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New Neighbors

Today is move-in day. Commuting home on the "bike boulevard", there were pods and moving trucks and dollies waiting to haul piles of people's stuff. The side street was blocked off to facilitate moving, like they do on campus when all the freshman are carting their things into their dorm rooms.

We've been watching the construction of the Constellation wondering just who is going to live there. We've been talking about all the new folks who will be in the neighborhood, on the streets, in Reynolds Park. I'm led to believe the new folks will be young, hip, and successful types who want to live near downtown culture and have an urban (car-free) lifestyle. The website for the Constellation brags that it has a "walk-score" of 83 (because you can walk to a butcher and a hand-blown glass bong shop!)

My landscape is definitely changing. The old Mautz Paint Building, which is gorgeous, could house a hub for entrepreneurs and innovation. Yay for that! A development plan for the 800 block includes a full-service grocery store, which just makes sense. And the group of us working to make Reynolds Park into more of a community park are getting a lot of really positive feedback and encouragement. It feels great.

But I am worried about traffic. There was another accident near my house TODAY (a biker was killed last week).

I get excited about possibility and potential, so I often like change. Yes, and I want smart change, good planning, and better-than-average urban design. It could all be so great, if only....what? Is the issue money? Or political will? Or competing desires? People seem to have a lot of good ideas....

A landscape architecture grad students put loads of time and optimistic energy into a plan for the Reynolds Crane lot, which abuts Reynolds Park. I love so much of what he came up with. One thing I really love is the idea to pay homage, in the midst of well-designed urban renewal, to the neighborhood's history. For instance, he suggests that the aesthetic style elements be made from crane parts. Gorgeous, clever, and grounded in place. Love it!
Photo by David Waugh taken from inside The Constellation.

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