“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 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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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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Retail, REITs and Cannibalization

May 4, 2012

When he got his start in the grocery business with Fred Meyer decades ago, Gary Slabaugh said he knew EVERY property owner that surrounded the store where he worked. He knew them, their families, their kids’ birthdays. Part of managing the store was participating in, and being a member of, the surrounding community. Smart business […]

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Thumbnail image for Hot Lake Springs…The Arkansas of Oregon?

Hot Lake Springs…The Arkansas of Oregon?

March 30, 2012

Earlier this week, I paid a visit to an intriguing place called Hot Lake Springs, which is located in what felt like the middle of nowhere in eastern Oregon. Back in the day, Hot Lake Springs billed itself as the “Arkansas of the West” — after Hot Springs, Arkansas. (The site in its full glory […]

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My Secret Garden…of Zen

January 22, 2012

In the summer of 2011, I found myself mystified as to why, after speaking at the Pacific Intermountain Parking and Transportation Association (PIPTA) conference, I had received a plastic bag of salt, a picture frame, some straws, a few pebbles, a tiny Buddha, and two small mock stone candles. You see, fairly frequent speaking gigs […]

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