Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Calthorpe Events this Week

27. July 2005 • Juliew
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Today, Wednesday, July 27
“Regionalism and Urbanism,” a lecture by Peter Calthorpe.
7:00-8:30 pm at the Courthouse Square Senior Apartments Ballroom, 100 S. Fourth Ave.

Thursday, July 28
Interactive Public Workshop
This is the first of three public workshops with Calthorpe Associates. Calthorpe is known for their workshops involving the community and they are supposed to be quite fun and very interesting.
6:00-9:00 pm also at the Courthouse Square Senior Apartments Ballroom, 100 S. Fourth Ave.

More information is available here. Also, ironically, there is free parking for the events at the Fourth and Washington or Fourth and William parking structures if you bring your parking receipt to the workshop for validation.



  1. Excerpt from “Facilitator Instructions (Draft)”:

    There is only one commandment:

    This is the community’s workshop. The people at your table are the community. They are given only a few chances to be heard. Hear Them!

    Using this law as your guide, try to allow the table to develop its own dynamic, its own personality, and its own ideas. Facilitate, don’t participate! At the perfect table, you will simply follow the conversation and record comments. Don’t allow the table to cast you as the “expert.” You should be neutral on all issues. If, however, you have participants who offer questionable statements as truths or fact, feel free to seek clarification. This might mean asking a Consultant, or Planner, or simply noting that there is some question about the accuracy of the statement.

    As for qualitative judgments, at this workshop almost anything goes – provided the following two rules are understood:

    1. “No Growth” is not an option. The point of the workshop is to “Guide Growth.”

    2. The table must use the base map and development icons. With the exception of the public attractors (many of which we do not have icons for), attempt to avoid “inventing” new icons.

    . . .

    Read the two rules and make sure everyone is in agreement on them. If you have participants that are caught up on the rules, direct them to one of the consultants. Don’t permit an argument about the rules. [Which of these rules do you think they expect arguments about?]
       —Murph.    Jul. 27 '05 - 12:13PM    #
  2. What rule indeed? – grin –
    thanks for posting about this, Murph. I’m planning on being at both events.
       —KGS    Jul. 27 '05 - 12:59PM    #
  3. And after this tonight, go see Johnny Headband, The Hard Lessons, and The Muggs at the Blind Pig!
       —Brandon    Jul. 27 '05 - 01:07PM    #
  4. In a somewhat related post that deserves some hits, Dale criticizes the candidates for not taking a strong enough stance on density, saying that somebody needs to state, “We need more density and we need more development. It’s probably going to come whether we like it or not, so here’s my plan to accommodate it in the way that we won’t regret it.”

    That sentence pretty much sums up the exercise at tonight’s workshop, particularly the ”’no growth’ not an option” bit. Participants will be given scenarios with a certain amount of res/office/retail+service development, and will have to figure out where that development should be encouraged/discouraged. It’s all very, “It’s coming, and we can’t put our heads in the sand and wish it away, because then it will happen badly – we have to take charge and make sure it happens well.” I think this is a pretty decent approach to the question. (Parks, open space, and “civic” uses (government, church, library, school) are extra that you can place as much or as little as you want, unconstrained by the scenario – but if you add gobs of parkland, for example, you’re either going to have to start stacking up the development pretty high or else dumping it into the historic districts. Forced prioritization. Yum.)

    Sorry for the spoilers, but since I’m going to be a table facilitator, I have to be neutral tonight (sigh – duty calls.), so I want to get my comments on the exercise out now. I’m looking forward to it, though. The planner in charge was talking about running this exercise in Chicago with HOPE VI development, and having to break up fist-fights between people who were screaming about how they were going to kill each other. “I don’t think this will be quite so contentious.” js – that’s your cue. :)
       —Murph.    Jul. 28 '05 - 10:26AM    #
  5. That hit-deserving post may be found here.
       —Dale    Jul. 28 '05 - 11:35AM    #
  6. Doh – I thought I linked to it. Thanks.
       —Murph.    Jul. 28 '05 - 12:40PM    #
  7. My thoughts on Calthorpe…

