• How to sell missing middle housing to neighbors

    In order to build a 'Missing Middle' development, a rezoning and/or a variance is typically required—which means the project must be sold to the neighborhood. This is what we have learned on how to do that.
    We spend a lot of time talking about Missing Middle Housing and its critical role in developing healthy and inclusive neighborhoods. Discussing the theory and design behind Missing Middle Housing is essential, but we also need to consider the hands-on process of making these projects real. One...Read more
  • Ten years of marvelous Porchfest

    "Porches become stages, yards become venues, and radical generosity and good will rule the day."
    A couple recently went looking for a house in Ithaca, New York. When the real estate agent took them to Fall Creek, a 40-plus-block area north of downtown, she exclaimed "This is the Porchfest neighborhood!" while pointing out hand-painted signs in front of houses up and down the streets. What...Read more
  • Twenty thousand C-notes for the 'civic commons'

    Major foundations are investing $20 million into four cities, matched by local funds, to revitalize underutilized assets and improve the public realm at the neighborhood scale.
    The breaking news today is good for Akron, Detroit, Chicago, and Memphis—four post-industrial cities—that will be getting $20 million from the Knight, Kresge, Rockefeller, and JPG foundations, matched by local funding sources, to connect civic assets and improve public spaces. These cities join...Read more
  • Rebuilding a block at the heart of the city

    Saving historic facades and modernizing buildings were key to revitalizing an important downtown square.
    Pittsburgh’s Market Square was historically a bustling hub of locals and street merchants at the heart of downtown. Heavy cast iron buildings and fire-brick masonry gave the neighborhood a unique architectural charm. But by 2000, most stores that front the square had closed. Crumbling facades added...Read more