for the city of Birmingham. Ala., as a prime example of direct participation of neighborhoods that spanned a wide range of income and race. 

He said a positive outcome was Railroad Park, which created a “people’s park” in a city that had suffered a history of disparity around use and location of public space.

Gilchrist said when communities that have suffered historic inequity demand a direct hand in charting their futures, early engagement brings communities on board not simply as stakeholders, but as active partners. 

He noted this “is no longer one approach for redressing those inequities — it is the only approach.”


Wednesday, December 9, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 6

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

“The content and the connectivity around a community’s inclusion lives or dies with the relationships established and ongoing thorough outreach and response,” Gilchrist said. 

“It is also critical for the planning professional to find some means of vetting the proposed scope of work for a planning initiative with the community stakeholders before it is issued as a Request for Qualifications or Proposals. 

While this step may inevitably add time to procurement of services or project start, it remains one of the best ways to ensure participation, credibility, and service with community.”


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 5

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

“While the planning and urban design professions are recognizing the role they have played in much of the inequity in the urban landscape, these disciplines are also in key positions in the way they apply their procedural and technical skills to redress many actual conditions through equitable outcomes as well as bringing a more inclusive process of engagement that should characterize all planning initiatives,” Gilchrist said

Gilchrist said the most effective way to ensure an outcome that is inclusive across community is to engage stakeholders before a scope of work is even contemplated. 

The greatest opportunity to ensure a robust, inclusive outcome is to define that opportunity correctly and equitably. 

He urged planners to communicate frequently with social, religious, cultural or business and neighborhood forums within a community.


Monday, December 7, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 4

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

William Gilchrist

This article is an acknowledgment of exclusionary policies — many still in practice — that have prevented tens of millions from accessing the American Dream and quality of life that all deserve. 

Its diverse and expert voices aim to share best practices that will create approaches, methodologies, policies, practices, codes and laws that will level the playing field.

The disparate impacts across planning outcomes reflecting biases has a storied history across American cities. 

"There are examples that range from the removal or denial of parks and open space equitably throughout cities with notable deficits occurring in communities of color and lower-income cities,” said William A. Gilchrist, FAIA, NOMA, director of the city of Oakland’s Planning and Building department.


Sunday, December 6, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 3

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

This year has been like no other. 

Mass protests have underscored the endless inequity and brutality killing, injuring and forever damaging people of color. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed vast inequities in terms of higher infection rate with lower access to crucial health care, as well as higher incidence of unemployment exacerbated by a frayed and shrinking safety net. 

Also, 2020 marked the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

A sad fact for those who believed 30 years of federal civil rights protection would result in something better than people with disabilities hunting for housing when less than one percent of it is move-in ready accessible for them. 

Saturday, December 5, 2020

ZOO LIGHTS MIAMI

 THANKS FOR HAVING SUCH GREAT WHEELCHAIR ACCESS

Great family event -- holiday lights at Zoo Miami.

Love it when everything is level, with ramps where needed and smooth surfaces to accommodate people with disabilities.

This is why we live in Miami.

Seventy-degree, shirt sleeves balmy night when we visited on Thanksgiving weekend.

Admission just above $20 for 13 and over, less than $20 for those under 13.

Book in advance – it sells out.

Runs through Dec. 27 -- Fridays and Saturdays only.

https://www.zoomiami.org



Friday, December 4, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 2

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

Even supposedly well-intended Model Cities and other urban renewal programs of the 1960s and 1970s replaced perfectly livable row houses, homes with large porches and other hallmarks of the African Community with soulless, oft-isolated apartment high rises that were quickly derided as “the projects.”

A history of well-meaning planners introducing their own bias and paternalism — feeling they knew what was best for rebuilding community without ever taking the time to truly grasp the needs, traditions, cultures, diversity and unique housing patterns — has haunted countless minority communities.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

EQUITY AND INCLUSION -- Part 1

Planning, Zoning and other Land Use Policy Best Practices to Erase Errors of the Past that Perpetuated Bias and Deepened Inequality

In a nation based on a constitution that guarantees equality for all, decades of planning and land-use policy has created inequity.

Everything from single-family zoning with large minimum lot sizes that made home ownership impossible for many people of color, to shameful, insidious practices such as redlining lending in predominantly African American communities, has widened the chasm between haves and have nots.

Even the automobile — that great tool for middle-class community work, expanding suburban homebuilding and vastly growing tourism — was weaponized against minority communities. 

Hundreds of freeways cut through African American neighborhoods, destroying communities while robbing people of equity in homes and businesses undervalued, taken by eminent domain and razed for freeways that almost never tore through places with a white majority.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

 RECOGNIZED BY THE UNITED NATIONS SINCE 1992

My wish for this day is for people with disabilities to take their rightful place on corporate boards, executive leadership teams, research & development divisions and other aspects of commerce in America.

A great many firms made a push to add people of color to these and other key ranks, following the summer of protests over racial injustice. 

I applaud that and say “why did it take you so long.”

But the diversity door MUST be open to all people who deserve equity and inclusion.

It’s not charity, it’s good business. Diverse voices have been proven time and time again to create efficiencies while broadening market share. 

So even if you’re only about the dollar, you need to elevate qualified people with mobility, vision, hearing, cognitive and other disabilities into meaningful decision-making roles.