    First, let’s all take a moment to reflect on the Mayor forgetting that there are urban planners in the “Taubman College of Architecture” that we’re so lucky to have in Ann Arbor. The 20 or so students from the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning who were in attendance last night certainly found it humorously ironic…

    Back to Calthorpe – the lecture was good, if pretty standard. The generic new urbanist spiel for the most part. The parts that stood out to me as better said than normally were mostly about choice. (I pay attention to these because they’re my advisor’s argument of choice. Heh.) The best reas to develop (or redevelop, or strengthen) downtowns is not because there’s anything fundamentally better about downtowns (even though there are things fundamentally better), but because it provides choice. Choice in where to live, choice in how to travel, etc. Choices that don’t exist in business-as-usual sprawl development.

    Create choices, and you might see people picking those choices – “people won’t give up their cars,” because they don’t have a choice currently to live in a setting where they can. “People won’t move downtown,” because they don’t have a choice currently to move downtown. I was interested in the supporting market research he talked about showing that there was an unmet, invisible demand for multi-family housing construction in Salt Lake City, and wondering if that’s something that’ll be done here as part of the study. (Maybe the County’s housing needs assessment will go there?)

    His other interesting comment was along the lines of “urbanism can happen at any scale, from small villages up to Manhattan.” Personally, I disagree with his terminology; I think that “pleasant, human-oriented environments” can happen at any scale (or fail at any scale), while urbanism requires more.

    I was somewhat disappointed that he didn’t spend any decent amount of time talking about Ann Arbor’s place in the region, after emphasizing regional interconnectedness as one of the pillars of today’s urbanism. I think regional interconnectedness is highly relevant to downtown Ann Arbor’s urban design, but then, I’m a planning student, so I think regionalism is connected to everything.

    I was also disappointed in his answers during q/a; he seemed to be avoiding concrete (or even comprehendible) statements about everything he was asked. Either he’s too cautious to make good attempts at questions, which I doubt, or he was asked to avoid certain topics.
       —Murph.    Jul. 28 '05 - 04:36PM    #
  8. Yeah, how do you talk about regionalism in Southeastern Michigan without mentioning Detroit?

    Detroit would be a prime spot for the sort of monumental projects at which Calthorpe excels. Ann Arbor, on the other hand may have bad buildings, but there is very little blight (well, maybe Tally Hall). The projects Calthorpe talked about involved getting rid of what exists in order to put something “better” in its place. We have seen that happen here with Tally Hall and the Galleria with somewhat disastrous results. So how do you keep what is valuable to a city and what makes it different from any other place but still continue to thrive and grow? Perhaps we will find all the answers tonight. Or perhaps not.
       —Juliew    Jul. 28 '05 - 04:54PM    #
  9. I’ve Flickred some pictures from the workshop (a bunch of detail from the table I was facilitating and several whole-map shots of other maps). And, now that I’ve beaten the News to that, time for sleep…
       —Murph    Jul. 29 '05 - 12:39AM    #
  10. Murph (and Julie and whoever else was there), what did you think about Robert Black’s comments on the metabolism (was it?) of the city? Energy flow, sources and sinks, etc. I and another person (named Ilan) in our group gave him a standing O. I noticed that RB was in your group.

    I found the task of plopping down so many structures at once pretty daunting. We didn’t really have time to consider individual sites, but tried to cover areas instead. I expect it will all even out in the analysis. I was impressed with the level of specificity that some of the groups got into.

    I wonder if Calthorpe will come up with a TSPish proposal—do you know?—or if there will be multiple alternative visions that could be constructed and detailed for consideration. Maybe that can be suggested. ‘Night.
       —Steve Bean    Jul. 29 '05 - 01:10AM    #
  11. it’s funny – my group talked and talked and talked before picking a set, but once the ‘buildings’ were cut out from the paper, all hell broke loose as everyone put a ‘building’ (many with multiple uses) on their favorite site. Even the no-growth advocate at our table made sure to put down a high rise residential over a high-rise office over retail on to One North Main, and added office to the UM central campus as incubator space for student companies. I found it fascinating that everyone seemed to really respond to putting the pieces down, and explaining why they should be there. But then, we did it under more of a time crunch than other groups, so there was less angst-ridden discussion over whether one particular site should have townhouses or low-rise apartments for example. We generally agreed that development should happen in certain places, and while people put buildings in places I didn’t expect, by and large I didn’t have a problem with anything our group did.

