Agora v2 2008

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The Agora Planning Journal is a publication of student work from the Urban and Regional Planning, Urban Design and Real Estate Certificate Programs. The journal is intended for students to share their work within Taubman College as well as with others outside the university. Taubman College encourages any and all submissions that explore and challenge issues related to planning in the good-natured spirit of a “marketplace of ideas.”

Text of Agora v2 2008

  • A c k n o w l e d g e m e n t s :

    Funding for this publication was generously provided by the Saarinen-Swanson Endowment Fund and the University of Michigan Urban and Regional Planning Program.

    M a n a g i n g E d i t o rJames B. McMurray

    S e n i o r E d i t o r sLisa MorrisThomas Skuzinski

    E d i t o r i a l S t a f fScott CurryStephanie EtkinSarah Elizabeth RossJeff StorrarKrista Trout-EdwardsJon VanDerZee

    L a y o u t a n d D e s i g nScott CurryJames B. McMurraySarah Elizabeth Ross

    Cover DesignMatthew McMurray

    Cover ImageFront: Weekly Market in Apt, France by Sarah RossRear: Minneapolis, Minnesota by Scott Curry

    AGORA is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommer-cial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License

  • v o l . 2 2 0 0 8

    T h e U r b a n P l a n n i n g & D e s i g n J o u r n a l o f t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f M i c h i g a n

    A . A l f r e d T a u b m a n C o l l e g e o f A r c h i t e c t u r e + U r b a n P l a n n i n g

    A G O R A

  • A g o r a 0 8 i

    L e t t e r f r o m t h e E d i t o r

    Much like young merchants who must feel some uncertainty in their first days at the agoraor open marketplaceour staff has been anxious to see how Agora: The Urban Planning & Design Journal of the University of Michigan would fare upon entering the marketplace of ideas for a second time. The excitement of producing our first edition in 2007 has faded somewhat, but like any good entrepreneur, we challenged ourselves to enhance the Journal and the end result stands as a reflection of those efforts.

    Our primary goalto reach and surpass the quality of the pioneering efforts of last years staff was somewhat daunting given the high standards they established. In the end, we feel we have managed to build on the success of last years Journal in several areas. First, we have increased representation from Masters of Urban Design students and augmented the title of the Journal to reflect what we hope will be a long-term collaboration between the programs. Next, we sought to enhance Agora by including numerous images to improve the Journals quality and appeal. Finally, we are thrilled that one of our recent alumni, Christian Kroll, responded to the call for entries, and hope that this can become an ongoing element in future issues.

    As with last years edition, the Agora staff set no specific agenda for this volume had an open call for original work. We received a diverse, excellent pool of submissions, and as the staff made its final selections through a double-blind review, a common thread emerged: growth management. The articles in this volume address this topic of growth management from multiple perspectives and in various settings.

    Our first two articles consider growth management policies and redevelopment issues in a domestic context. In our open-ing article, Lisa Morris offers a thoughtful discussion of the Community Reinvest-ment Act and its role in spurring growth in communities underserved by the banking industry. Kelly Koss then offers a variety of concepts for downtown Youngstown, Ohio, which is in great need of vibrant public spaces to serve as gathering places for families.

    In our next two pieces, we take a brief re-spite from on-the-ground growth manage-ment to consider two case studies that are set in a more theoretical context. Catherine Gaines Sanders compares the work of two key urban theorists, Paolo Soleri and Ebenezer Howard, who each challenged in unique ways our notions about how cities should growSoleri with Arcosanti and Howard with his Garden Cities. Christian Kroll then explores Brasilias planned modernist attempts at egalitarian urban organization. In doing so, he examines the broader idea of theory as a way of understanding and informing the tension between forward-looking planning and the

    Construction crane in Goult, France. Photo: Sarah Elizabeth Ross

  • ii A g o r a 0 8

    status quo. The international theme continues with Istanbul, where Heather Smirl prompts us to consider how growth and recent changes in housing policy impact the Citys communities and citizens.

    Turning our sights to sustainability topics in growth management, Jon VanDerZee considers the promise of using wind as a renewable energy resource and includes case studies from Michigan and New York. The environmental theme continues with Josh Andersons exploration of three remarkable grassroots efforts in Chicago.

