NB

Nice thoughts from Ed Glaeser, but he’s right that voters must be the ones to demand more urban policy proposals from the the candidates. Why don’t they? I suspect it’s a combination of the fact that many voters don’t see things like housing and transportation policies as principally federal issues and the fact that many suburban residents don’t consider themselves to be “urban,” though they unquestionably are.

Thoughts on 2008 for our region, from the Washington Business Journal.

Comments

  1. The whole point of the Urban Agenda blog I created a few years ago was to push an urban agenda/platform and candidate in presidential primaries. But it was intended to be a group blog, and the people I expected to participate didn’t, so no go, and I don’t really focus on it.

    It would have to be more than one person’s full blogging effort, and the creation of a campaign. These days, I’d push Rocky Anderson, or the ever great Joe Riley, but he’s old…

  2. The whole point of the Urban Agenda blog I created a few years ago was to push an urban agenda/platform and candidate in presidential primaries. But it was intended to be a group blog, and the people I expected to participate didn’t, so no go, and I don’t really focus on it.

    It would have to be more than one person’s full blogging effort, and the creation of a campaign. These days, I’d push Rocky Anderson, or the ever great Joe Riley, but he’s old…

    also see the “Wanted: A Plan for Cities to Save themselves” from the Black Commentator website

  3. monkeyrotica says:

    I REALLY hope the development around the Stadium brings some decent groundfloor retail to the area. M Street from 10th to South Cap is deader than last christmas: Starbucks, 5 Guys, Subway, and that’s about it. You’ve got hundreds of condos coming online, thousands of NAVSEA employees, and NOTHING worth leaving the Navy Yard for. The 8th Street corridor is packed during lunch, but M Street sorely needs some dining/shopping options, if anything to generate more pedestrian traffic. I can’t imagine how bleak the area is after dark. Probably worse than downtown circa 1985.

  4. ryan says:

    Richard, I think that’s a good first step, but what’s also needed is the mobilization of the large constituency for better urban policy. Most of the country lives in cities, and we need to figure out how to connect the problems they experience daily with federal policy.

    Monkey, I think you’ll see the retail eventually. Often, when neighborhoods are essentially being built from the ground up, there’s going to be a lag between residential construction and retail growth. Once the people begin to move in in appreciable numbers, the retail will follow.

  5. monkeyrotica says:

    But the NAVSEA personnel (and the contracting support) have been here for YEARS. Where are they supposed to eat? Get dry cleaning done? Get a goddamned beer? There’s half a dozen residential/office complexes coming online. It just seems to me poor planning to wait on the residential units to encourage retail development when you have a trapped community of workers that aren’t being served AT ALL. Drive in, brown bag it, then drive home. That’s revenue that should be left in DC; instead, it escapes Monday through Friday like clockwork. Give me a place to sit around with a beer and a sandwich and I’ll hang around after hours.

  6. ryan says:

    I agree with you. Personally, I think the District would be far better off subsidizing retail, especially in locations like the waterfront, than taxing them dry.

    I do give the city a little bit of a break, just because the situation down there is so odd. I mean, up until a year ago, there was almost nothing down there for retailers to capitalize on. And now, of course, the whole areas is one large construction zone. It’s hard to ask retailers to move in when the area is so in flux. You plop down a couple mil to open a tavern catering to Navy personnel and then next thing you know the neighborhood is super upscale, with crazy rents that drive you out. Plus, you can’t be sure that the next big condo project won’t be home to six stores that entirely duplicate the product mix you’re offering.

  7. monkeyrotica says:

    My primary concern is that M Street SE doesn’t become an industrial dead zone with zero foot traffic like New York Ave NW from Florida to Bladensburg Road. Hooker hotels, fast food, gas stations and that’s it. That stretch of land from the Navy Yard Metro to the Stadium looks like it should get decent retail options. I just hope it’s a step up from the usual generic tourist traps and fast food. My spidey sense is telling me there’s a fake Irish pub in the works somewhere in the pipeline, which would be better than sitting on the curb with a forty, but not by much.