This summer, 10 PBS partner stations are exploring what "livability" looks like across America in the series Livable Future: Local Solutions. These special reports, part of the Blueprint America series, go beyond TV segments: Partner stations in places like Peoria, Ill.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Kansas City, Mo.; Eureka, Calif.; and Denver, Colo., are hosting events and town hall meetings and sparking social media conversations to define what livable means in rural, suburban and urban communities. It's a timely topic, as the federal government begins to incorporate Livability Principles into funding and planning decisions.
For a media junkie like me, this series seems like a great opportunity for more of us to have our say about what "livable communities" mean to us. It's is a squishy term,…
Photo by Annie Lambla
Annie Lambla, a former MPC research assistant, is bringing life to public places by biking across the Midwest this summer, teaching people how to make homemade yogurt.
Like all former MPC research assistants, Annie Lambla has moved on to even bigger and better things. In 2009 and 2010, Annie worked closely with me on our Placemaking Chicago project, learning what it takes to activate public spaces. Inspired, Annie decided to build a bike, pack her bike trailer with camping gear and supplies, and cruise around the Midwest teaching people how to do one of her favorite things: make homemade yogurt. During her month-long journey, which includes stops in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, she's stopping at family-owned dairy farms along the way to replenish her supply of fresh milk.
We're reposting Annie's latest blog update with her permission. Check out the rest of her story and follow her journey at YogurtPedaler.com.
by Annie Lambla
One of the…
Village of Frankfort
Farmers Market peaches
My favorite “undiscovered place” is hidden in plain sight. It’s Breidert’s Green, a park in downtown Frankfort that serves as the town center for many of the community’s outdoor events. It's not exactly a best-kept secret: It’s used as the main staging area for Frankfort’s annual Fall Fest, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year the first weekend in September; it's the site of a weekly farmers market and antique car show; and it hosts outdoor movies, concerts, fine arts fairs, and year-round special events. So it is well visited, especially by in-the know “locals” from the south and southwest suburbs and Will County. It also serves as a beautiful stopping ground/rest spot along the scenic Old Plank Road Trail, a…
In case you missed it, last week’s Talking Transit e-newsletter focused on the FREIGHT Act – which, true to its name, is all about Focusing Resources, Economic Investment and Guidance to Help [Freight] Transportation (FREIGHT – get it?)
Here in metropolitan Chicago and northwest Indiana, a region criss-crossed by seven of the nation’s eight Class I railroads, we know well the challenges our communities, economic well-being, and entire transportation system face because the U.S. does not have a strategy for coordinating freight goals and investments.
As it currently stands, there is no dedicated federal transportation money to help states or regions improve operations along freight corridors or at intermodal hubs. Coordination with commuter rail services that…
Join Openlands and Grammy Award-winning recording artist Will Ackerman for an evening of music, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010, at the Spertus Institute's intimate Feinberg Theater. All proceeds from the event will support Openlands' Conservation and Urban Greening programs.
Ackerman, a pioneer in the new age music movement, draws inspiration for his craft from his lifelong kinship with nature, so his concert is a fitting launch of Arts Wide Open: The annual Openlands event will blend the visual and performing arts with the organizatin's commitment to protect the natural and open spaces of northeastern Illinois and the surrounding region.
Attendees will feast on locally sourced appetizers and organic cocktails before the concert, which will feature an acoustic set of songs that span…