“We take a market driven approach to civic renewal. We focus first on connecting stakeholders in the community—particularly those who control businesses, buildings, and land use, because they drive the engine of change. Forging these relationships and understanding a place’s complete ecosystem are what allow us to facilitate economically successful development projects and revitalization programs.”

Thumbnail image for My What a Quaint Bridge Tender House You Have Chicago

My What a Quaint Bridge Tender House You Have Chicago

July 31, 2016

Who knew that competition was so fierce and cutthroat in the world of architectural boat tours in Chicago? According to our guide, who was a docent volunteer on the official Chicago Architectural Foundation tour, CAF has turned their river meanderings into one of the top visitor draws in the city, which, of course, has spawned […]

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Thumbnail image for Oh the Stories They Could Tell… The “Is That a Beluga Whale?” Edition

Oh the Stories They Could Tell… The “Is That a Beluga Whale?” Edition

April 22, 2016

There is a unique joy in walking through a building and experiencing what it was, understanding what it is now, and contemplating what it can be in the future. Some structures clearly have a grand old past, evoked by remnants of fixtures, stained glass, and finish work. Some have a more sordid identity, making it difficult to […]

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Thumbnail image for One-Way Streets, A Coffee Shop, and a Reunion

One-Way Streets, A Coffee Shop, and a Reunion

March 7, 2015

Working away in a coffee shop one day (I know, how very Portland of me), I couldn’t help but overhear the phone conversation of the young woman sitting to my left. (Why are cell conversations in coffee shops always so loud? #unavoidableeavesdropping) Anyway, she was chatting with someone about how long it had been since […]

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Thumbnail image for A Wall, No Matter How Pretty, Is Still…a Wall

A Wall, No Matter How Pretty, Is Still…a Wall

March 11, 2014

During the summer of 2013, my husband and I took a very uncharacteristic vacation to a spa in Scottsdale, Arizona. I say “uncharacteristic” because a spa in the desert at the height of summer would not normally be at the top of our list of vacation destinations. But, long story short, we were quite happy […]

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Thumbnail image for I Bet You Can’t Guess What this Is!

I Bet You Can’t Guess What this Is!

June 4, 2013

From the annals of Did an intern design this building? Can you tell what it is? I was speaking at a Society for College and University Planning conference in Denver this spring, and walking back from my talk, a few blocks from my hotel, I stood on this corner and looked at this building and […]

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Thumbnail image for It’s Official, I’m a Parking Groupie!

It’s Official, I’m a Parking Groupie!

May 9, 2013

Yes, this is my autographed copy of the High Cost of Free Parking! I had the pleasure of serving on a panel with one of my professional crushes, Donald Shoup, at Railvolution in LA late last year. Oh yes, it gets better. He actually sat next to me, too! I brought my book to the […]

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Portlandia: Milquetoast Bureau of Planning Edition

September 10, 2012

Since the 1990s, Portland has not had parking minimums in much of the city, from the downtown core to more traditional neighborhoods with single family housing. Portland has been very proud of their no parking minimum. Portland has trumpeted this zoning policy as a shining example of why Portland is the City That Works! The […]

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Thumbnail image for When Improving Places, It Always Comes Down to People

When Improving Places, It Always Comes Down to People

August 23, 2012

What is one of the first things I consider when I’m working in a mixed-use district, whether I’m helping private sector developers strategize acquisitions, or diagnosing and suggesting improvements to an economically underperforming city? RELATIONSHIPS! In fact, I can often tell a lot about the connections between stakeholders in a small downtown or mixed-use district […]

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