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Ann Arbor Area Community News

Monday: Norman Krumholz Lecture

10. April 2005 • Brandon
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Monday, April 11th, 2005
6:00 pm
Main Auditorium (Room 2104)
Art and Architecture Bulding- North Campus

Taubman College Urban and Regional Planning Lecture

Norman Krumholz
Fellow, American Institute of Certified Planners
Former Director of Planning, City of Cleveland

Norman Krumholz is a Professor in the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. He served as Planning Director of the City of Cleveland from 1969 to 1979. His book, Making Equity Planning Work: Leadership in the Public Sector, is considered to be a classic, and won the Paul Davidoff Book of the Year award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. He served as the President of the American Planning Association (APA) from 1986 to 1987, received the APA Award for Distinguished Leadership in 1990, and in 1999 was elected the President of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). He was awarded the Prize of Rome in 1987 by the American Academy in Rome. Professor Krumholz was appointed an AICP Fellow, and his Cleveland Policy Plan has been declared a “Planning Landmark”.

  1. Well, the first 15 minutes were quite depressing from what I thought would be a more optimistic talk. But then as he went along it was obvious that he advocated long-term strategic actions rather than “let’s add another sports arena and everyone will move back from the burbs and ditch their cars” (as much as I’d like that to happen, and may take part anyway.)

    I found his divestiture idea intriguing, especially since Cleveland had success with selling its parks to the state. (Of course, the State of MI is broke too so the ability to acquire right now is limited.) I’ve often wondered if the MetroPark system (regional govt) might be better fit to run some of Detroit’s and Wayne Co.’s parks (aftering paying them for the real value of the parks and guaranteeing improvement, as NK suggested.)

    What sayeth the planners?
       —Chris F    Apr. 12 '05 - 03:22PM    #
  2. I liked his realism and practicality, personally. The thing is, if all of his recommendations were carried out to their fullest extent in a perfect world (i.e. regional planning and full halt of sprawl), maybe the old industrial cities WOULD return to their peak populations, due to a lack of anywhere else to grow. In our very imperfect world, however, shrinkage of our cities is likely to continue and the best we planners can do is to make sure the quality of life of the worst-off is improved despite of this. I was inspired, in a back-door way.

    I’m all for cutting down on glitz and glamor and getting back to basics. You hear that, Detroit? No more casinos, stadiums, and hotel rooms. There’s no magic renaissance bullet. Let’s make life more livable and invest in core services and needs.
       —Brandon    Apr. 12 '05 - 07:08PM    #
  3. Exactly. The “shrinkage” concept was counter to my optimism, but once I understood his “realism and practicality,” as you put it very well, it became clearer that this really is the best approach. He did not quite say it like this, but I now see that even if Detroit gets an influx of young professionals or more families, etc., this will simply stabalize the population; meanwhile, the suburbs will continue to grow much faster, so the overall effect is that of shrinkage, even if there is some small growth.

    Another thing that struck me was “focus on the neighborhoods,” part of which reminded me of a thread here about how residential taxes subsidize business taxes, not the other way around, as commonly held. It was good to hear confirmation that tax abatements for business are really giving everything away with nothing in return because there is no guarantee that jobs will stay local or that services will benefit locals.

    I wish Kwame and the CC were at the lecture! What do think of the city’s divestiture options?
       —Chris F    Apr. 12 '05 - 08:43PM    #