Newburgh, NY, a Case Study in Urban Revitalization.

Newburgh, NY, a Case Study in Urban Revitalization.

It isn’t enough to talk about buildings, or streetscapes, or general urban planning directions to achieve success. One has to understand that it is imperative to provide opportunity and positive attitudes in Newburgh in order to attract ‘new money’ and investment in the community, ideally translating into new residents who can help sustain the economic minimums for individual households and thus result in new sales and property tax income for the city.  Without a change of attitude especially with regards to violent crime including burglary (which undermines a sense of security) people will not feel safe and thus will not risk their own lives to live in Newburgh.  This isn’t to say Newburgh isn’t filled with so many wonderful people, festivals, events and even a symphony.  It’s to say that the urbanism of the CBD is clearly suffering and needs the kind of focus to make the kind of change happen that will help those who feel stuck in what is sometimes referred to the Newburgh slums.  References to ‘slums’ must stop, and those who use the term should be informed to understand how it is doing more harm to families living in those communities than doing good for the sense of ‘coolness’.

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The dark side of the Building Code

Every building code is designed to keep people safe and improve their lives, but often the code imposes a negative impact on the potential quality of a place.

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Top 5 Reasons I (reluctantly) Hired An Architect…

1) “I was told by the city I have to submit plans to get a work permit before my construction can start. What a hassle.  My cousin drew up a sketch, why can’t we use that?”

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[architecture] Finished Manhattan rental apt now occupied.

[architecture] Finished Manhattan rental apt now occupied.

It was a rough renovation of a dilapidated unplanned studio apartment, into a narrow but legal one bedroom rental apartment. This gut renovation had its twists and turns, but perseverance prevailed to complete this makeover, creating a warm and cozy one bedroom, one bath, full kitchen apartment.

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[urban design] Is Brooklyn dead? Creating better cities.

[urban design] Is Brooklyn dead? Creating better cities.

Brooklyn, a ‘city’ onto itself. But has it really matured the way one would hope? For every decision that is made in the building of a city, those who inhabit that city can enjoy or endure the results.  Let us take a quick compare and contrast of Brooklyn in relationship to Boston’s South End.

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911 rebuttal to all the ‘made-up’ theories…

It’s that time of year again as I’m reminded by the twin lights which were turned on tonight, Friday, September 4, 2009… I kind of wish they’d stop turning them on, not that I could forget, it’s just that  I don’t need an in the face reminder to remember… Read more