Placemaker News Miscellany, 11.26.2007

With the News
now up and running, it’s tempting for me to make note of a sample of
stories of interest to the placemaking audience: 

• Chicago’s Green Alleys initiative is featured in an article published in today’s
New York Times
, which notes that the city’s paved alleys represent an area
equivalent to “five midsize airports.” The initiative’s project manager, Janet Attarian, asks in the article,
“if you’ve got to resurface an alley anyway, can you make it do more for
you?” In addition to reducing the volume
of stormwater runoff (and consequent public and private cost), attention
focused on alleys could lead to a broader, fruitful discussion about using this
land more productively in a financial and economic sense.

• Relocating a State Fairground is bound to be contentious,
as is the case in Lincoln, Nebraska, where university officials have
proposed construction of a research campus financed via public-private
partnership. Read a short column by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Harvey Perlman here.

• Market jitters today are pushing
the price of Treasury bills and notes up
, as investors migrate toward
securities with minimal risk. The result
of increased prices for these bonds is to reduce yields or interest rates. For placemakers using private or public
capital, this will be a critical dynamic to monitor, with the hope that we
avoid combined low-growth, inflationary condition known as “stagflation”
experienced in the ‘70s.

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