Monday, August 31, 2009

Make The Cities Walkable

If the Grand Vision plan of investment in the cities and town centers is carried out then one benefit is that a more walkable community makes for higher home values.

See: How a Neighborhood’s Walkability Can Increase Property Values
People who love cities have known for years what the rest of the country is just starting to figure out: urban life is a beautiful thing. But even city lovers may be surprised at the premium home buyers place on urban living.

Urban Farm Magazine

Here's a magazine that may appeal to northern Michiganders: Urban Farm
Urban Farm™ magazine’s mission is to promote the benefits of self sustainability and to provide the tools with which to do it on any size property. Urban Farm™ reaches out to those in the city and suburbs, those who are inspired by the local food movement and who want to start raising chickens and growing food for themselves, supporting local agriculture and living more sustainably.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Playa's Are Talking About Traverse City

Traverse City is getting some props from major media outlets, and it has nothing to do with the Film Festival.

CNN: Napa Valley-esque wine tastings
If it's wine you want, find an alternative to Napa Valley in Michigan's Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas.

Here you'll discover more than 850 acres of land and more than 20 wineries for your choosing.

GolfDigest: Michigan, a star-studded state for golf (article not online yet, you'll have to buy the September issue)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Parking For Bicycles

I would love to see more businesses in Traverse City add parking spots for people who travel by bike. And start with the Cherry Capital Airport. Maybe even offer bike rentals there. This would go a long way in making Traverse City a car-free city.

More on bike parking at Slate: What Would Get Americans Biking to Work? Decent parking.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Backyard Chickens Are Not An Economic Issue

I know Mayor Estes likes to tell people how not to spend their money (e.g., his argument against ADU's was basically "how could anyone convert a garage loft into an ADU and make money?") and so may be the kind of official who may be against chickens in the backyard because eggs are cheaper at Meijer. As mentioned in the NYT article Keeping Their Eggs in Their Backyard Nests.

But as the Niman's discuss at The Atlantic: Why Raise Your Own Chickens?
Keeping your own flock of meat chickens or laying hens, on the other hand, has many advantages. It allows you to ensure that your poultry are only eating things you feel comfortable having in your food chain. And it allows you to keep the animals in clean, healthy environments, making it more likely that their meat and eggs will be untainted with food borne illnesses. Perhaps most importantly, it's just good fun. Everyone we know who keep their own poultry flock is passionate and proud about their birds.

It seems that the only thing that could stop chickens now are Traverse City's wacko commissioners as the Planning Commision does not have a problem with it: Commission to consider chicken amendment

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Michigan Is Missing Out

Industrial hemp could be a great boon to Michigan's agriculture based economy. But other states are taking the lead. See TH: Victory For Hemp! Oregon Legalizes Industrial Production

Have A Drink With Other "Greens"

See: Traverse City Green Drinks
What: It's simple: Meet other "eco-conscious" Traverse City community members to share ideas over drinks. This month, the owner of Right Brain Brewery, Russ, will speak a little on what his brewery is doing to be "green" around 7. Happy hour ends at 6p!

And the Green Drinks Code.

Boomers Are Expected To Become Urban Renters

See this post at CalculatedRisk on new demographic research: Research on Homeownership Rate through 2030
This has significant implications for planning and homebuilders. If Nelson is correct, there will be a dramatic shift towards a "new urbanity" and away from suburbs. And also a shift towards more renting.

As an amenity town Traverse City needs to start planning now for 2030 when a flood of retired yet active baby boomers rent condos throughout downtown.