    Oh, and we had a central park with an ampitheatre in the Library Block. :-) I was so glad to find others who agreed with me on that!
       —KGS    Jul. 29 '05 - 09:13AM    #
  12. So the “no growth” person tore down One North Main and built a similar building on the spot? Sounds like no growth. I don’t get it with people hating One North Main. I only live three blocks away, so I pass it at least twice a day, and while I don’t think it’s a great building, and would have advocated ahead of time for something better (e.g., a more retail focus on the ground floor, and no recessed walkways), it still houses a LOT of office workers (some of them, like at Deloitte and Touche, quite well paid) and has some (admittedly pricey) housing. And god help me, I actually like the Christmas lights someone put on his/her balcony. And I’m not a fan of brown brick in general, but at sunset the west side of the building glows in a way that’s really beautiful. And yeah, it looks like a rubix cube with some hunks missing. Or a sumo wrestler down in a squat. Or whatever. It’s too late to change that. And I’ve seen pictures of the buildings it replaced, which were much more “old tyme Ann Arbor”, and very nice, but they’re gone. It gets the job done. If it were all I could get approved, I’d put five more downtown.
       —Parking Structure Dude!    Jul. 29 '05 - 09:39AM    #
  13. Steve –
    RB didn’t get much chance to go into any detail in the group; you heard almost as much from him on those topics as anybody else did.

    In general, I think that it would have been better to randomly assign each group a scenario, rather than having the groups try to pick one. It sounded like a lot of the groups spent so much time on how much development to allow/encourage/plan for that there wasn’t time to discuss the form of development in any kind of detail, or how to plan for transportation, open space, “civic” uses, etc.

    Or maybe have it done in phases. First, everybody has to do option 1. Then everybody has to add to it to make option 2. Then, everybody has to add to it to make option 3. That way, what we’re looking for is, assuming a certain level of growth, how do we handle it best? rather than, assuming a certain level of growth, why is this a bad level of growth to assume? (Like the woman who gave the first presentation, and denounced this whole process as “bogus”.)

    I know that “how much” is a hot question to people, that they want to talk about – which is exactly why that should be split off from discussion of form and quality.

    (KGS, your experience, “people seemed to really respond to putting the pieces down, and explaining why they should be there,” would seem to be the exception, from the four or five groups I discussed process with afterwards? Yours seems like a more ideal experience…)
       —Murph    Jul. 29 '05 - 09:54AM    #
  14. PSD hits another point I found interesting. The group who wanted to raze South U except for the few historic buildings probably didn’t spend much time discussing the fact that this would tear down an 18 story building full of student-priced housing and replace it with new construction priced housing. Displacement wasn’t part of the game at all.

    Yes, I know. I ask a lot of my games. But then, I like to play the ones with 30 page rulebooks that last for 8 or 10 hours…

    Also, please note that, since I was facilitating, I’m not going to talk about how things worked in my group; I’m basing my observations on discussions with people from other groups, the presentations, and general game observations. I’ll just say that I liked my group. (And found them photogenic.)
       —Murph    Jul. 29 '05 - 10:00AM    #
  15. A few miscellaneous notes…

    * Yes, my choice of photo content is based on a desire to totally duplicate this process. But better.

    * Partly because, back when Todd was trying to pull together an even at his place, this was the kind of activity I was trying to talk him into letting me run, though focused around the Allen Creek Valley instead of all of downtown. Pity that never happened.

    * Pictures of the finished maps should be up on the city’s website, http://www.ci.ann-arbor.mi.us/downtown/ , though I suspect that’s an “eventually”, which is another reason I was trying to get pictures of a selection of finished maps.