    Lastly, we head to Cambodia, where John Scott-Railton invites us to once again explore the key role of participation in a unique planning context.

    As any good journey experiences its unexpected twists and turns, one of this years submissions sparked an exciting development for this years Journal. Kimiko Dohertys evocative description of the street life in Sensenti, Honduras was not an academic work in the traditional sense. However, her lyrical street ballet, composed in the spirit of Jane Jacobs, prompted us to approach Professor Robert Fishman (who regularly asks his students to compose such street ballets from their own experiences) about the possibility of including a series of these ballets for this years Journal. Essays by Carolyn Pivorotto, Stephanie Etkin, Sarah Elizabeth Ross, James McMurray, and Tobias Wacker are among those recommended by Professor Fishman.

    This collection of ballets, interspersed among the academic articles, presents a unique depiction of urban life in all its variety and emotion. In the end, this celebration of cities and the role they play in shaping our experiences serves as a powerful reminder of the ultimate purpose of our efforts as urban practitioners: to improve the quality of peoples lives.

    This years edition of Agora would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of the Agora Board, those who provided their written work, and the generous funding from our supporters. The Agora Board would like to give special thanks to Dr. Jonathan Levine and the Urban and Regional Planning Program; Dean Douglas Kelbaugh, Mary Ann Drew, Janice Harvey, Sandy Patton, and the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning; and the Swansons for the Saarinen-Swanson Endowment Fund. Additional thanks as well to Ken Arbogast-Wilson for his insights on aspects relating to the Journals physical production and the many faculty members whose encouragement to students resulted in the publication of several articles that may have otherwise remained unpublished.

    We hope you will enjoy the collection we have assembled for this years edition of Agora and that it will provide added inspiration in your own efforts to improve the cities and communities in which we all live.

    Sincerely,

    James McMurrayManaging Editor

  • A g o r a 0 8 iii

    C o n t r i b u t o r sJoshua D. Anderson received a BLA from Ball State University and is currently pursuing a Master of Urban Design at the University of Michigan. He has previously practiced as a professional landscape architect in both Chicago and Indianapolis, working primarily on multi-modal transportation planning and improvements as well as park and playground design.

    Kimiko Doherty is a second year Master of Urban Planning Student, originally from the Washington, DC area. Her current interests include community development and urban design in cities both big and small.

    Stephanie Etkin holds a bachelors degree in History and is currently working towards a Master of Urban Planning. She is interested in real estate development and plans to remain in Michigan following graduation, working to improve the built environment of the Detroit metro area.

    Catherine Gaines Sanders was born and raised near Denver, Colorado. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Louisiana State University and is currently attending the University of Michigan for her Master of Urban Planning.

    Kelly Koss is a dual-degree Master of Urban Planning and Design student. She is interested in issues of social equity, housing, and urban design.

    Christian Kroll earned a bachelors degree in Architecture from Universidad Francisco Marroquin (Guatemala) and is finishing his Master of Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. He is currently a PhD student at the Department of Romance Languages and Literature at the University of Michigan, working on the relationship between the urban, the cultural, and the political in Latin America with spatial, cultural, and political segregation.

    James B. McMurray is originally from Orem, Utah and is working towards a Master of Urban Planning with a Certificate in Real Estate Development. James hopes to eventually work as a progressive real estate developer, improving the built environment and lives of those who use it.

    Lisa Morris is a native of Allentown, Pennsylvania. She received a BA in Sociology from Oberlin College in 2005. Currently, she is working on a Master of Urban Planning, focusing on issues affecting post-industrial cities, including brownfield redevelopment, affordable housing, and open space preservation.

    Carolyn Pivirotto holds a bachelors degree in General Business and Dance from Central Michigan University and has professional experience in project management and group dynamic analysis. She is currently working towards a Master of Urban Planning with a Certificate in Real Estate Development and hopes to influence development in disinvested urban areas in the future.

    Sarah Elizabeth Ross grew up outside Washington, DC in Fairfax, Virginia and received her BA from Bryn Mawr College in 2005. She is currently completing her Master of Urban Planning at the University of Michigan with a concentration in physical planning and