A Passion for Preservation: A Conversation with April Johnson

DCRP’s Lucia Constantine recently sat down with April Johnson, the new Executive Director of Preservation Durham. In her interview, Johnson shares her vision for Preservation Durham and her passion for preservation. Why is historic preservation important? We believe buildings are important – they are our communal artifacts and the city doesn’t have to be a museum but buildings tell the story of where we were … Continue reading A Passion for Preservation: A Conversation with April Johnson

Racial Inequality, Gentrification, and Poverty: The History and Context of Durham’s Affordability Crisis

On any given night in Durham, young people mill about on Rigsbee Avenue, ducking into the bars and restaurants that have cropped up there. Liberty Warehouse, an upscale condominium complex that once was a tobacco auction warehouse, looms farther up the street. The transformation of this street is emblematic of Durham’s transition from a working-class tobacco town to a hip city known for its food … Continue reading Racial Inequality, Gentrification, and Poverty: The History and Context of Durham’s Affordability Crisis

A Brief Guide to Durham’s Alleyways

Alley. A narrow passage between or behind buildings. This definition is too vague. I prefer (my own): Alley. A narrow passage between or behind buildings that provides auxiliary access. With this definition in mind, what follows is a list of Durham’s alleys. This list is by no means exhaustive; we’d love to hear about those you’ve explored that didn’t make it on this list. Right … Continue reading A Brief Guide to Durham’s Alleyways

Injecting Social Justice into Local Government

On September 28th, Durham City Councilwoman Jillian Johnson and Mel Norton of Duke University’s Cook Center on Social Equity visited UNC’s Department of City and Regional Planning to discuss with students and faculty the work of balancing social justice advocacy while serving in local government. Continue reading Injecting Social Justice into Local Government

Durham’s Crisis of Priorities: Parking and Housing

A version of the following piece was originally published in the Triangle-based Indy in response to an article about the downtown Durham parking “crisis”. The article mentions that the city of Durham will soon begin charging for on-street parking and that local leaders are debating whether to use two county-owned downtown parcels for parking or affordable housing. The assumption that plenty of parking should be … Continue reading Durham’s Crisis of Priorities: Parking and Housing