    * Apparently they had requests to “play the game online”. There’s an idea: collaborative GIS + chatroom, with video capture and playback of the whole process, and flickr-style annotation of the video.
       —Murph.    Jul. 29 '05 - 10:13AM    #
  16. My group also ended up just putting pieces down in approximate areas due to lack of time. Although we chose the most dense option, by the time we finished, I don’t think any of us thought that was really the way to go (31 high rises was a lot), but we had discovered a lot of areas that we all agreed should have more intense use. We had a visitor from Korea in our group and he had some really interesting comments. He thought different things were important than the rest of us did, but when he explained it, we usually agreed. For example, he thought there should be a green walkway that leads directly to the train station so that it was more pleasant to go to the public transportation. When I think about how bleak the Blake transit station is, I can definitely see his point.

    There were some prime candidates for redevelopment that seemed to be in a lot of the presentations: the Library lot (we had high rises, parking, a civic area, and retail all on that block and a grocery store, pharmacy and housing at the Y ), Tally Hall, City Hall, the Galleria, Liberty Plaza, and all along Huron. Every group had a greenway or multiple greenways although they were not required and the majority of groups (14 of the 20) chose the highest density option. It seems that all the TSP discussion has led to a realization for most people that we need more density and want more green to balance it out. Community gardens, green roofs, and better public spaces were mentioned a lot.

    When you looked at the map of the city as a whole and had to put down all these pieces, it did change your vision. The TSP is such a small part of the city as a whole. Although I couldn’t see very well in detail, it seemed like very few groups focused on that area (although everyone put mixed use on Klines and First and Washington) and instead looked at the more central corridors (like Huron, Liberty, Washington to some extent, South U, and South Main) for the more intense development. The proposed lot at First and William just seemed so tiny and so far away from everything we were doing. I don’t think we even put anything there. Although our proposed city was very low on all the civic pieces because we ran out of time.

    I would have liked to do something more specific—so you could see just what you are putting and where and make decisions about what buildings could/should be replaced and infrastructure implications, but that would take hours and this exercise was much more general.

    I thought the comments on the metabolism of the city were very interesting. I would like to hear more of what Robert Black has to say about it. It is also interesting and kind of funny that Calthorpe Associates definitely does not like the look of most of downtown Ann Arbor. They like the historic districts and the historic blocks of Main Street downtown, but the rest of it didn’t get any good comments. They said the only good tall building in town is the First National bank building on Main and Washington.
       —Juliew    Jul. 29 '05 - 10:30AM    #
  17. They said the only good tall building in town is the First National bank building on Main and Washington.

    I think that’s a little extreme, but I don’t disagree with the general sentiment. I’d say good buildings over five stories can probably be counted on one hand. This is part of why I’d say that we shouldn’t totally ban development in historic districts – those are the only places where we have somebody able to say, “ew, ugly,” in any kin dof formal context.

    It would be helpful to develop some sort of reference book of good and bad tall and short buildings; kind of an expanded version of the few examples they showed in the powerpoint.
       —Murph.    Jul. 29 '05 - 10:41AM    #
  18. I’m glad there’s no young people in that photo – don’t want them involved in planning, after all. All this ridiculous hand wringing over density … is it just me who thinks it’s really quite simple?
       —Rob    Jul. 29 '05 - 10:54AM    #
  19. Actually Rob, while Murph’s table might have been older, it was quite a good mix overall. Most of the people at my table were in their 20s. I assumed that is young enough for you?

