New Book | The Great Uprising: Race Riots in Urban America during the 1960s by Peter B Levy

 

 I was alive during the 1960s…but only the last few years. As such, I have no memory of the many cultural changes that took place between 1960-1970. I asked my oldest brother, 67, about becoming a teenager in the 60s…in our hometown of Oklahoma City. His reply: Race Riots, rampant …

Sunday Poll: More Gun Control or Just Enforce Existing Laws?

 

 Last week’s shooting in Florida has sparked heated debate about solutions to the rising number of mass shootings: More than a dozen school shootings have already occurred so far in 2018. According to non-profit organization Everytown for Gun Safety, a total of 17 shootings have occurred on school campuses across the United States …

St. Louis Board of Aldermen Week 34 of 2017-2018 Session

 

 The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their 34th week of the 2017-2018 session. NEW BOARD BILLS ON THE AGENDA* FOR INTRODUCTION TODAY 2/16/18: *Note that just because a bill is on the agenda doesn’t mean it’ll be introduced, similarly, bills not on the agenda might be introduced …

Readers Would Prefer A Less Commercialized Valentine’s Day

 

 In the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll more than half of the responses supported a more traditional celebration of Valentine’s Day over the current commercialized day. Q: Agree or disagree: Valentine’s Day has become too commercialized, we should return to a traditional celebration. Strongly agree 5 [21.74%] Agree 5 [21.74%] Somewhat agree …

Recent Articles:

St. Louis Board of Aldermen on Winter Break

December 22, 2017 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen on Winter Break
 
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen are on their winter break, the next meeting for in the 2017-2018 session will be Friday January 5, 2018.

Previous meetings can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2017-2018 session.

— Steve Patterson

Readers Split on Picking the Next St. Louis Police Chief

December 20, 2017 Featured Comments Off on Readers Split on Picking the Next St. Louis Police Chief
 

The recent non-scientoifoc Sunday Poll asked readers to pick from the 6 candidates for Police Chief. Answers were presented to readers in random order, but here they are in the order listed by the Post-Dispatch:

Q: Which of the six finalists to become the next Chief of the St. Louis Police would you hire?

  • Lawrence O’Toole, St. Louis (Interim Chief) 4 [18.18%]
  • John Hayden, St. Louis 3 [13.64%]
  • Mary Edwards-Fears, St. Louis 6 [27.27%]
  • Stephen Max Geron, Dallas TX 1 [4.55%]
  • Keith L. Humphrey, Norman OK 2 [9.09%]
  • Patrick Melvin, Port Arthur TX 0 [0%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 6 [27.27%]

Again, this is non-scientific and the vote total was low.

The office of Chief of Police as it looked durimg the open house for the new police headquarters.

Part of me thinks bringing in someone from another state would be healthy for the department, part of me thinks a female chief would also be healthy.

— Steve Patterson

 

NEW BOOKS — Beyond Mobility: Planning Cities for People and Places & Design As Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity

December 18, 2017 Books, Featured Comments Off on NEW BOOKS — Beyond Mobility: Planning Cities for People and Places & Design As Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity
 

Last week I received two new books from Island Press. Since both look interesting I thought I’d share in a combined post.

Beyond Mobility: Planning Cities for People and Places by Robert Cervero, Erick Guerra, and Stefan Al

Cities across the globe have been designed with a primary goal of moving people around quickly—and the costs are becoming ever more apparent. The consequences are measured in smoggy air basins, sprawling suburbs, unsafe pedestrian environments, and despite hundreds of billions of dollars in investments, a failure to stem traffic congestion. Every year our current transportation paradigm generates more than 1.25 million fatalities directly through traffic collisions. Worldwide, 3.2 million people died prematurely in 2010 because of air pollution, four times as many as a decade earlier. Instead of planning primarily for mobility, our cities should focus on the safety, health, and access of the people in them.

Beyond Mobility is about prioritizing the needs and aspirations of people and the creation of great places. This is as important, if not more important, than expediting movement. A stronger focus on accessibility and place creates better communities, environments, and economies. Rethinking how projects are planned and designed in cities and suburbs needs to occur at multiple geographic scales, from micro-designs (such as parklets), corridors (such as road-diets), and city-regions (such as an urban growth boundary). It can involve both software (a shift in policy) and hardware (a physical transformation). Moving beyond mobility must also be socially inclusive, a significant challenge in light of the price increases that typically result from creating higher quality urban spaces.

There are many examples of communities across the globe working to create a seamless fit between transit and surrounding land uses, retrofit car-oriented suburbs, reclaim surplus or dangerous roadways for other activities, and revitalize neglected urban spaces like abandoned railways in urban centers.

The authors draw on experiences and data from a range of cities and countries around the globe in making the case for moving beyond mobility. Throughout the book, they provide an optimistic outlook about the potential to transform places for the better. Beyond Mobility celebrates the growing demand for a shift in global thinking around place and mobility in creating better communities, environments, and economies. (Island Press)

Design As Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity edited by David de la Pena, Diane Jones Allen, Randolph T. Hester, Jeffrey Hou, Laura J. Lawson, and Marcia J. McNally

How can we design places that fulfill urgent needs of the community, achieve environmental justice, and inspire long-term stewardship? By bringing community members to the table, we open up the possibility of exchanging ideas meaningfully and transforming places powerfully. Collaboration like this is hands-on democracy in action. It’s up close. It’s personal. For decades, participatory design practices have helped enliven neighborhoods and promote cultural understanding. Yet, many designers still rely on the same techniques that were developed in the 1950s and 60s. These approaches offer predictability, but hold waning promise for addressing current and future design challenges. Design as Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity is written to reinvigorate democratic design, providing inspiration, techniques, and case stories for a wide range of contexts.