I have published a record-breaking number of articles exploring aspects of disability and environmental justice, visibility and true equality.

https://www.newmobility.com/2020/02/guide-to-local-advocacy/

https://www.newmobility.com/2020/07/the-ada-enforcers/

https://www.mainstreet.org/blogs/national-main-street-center/2020/07/23/main-spotlight-the-ada-at-30-the-power-of-inclusio

https://www.smartcitiesdive.com/news/the-ada-is-turning-30-but-the-built-environment-is-still-far-from-inclusiv/581563/

https://medium.com/@stevewright_57150/the-americans-with-disabilities-act-at-30-its-a-major-news-story-6ab3efe5a332

https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2020/6/1/when-inclusive-isnt

https://www.oncommonground-digital.org/oncommonground/fall_2020__recovering__rebuilding__rebalancing/MobilePagedReplica.action?pm=2&folio=10#pg10

https://www.oncommonground-digital.org/oncommonground/fall_2020__recovering__rebuilding__rebalancing/MobilePagedReplica.action?pm=2&folio=32#pg32

https://www.oncommonground-digital.org/oncommonground/winter_2020__community_design_for_resiliency/MobilePagedArticle.action?articleId=1556224#articleId1556224

http://www.newmobility.com/wheels-on-campus



Wednesday, December 2, 2020

THE ADA TURNED 30, BUT THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT IS STILL FAR FROM INCLUSIVE (PART 15)

While many cities have shown efforts to implement accessible design since the 1990 adoption of the American Disabilities Act, more must be done

We are living in the most partisan, divisive and frightened time in our nearly 250 years as a nation. 

Everyone has his or her idea of how we can begin to unify, heal, come together. 

Mine is to celebrate the ADA in the spirit of equity for all.

https://www.smartcitiesdive.com/news/the-ada-is-turning-30-but-the-built-environment-is-still-far-from-inclusiv/581563/

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

THE ADA TURNED 30, BUT THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT IS STILL FAR FROM INCLUSIVE (PART 14)

While many cities have shown efforts to implement accessible design since the 1990 adoption of the American Disabilities Act, more must be done

The current slowdown/shut down of virtually all offices and organizations creates a fabulous opportunity. 

As work, sadly, dries up for an unknown period, those who impact the built environment and the professional organizations that represent them can work online to promote access for all.

Chef Jose Andres is a shining example what a professional can do pro-bono in times of crises. 

Who would like to step up and be the Jose Andres of architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, planning, and interior design?

Monday, November 30, 2020

THE ADA TURNED 30, BUT THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT IS STILL FAR FROM INCLUSIVE (PART 13)

While many cities have shown efforts to implement accessible design since the 1990 adoption of the American Disabilities Act, more must be done

Statistics show that one in five persons will experience some level of disability that impacts their daily lives.  

Millions of Baby Boomers are retiring soon and expecting to live into their 80s.

Most will not be able to drive a car till the day they die.

For that reason alone, we need to ramp up our effort to ensure accessibility – from the grandest concert hall to the most modest city park to the life-affirming rural nature trail to the essential corner grocery.

Anyone, in an instant, can join the disability community. That is why Universal Design and Inclusive Placemaking have an immeasurable intrinsic wealth.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

THE ADA TURNED 30, BUT THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT IS STILL FAR FROM INCLUSIVE (PART 13)

While many cities have shown efforts to implement accessible design since the 1990 adoption of the American Disabilities Act, more must be done\

Statistics show that one in five persons will experience some level of disability that impacts their daily lives.  

Millions of Baby Boomers are retiring soon and expecting to live into their 80s. 

Most will not be able to drive a car till the day they die. 

For that reason alone, we need to ramp up our effort to ensure accessibility – from the grandest concert hall to the most modest city park to the life-affirming rural nature trail to the essential corner grocery.

ABANDONED HOUSES, VACANT LOTS, MOUNTAINS OF TRASH -- CITY OF MIAMI PLEASE ADDRESS THIS NEGLECT

THE HISTORIC SHENANDOAH NEIGHBORHOOD DESERVES BETTER THAN MESS CREATED BY ABSENTEE OWNERS AND SPECULATORS 

I love the city of Miami. It breaks my heart, but I must go public with 8 images the depict a total collapse of government services. My Shenandoah neighborhood is filled with vacant houses and trash. The house pictured above has been abandoned at SW 13 St and SW 23 Avenue for years.  

A wealthy architect bought the house next door to us, as a speculator, then proceeded to violate the ethics of his profession doing illegal dismantling. The city has posted citations, but nothing has happened. We deserve better than the mess pictured above.

This monstrosity (photo above) on SW 23rd Avenue at SW 14 St has festered for years. It always has a ton of trash. When the city allows buildings to linger abandoned, dangerous and decaying – it signals illegal dumpers & worse that it’s open season to destroy the neighborhood.

The person who lives (outdoors on the lot pictured above) allowed his family home to fall down around him -- until it was razed as an unsafe structure years ago. He camps out and does all bodily functions out in the open. He earns money illegally parking commercial vehicles at his shanty town.

This lot (image above) on SW 14th St, just south of our home would be nice for affordable housing– but it has been allowed to grow up like a jungle since the house was razed. The COVID pandemic is no excuse for allowing this filth and ruin in our working-class neighborhood.

A mountain of trash (sad image above) on an alley immediately south of historic William Jennings Bryan Park. We have done tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of roof, window and other improvements - -by permit – and paid off our 100-year-old home. Our reward – nothing but neglect.

Tires (see above) brazenly and illegally dumped in front of Bryan Park. When you have a half dozen vacant houses/lots and do nothing to punish speculators from illegal demolition – you get a neighborhood so decimated, that people start to dump garbage right on your little park where kids play. 

Mattress, filth--drawing rodents, worse–dumped at weed-strewn vacant lot near our home (repugnant photo of neglect above). Miami officials: Where is the sense of duty to community? My guess is instead of addressing this, city will send code enforcement to retaliate against us with trumped up charges.