    And what would be your “simple” fix?
       —Juliew    Jul. 29 '05 - 10:57AM    #
  20. Yes, my table was definitely skewed towards the older end of the age bracket (though that by no means meant homogeneity of views, I assure you). There was a pretty wide range of ages there, though I was a little disappointed to not see anybody of middle or high school age.
       —Murph.    Jul. 29 '05 - 11:06AM    #
  21. “Really quite simple…” You mean like in Logan’s Run? I am so with you. Let’s kill all the old people. It would fucking fix everything! How old is Blaine? We just make the cut off a year younger than he is and we’re set.
       —Parking Structure Dude!    Jul. 29 '05 - 11:08AM    #
  22. Whoa! I’m getting giddy. I mean, think how much housing it would free up on the OWS and in Burns park! And so much less traffic! And the parking lot at Whole Foods would be empty! Everything those fuckers complain about could be fixed if we just killed them all!
       —Parking Structure Dude!    Jul. 29 '05 - 11:10AM    #
  23. (Though I will take this opportunity to criticize the city – the flyers announcing the public lectures and workshops were mailed out with property tax bills. Meaning my landlord’s wastebasket contains 60 flyers, while my house received none. For the next one, I’ll ask Jayne Miller (the City’s liaison to the consultants) to get in touch with the Res Halls Assn and the high schools…)
       —Murph.    Jul. 29 '05 - 11:11AM    #
  24. All the “art” galleries woud close down! Maybe the Elbow Room Would open a franchise on Main Street!
       —Parking Structure Dude!    Jul. 29 '05 - 11:14AM    #
  25. Anybody who “came of age” in the 60’s. Gone. We could actually keep the really old people around for laughs, but all the bald dudes with poney tails, gone.
       —Parking Structure Dude!    Jul. 29 '05 - 11:17AM    #
  26. KGS, your experience, “people seemed to really respond to putting the pieces down, and explaining why they should be there,” would seem to be the exception, from the four or five groups I discussed process with afterwards? Yours seems like a more ideal experience.

    I don’t know about ideal, but I guess it was different. Because we spent so much time at the front end, we couldn’t talk a lot about the specifics. For example, our group had a greenway on the west edge of downtown and along the Huron River (obliterating the Gandy Dancer and the train station). I said ‘sure go ahead’ because I like the idea of not developing land in the floodway. And while I would strenuously protest if they wanted to make it all lawn with horseshoes and volley ball courts and golf tees, we never got to that level of detail. I think that Calthorpe Assoc. probably wanted more detail than we put in our map, because we never addressed transit or civic areas much, so in that sense it wasn’t really ideal.

    As far as the demographics went, my group was also fairly old (most in their 50s or older, I’d guess) with myself and one other woman under 40. And, unfortunately, it was another all-white group, which I was disappointed to see. I pointed this out to the group but they didn’t seem to see a problem with the lack of diversity in either the planning process or in A2 as a whole. sigh

    Still, it was a good start on talking about these issues, and I’m really glad I went.
       —KGS    Jul. 29 '05 - 12:02PM    #
  27. I think that Calthorpe Assoc. probably wanted more detail than we put in our map, because we never addressed transit or civic areas much, so in that sense it wasn’t really ideal.

    What if we broke it into two rooms (would help with the ambient noise, which was really a problem, IMHO), and had different exercises in each room? One room does this exercise, discussing quantity of growth and very rough design; the other room has each table randomly assigned a growth scenario and asked to consider design much more carefully. Transportation, infrastructure, streetscaping, civic uses, mixes of uses, needs of the old and the young, etc. That was you could still get people talking about “how much”, while also considering quality at higher resolution, just in different groups.

    Then cross-present between the rooms.
       —Murph.    Jul. 29 '05 - 01:19PM    #
  28. PSD: a little counter-productive, thanks. I think you mean to be over here .
       —Murph.    Jul. 29 '05 - 01:21PM    #
  29. My group was pretty heterogeneous in all respects. We had different ages, races, living situations, and occupations (although it was very heavy on planners).

    How about splitting the time into two sessions so one session could be devoted to placing the required buildings and the next session (maybe with different groups) working on the rest of it. Although I can see difficulties with any way it is organized. It is just hard to plan a city in a few hours/days.

    I have to say that while I think there are probably ways to make this process better (especially since they are going to base a lot of their decisions on what happened last night), in general I thought it was a really good, interesting start. I was glad to see a lot of council members, DDA members, and planning commissioners there in addition to everyone else. Seems to me this process is already a few years late, but better late then never.

