Durable Growth

Think globally, act locally . . . Petaluma style

Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds entrance

Once again, I apologize for sometimes being Petaluma-centric. I truly try to maintain a North Bay focus, but there is so much stuff going on under my nose here in Petaluma that I can’t ignore it. Today will be a blow-out of Petaluma updates.

Fairgrounds Re-Use: Here is my long-promised […]

Durable Growth, Site News

Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds: Looking forward through the fog

Building at the Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds

With my last couple of posts, I’ve been sucked back into the subject of possible reuse of the Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds. First, I recounted my inadvertent quashing of youthful creativity. And then I explained why, as worthwhile and insightful as the Petaluma Urban Chat conceptual design effort has […]

Durable Growth

Checking up on sprawl

Sprawl largely stopped dead during the recession, leaving analysts pondering whether the development paradigm had truly changed or if the slowdown was solely the result of a lack of demand in a stalled economy.

Today, I remain skeptical about the long-term strength of the economy, fearing that more bumps will come our way from the […]

Durable Growth, Site News

Fairgrounds and block parties (It must be the summer-like weather)

Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds

Fairgrounds: Regular readers don’t need to be reminded about the on-going Petaluma Urban Chat study on possible re-use of the Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds. (Occasional readers can catch up here.)

The conceptual design efforts are nearing conclusion. The three teams are putting finishing touches on their designs and will present the plans […]

Durable Growth

Change happens, but takes continual effort

I’ve occasionally written of a large land-use project in Oregon with which I was involved many years ago. (The photo was taken on the site, many years later.) The original concept had a strong urbanist component. Indeed, it was where I was introduced to the idea that urbanism was possible in the modern world.

But […]

Durable Growth, Government

Highlighting the guideposts on the path toward a better future

Petaluma River in downtown Petaluma

The Petaluma City Council holds an annual goal-setting session, a seven-hour Saturday marathon that was conducted a few days ago.

Several Councilmembers occasionally follow this blog, but I still thought it appropriate to remind the Council about some of the goals I’ve suggested for Petaluma over past few years, […]

Durable Growth, Site News

Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds re-use: Turning toward the finish line

Existing Fairgrounds entrance

Regular followers have read the following recitation so many times that they can likely anticipate every word. But for the new readers, I should lay out the background before moving to the heart of this post. I’ll try to do so expediently.

Petaluma Urban Chat, a citizens group that sprung from […]

Durable Growth

Intro to urbanism, part one: Credentials, syllabus, and duration

Working class urban setting in Brooklyn

During a recent writing workshop, a professional writer was impressed by the readership that I’ve built for this blog, but still had suggestions to offer about building it further. Her thought was that there might be readers who are deterred from being regular readers because they lack the […]

Durable Growth, Government

Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds re-use: Sorting through the options

Current Fairgrounds Building

I’ve written several times about the looming opportunities at Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma.

Regular readers can probably repeat the key facts by heart, so I’ll offer only a brief recap. The current lease between the City and Fair Board for the Fairgrounds will expire in nine years. The two parties […]

Durable Growth

Identifying and building urbanist visions

Public plaza in Vicenza, Italy

In a couple of recent posts (here and here), I wrote about the dichotomy between vision and incrementalism. The difference between focusing on the small steps toward a big goal and focusing on the goal itself. The difference between awaking in the morning thinking about winning the World Series […]