Edited by six leading practitioners and academics in the field of participatory design, with nearly 50 contributors from around the world, Design as Democracy shows how to design with communities in empowering and effective ways. The flow of the book’s nine chapters reflects the general progression of community design process, while also encouraging readers to search for ways that best serve their distinct needs and the culture and geography of diverse places. Each chapter presents a series of techniques around a theme, from approaching the initial stages of a project, to getting to know a community, to provoking political change through strategic thinking. Readers may approach the book as they would a cookbook, with recipes open to improvisation, adaptation, and being created anew.

Design as Democracy offers fresh insights for creating meaningful dialogue between designers and communities and for transforming places with justice and democracy in mind.

– Steve Patterson

Sunday Poll: Which of the 6 St. Louis Police Chief Candidates Would You Hire?

December 17, 2017 Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Which of the 6 St. Louis Police Chief Candidates Would You Hire?
 
Please vote below

St. Louis will soon have a new chief of police. The six finalists include three from within the ranks and three from other cities:

• Lt. Col. Lawrence O’Toole, 59, the interim chief, who has been with the St. Louis police department for 33 years. Mayor Lyda Krewson appointed him to temporarily head the department after then-chief Sam Dotson abruptly resigned in April, on Krewson’s first day in office.
• Maj. John Hayden, currently the commander of the department’s North Patrol Division. He has been with the department for 30 years.

• Capt. Mary Edwards-Fears, 57, who is currently assigned to the Bureau of Professional Standards, which includes the Community Policing and Internal Affairs units and the Police Academy. She has been with the department for 31 years.

And for the first time in modern history, candidates from outside the department are being considered for the chief’s office. Those finalists include:

• Maj. Stephen Max Geron of the Dallas Police Department, with nearly 25 years of experience. He has held a variety of positions in the department, including as its spokesman.

• Norman, Okla., Police Chief Keith L. Humphrey, who worked in the Arlington, Texas, department before becoming chief in Lancaster, Texas, and then Norman.

• Chief Patrick Melvin of the Port Arthur Police Department in Texas. Before that he worked in Phoenix and later became the founding police chief for the City of Maricopa in Arizona. He was placed on administrative leave there before resigning in 2016. (Post-Dispatch)

Today’s non-scientific poll seeks to find out which of the six is preferred by readers, their names are in random order.

This poll will close at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

St. Louis Board of Aldermen Week 27 of 2017-2018 Session

December 15, 2017 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen Week 27 of 2017-2018 Session
 
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their 27th week of the 2017-2018 session.

EIGHT (8) NEW BOARD BILLS ON THE AGENDA* FOR INTRODUCTION TODAY 12/8/17:

*Note that just because a bill is on the agenda doesn’t mean it’ll be introduced, similarly, bills not on the agenda might be introduced if they suspend the rules to do so. This information is based on the published agenda as of yesterday @ 8am:

  • B.B.#211 – Guenther – An Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission, to change the zoning of property in City Block 1532, from “C” Multiple?Family Dwelling District to the “F” Neighborhood Commercial District, at 3306 Wisconsin; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#212 – Pres. Reed – An ordinance amending Ordinance 69190 by repealing Section Two of that ordinance and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section Two pertaining to the same subject matters; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#213 – Ogilvie – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 1216-1218 Kraft.
  • B.B.#214 – Muhammad –An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for the 4200-98 & 4201-99 Harris.
  • B.B.#215 – Oldenburg –An Ordinance establishing a three?way stop site at the intersection of Devonshire and Childress regulating all traffic traveling westbound on Devonshire at Childress and regulating all traffic traveling northbound and southbound on Childress at Devonshire, and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#216 – J. Boyd –An Ordinance concerning certain business license regulations set forth in Title 8, which require the completion of a plat and neighborhood consent petition prior to obtaining an occupancy permit; repealing Ordinances 56788, 57294, and 58645, pertaining to Arcades; repealing Ordinances 56859, 57071, and 68570, pertaining to Bathhouses; repealing Ordinance 62566, pertaining to Bed and Breakfast establishments and codified as Chapter 8.25 of the Revised Code; repealing Ordinances 55051, 61762, and 64299 and any and all superseding ordinances pertaining to Billiard and Pool Rooms; repealing Ordinances 31271, 41524, 49621, 54691, 57494, 58470 and 61095 pertaining to Dance Halls and codified as Chapter 8.32; repealing Ordinances 55784, 57502, 63461, 64878, and 69096 and any and all superseding ordinances pertaining to Pawnbrokers and codified as Chapter 8.72 of the Revised Code; repealing Ord. 56858 pertaining to Public Photographic Studios and codified as Chapter 8.78; repealing Ordinances 57404 and 68571 pertaining to Tattoo Parlors and codified as Chapter 8.97; repealing Ord. 26445, pertaining to the requirement of a consent petition required for certain types of businesses; containing a severability clause; and an effective date clause.
  • B.B.#217 – Coatar –An Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission pertaining to the Zoning Code, Title 26; requiring that certain uses that are regulated by a plat and petition process under the License Code and Building Code be made a conditional use, prohibited use, or use by right under the Zoning Code; and containing a severability and an effective date clause.
  • B.B.#218 – Ogilvie/Ingrassia – An ordinance authorizing the Department of Streets to develop and promulgate rules and regulations, with the approval of the Board of Public Service, consistent with Chapter 17 of the Revised Code and other applicable law to facilitate the regulation of bike sharing, as defined herein.

The meeting begins at 10am, past meetings and a live broadcast can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2017-2018 session.

— Steve Patterson

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