    I’m looking forward to the next step.
       —Juliew    Jul. 29 '05 - 03:15PM    #
  30. Aw, shucks. Don’t make me go over there. I’ll be nice.
       —Parking Structure Dude!    Jul. 29 '05 - 04:21PM    #
  31. I mean, those people are REALLY bitter.
       —Parking Structure Dude!    Jul. 29 '05 - 04:26PM    #
  32. Rob, there were youngER people there, though maybe not anyone under 20. Good point, uh, unnecessarily negative way of expressing it.

    As for increasing density, it’s that simple if one doesn’t take one’s fellow community members’ feelings and thoughts into consideration or care about how change impacts others. It’s a bit more complicated—but not much—if one wants to understand others’ perspectives and move forward with them rather than in spite of them.
       —Steve Bean    Jul. 29 '05 - 05:10PM    #
  33. It is just hard to plan a city in a few hours/days.

    Well, that’s why we need to do this sort of thing more often – so that we can do it in smaller chunks, or cover different topics, or whatever, and not have to wait until the Council decides it’s time to drop $200k on having a big-name architect come in and hold our hands. If anybody wants to talk design and organizing of further exercises in this vein, let me know.

    (Of course, how many people do you think would show for a visioning exercise for, say, South Industrial, with no hot issues, no publicity outside of blogland, and no guarantee that all of Council would be watching over their shoulders? I’m guessing that’d just be me.)
       —Murph.    Jul. 29 '05 - 06:17PM    #
  34. First of all it was fun to be the only brotha in the building, but that’s neither here nor there. Here’s two cents from an English major from Ypsi:

    The real issue is that the info that Calthorpe is going to get is going to be extremely jumbled. When I went up to speak for my group (map 6) I forgot to mention just how much the game turned into a game. We were so rushed that it kinda turned into a “hey lets put something on the Fingerle site” just because it was almost funny. Then when I left I walked down Liberty to Borders I got sad that my group very unsensitively destroyed what already is a semi-vibrant area. What we really need is several day long charette so people can really try to figure out what downtown Ann Arbor means and should mean in the future. I’m disappointed as hell with Calthorpe because I don’t think they even tried to learn about Ann Arbor’s sense of place. Or was this game them trying?

    Then, is downtown really the problem? I’d much rather try to bulldoze Briarwood and create a second downtown. State and Eisenhower is already an emerging office district, but it’s just a segregated use, auto dependent area with no residential. If someone made that more “urban” it could appease some tower developers and the people who want downtown to stay as is.
       —David    Jul. 29 '05 - 11:20PM    #
  35. By the way my map, # 6, can be seen in Calthorpe 18 on Murph’s Flickr page for any who are curious to see the manifestation of semi-inspired slapping of game pieces with no time to refine or think about building meaning.
       —David    Jul. 29 '05 - 11:34PM    #
  36. David, that’s two bucks worth, easily. And your presence at the workshop was definitely relevant.

    As I noted earlier, I’m hoping my group’s (and yours) somewhat haphazard placement of chips is diluted in the combined analysis.

    West Stadium/S. Maple, Washtenaw, Packard and Platt, Plymouth—yeah, what you said.

    Stick around and maybe we’ll get the Calthorpe folks to catch up on this thread.
       —Steve Bean    Jul. 30 '05 - 12:10AM    #
  37. At my table were four women, two white haired men, an urban planning student, myself (the only one who lived downtown despite the greenway women’s trying to find their houses on the map, and one of two that worked downtown), and the facilitator. Two of the women revealed themselves soon enough to be friends of the “greenway” giving me the impression that this group came well organized, definitely with a predetermined agenda and much, much disdain for New Urbanism, much cynicism overall. Although we were able to vote for the highest density scenario by a slight margin, actually reaching that density of residential was a battle in trying to place highrises anywhere, although in the end I think we were able to greatly increase the number of highrises along Huron. We turned the library block into a diverse civic use block despite the parking lot being of our members’ favorite surface lot (“it’s cheap”). All in all, rather than taking a neighborhood or corridor approach we ended up battling parcel by parcel (except for South U) and not having enough retail pieces to fill in streets like Liberty or Ashley. Ground floor retail everywhere did not seem to be controversial. There were references to Manhattan made including a comment by one of the women that Jane Jacobs is not to be listened to because that’s where she grew up (I think she chooses to live in Toronto now… ). But apparently highrise = Manhattan = Armageddon.
       —tomo    Jul. 30 '05 - 05:45PM    #
  38. She grew up in PA coal country and moved to NY at 18 or so. She indeed resides in Toronto near the UofT campus.
       —Dale    Jul. 31 '05 - 10:26PM    #
  39. Funny that the OWS’ers would so easily offer up South U. for the slaughter. Wait until stage two when someone has concrete proposals for some action on South U—and then the Burns Park NIMBYs come out of the woodwork. Is there some way to get them fighting each other? To distract them? Maybe a protracted debate about where, in the downtown area, to locate a small asbestos recycling facility.

