Ravelejar: The Art of Neighborhood Branding (4/4)

Part 4: Defining Ravalejar, Redefining El Raval Public art and monuments function to institutionalize the memories of a city. It has been argued that certain monuments in Barcelona seek to maintain  social order by imposing a historical logic over space: one that is imperialist, masculine, and fixed. However, the public art project and branding campaign known as “Ravalejar”, which took place in the neighborhood of … Continue reading Ravelejar: The Art of Neighborhood Branding (4/4)

Why Pay Living Wage? Because it’s the Right Thing to Do

In Durham recently, some businesses are beginning to raise wages because they want to do well by their employees. Voluntary living wage certification programs have gained popularity in the last few years as a way to make wage gains without calling for legislative action or government spending. The Durham Living Wage Project (DLWP) in Durham, NC, began in early 2015 and has already certified 75 … Continue reading Why Pay Living Wage? Because it’s the Right Thing to Do

Art as An Economic Mobilizer in the Carolinas

Arts and culture have become widely accepted instruments for economic development and revitalization. Coming into public consciousness perhaps most recognizably in the work of Richard Florida and his theories of building, or rebuilding, a city around the creative class. Nebulous as they are, arts and culture are the protean intangibles in many urban planning projects, sought after to attract well-educated, mobile citizens. One form of … Continue reading Art as An Economic Mobilizer in the Carolinas

Ravelejar: The Art of Neighborhood Branding (3/4)

Part 3: Balancing Neighborhood Character and Tourism Part 1 of this series (“The Barcelona Model”) was published on this site on September 30, 2015. Part 2  (“Constructing the Mythology of Barrio Chino”) was published  on October 17, 2015. In 2002, several public and private entities in Barcelona came together to form a new community organization called Tot Raval (“all of El Raval”). The formation of Tot Ravel … Continue reading Ravelejar: The Art of Neighborhood Branding (3/4)

What We Talk About When We Talk About PB (Hint: It’s Spreadable!)

“Participatory budgeting” doesn’t quite roll off the tongue. And it has to do with municipal budgets. So given its built-in challenges as a public engagement tool, it’s somewhat surprising that participatory budgeting is emerging as a dynamic way to strengthen local democracy in the United States. Another surprise: one of the most inclusive and grassroots participatory budgeting processes in the US is taking place in … Continue reading What We Talk About When We Talk About PB (Hint: It’s Spreadable!)

Our 22 Mile Thanksgiving Table

This post originally appeared on Ryan Gravel’s Blog on November 26 2014 With the undeniable success of the Atlanta Beltline’s Eastside Trail and [last] November’s groundbreaking of the long-anticipated Westside Trail, we have much to be thankful for. Of course behind the smiles, hugs, tweets and posts, and behind our lifting economy and improving quality-of-life, we still have challenges ahead to make sure that everyone … Continue reading Our 22 Mile Thanksgiving Table

Downtown Revitalization in Dayton, Ohio: Combating Vacancies with Redevelopment

Historically, the downtown core has been the epicenter of economic and social interaction, yet many urban centers have experienced significant decline and sharp increases in vacancy rates. Finding roots in urban renewal practices, changing markets, and suburbanization trends that began roughly sixty years ago, urban vacancy has continued to climb as focus shifts away from city centers. Vacancy in the City of Dayton, Ohio grew … Continue reading Downtown Revitalization in Dayton, Ohio: Combating Vacancies with Redevelopment

On Farm Labor in the United States (1/2)

Part One: How Consumers (and Laws) Overlook Farm Workers Fifty years ago this fall, Filipino American farm workers in Delano, California, walked out of the grape fields to demand better pay and working conditions. They joined forces with a predominantly Latino farm workers union and the strike spread. This new coalition called itself the United Farm Workers, or UFW. Both a social movement and union, … Continue reading On Farm Labor in the United States (1/2)

North Carolina: The Future of the Clean Energy and Tech Economy

North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, and its surrounding region, have grown exponentially over the last half century. This change is driven by a variety of knowledge-based industries that transformed the region into one of the most productive and innovative in the country. Information technology (IT), telecommunications, biotechnology, medicine, and innovative entrepreneurship have all contributed to local and regional economic growth, aided by a steady flow … Continue reading North Carolina: The Future of the Clean Energy and Tech Economy

“A Comeback Short of the Mark:” An Income-Based Approach to Understanding the “Great Recession”

“Unless the discussion of the labor market recovery is connected to the larger matters of income and living standards, it tells an incomplete story.” Unemployment rates are a limited measure, but they are the focus of most economic recovery stories in North Carolina. Through the lens of the changing unemployment rate, one might conclude that North Carolina has experienced a comeback since the “Great Recession,” … Continue reading “A Comeback Short of the Mark:” An Income-Based Approach to Understanding the “Great Recession”