Friday, February 20, 2009

New Urbanism Event Friday At UW-M Should Be Stimulating

Details are here about a Friday late afternoon panel hosted at UW-Milwaukee by the Wisconsin chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism to discuss the federal stimulus package.

The program is free and open to the public, and is extremely timely for two reasons.

The first, obviously, is that stimulus funding is on its way.

The second, just as obviously, is that there is already a disconnect between the greatest socia-economic needs, and politics:

Though poverty and unemployment are concentrated in Milwaukee, the first $300 million of federal stimulus financing is already out the door - - to highway projects including I-94 widening and rebuilding south of Milwaukee to the Illinois state line.

And additional rules for urban projects announced by the State Department of Transportation have ruled out Milwaukee street and bridge repairs, according to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and WisDOT.

The CNU fosters development and job-creation in cities that supports transit, pedestrian movement and other basic city infrastructure precisely because that's what knits together neighborhoods and connects people with work, commerce, entertainment and interaction.

New Urbanism, put into practice, was the theory behind Milwaukee's Riverwalk, Commerce Street development, Third Ward and King Drive revivals and a host of other investments - - private and public - - that added huge value to Milwaukee.

Federal stimulus money can be leveraged into similar improvements in cities across the state - - if the state and local governments commit themselves in this direction.

The CNU panel can point us in the right direction.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hope to see you there...