    OWS: “But we already have dioxin!”

    Burns Park: “But we have undergraduates!”
       —Parking Structure Dude!    Aug. 1 '05 - 09:05AM    #
  40. An update/press release of the first Calthorpe workshop has been posted on the City’s website. The maps will be on display on the second floor of City Hall as of August 8.
       —Juliew    Aug. 1 '05 - 01:54PM    #
  41. PSD: I was actually a little surprised at how little was done with South Main and South University – if I had to make a guess from what people focused on during the presentations, I’d expect many of the groups started out just thinking about the “real” downtown, roughly the box of First to State, William to Ann, and only did anything with those outlying areas when they suddenly realized they had a lot of pieces and not much time left.

    Juliew: I’m kind of surprised by the “public workshop embraces increasing density” language in the city’s press release. I wouldn’t expect anything so…bold.

    At any rate, I’ll be waiting eagerly to see who shows up at the remaining lectures and workshops. For example, I’m hoping that the woman who tonight criticized Council for the workshop game being too rushed and artificial will show up for, “Housing and Zoning: How the Law Can Help or Halt a Livable Downtown”.
       —Murph.    Aug. 1 '05 - 11:56PM    #
  42. “PSD: a little counter-productive, thanks. I think you mean to be over here.”

    Yeah, come over to my site. We never have any substantive discussion over there.
       —ann arbor is overrated    Aug. 2 '05 - 01:31PM    #
  43. Just a reminder to everyone that the second Calthorpe meeting is tonight from 6:00 – 9:00 pm in the Ballroom on the second floor of the Courthouse Square Senior Apartments, 100 S. Fourth Ave. at E. Huron.

    Anyone know what the format of this one is?
       —Juliew    Sep. 22 '05 - 02:38PM    #
  44. From the Facilitator’s Instructions (I’m not facilitating this time; I want to participate – but I borrowed a packet):

    common themes emerges from the [first] workshop exercise. Today’s workshop will allow participants to comment generally on a map-based representation of these commonalities as well as give specific input on blown-up sections of the Downtown.

    Presentations from the Mayor, Joey Scanga (Calthorpe Assc.), Peter Pollack (Greenway Task Force), Dana Belzer (economic analysis contractor for Calthorpe?)

    Group exercise – 100 minutes by tables. All tables will review a downtown map showing common elements from the first workshop, with brief general discussion (emphasis theirs) of the land use, scale, and transportation elements shown.

    Then each table will spend the bulk of the time discussing a subarea assigned to the table: North Main/Kerrytown, Huron Corrodor, Downtown Core/Liberty Street, South Main/William, West Downtown/A2RR, South U. Area. Tables will first do an exercise similar to the original exercise (placing chits to represent new land use, though with no constraints on amount or mix of development, it sounds like), and then discuss issues specific to their subarea. Then “a representative table will be chosen for each subarea” to present to the whole group. Sounds like overall less presenting time and more table time than last time.

    We picked up a few new folks after the first workshop – I’ll be handing around ArborUpdate’s url this evening in hopes of attracting more…
       —Murph.    Sep. 22 '05 - 03:41PM    #