Reprinted from www.kcur.org
It was a tearful, dramatic day five years ago, when the school board of Kansas City Public Schools decided to close 21 buildings in order to adjust to a shrinking student population. That was in addition to nine previously closed schools, leaving the district with 30 surplus buildings.
Kansas City is not the only district doing this around the country … Detroit, Philadelphia and Chicago all closed large numbers of school buildings in recent years. But in the wake of the school closures, Kansas City developed what was considered a pioneering program, asking communities to be part of the process of determining what would happen to the empty buildings.
Read the full article at http://kcur.org/post/shuttered-schools-still-part-kansas-citys-landscape
Reprinted from www.citylab.com
New “makers spaces” in a struggling neighborhood could bolster the local economy with small-scale manufacturing opportunities.
It was some tough timing for urban planner Andy Cook as he lined up a tour of vacant industrial properties in Southwest Baltimore late last month, trying to drum up interest among businesses and real estate developers.
The nation had been glued to news of the riots that followed the the death of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody. People were beginning to understand the despair present in Baltimore neighborhoods that residents themselves declared dead.
The Southwest Baltimore Industrial Opportunity Tour wound through similar landscapes of abandonment, in Mill Hill, Shipley Hill, and as far north as Rosemont, where big companies—and the smaller businesses of butchers, bakeries, and brewers—had long since left. It was audacious to suggest that a collection of 35 dilapidated buildings could somehow begin to fix what had been broken for so long.
Read the full article at http://www.citylab.com/work/2015/06/can-makers-spaces-revitalize-baltimore/396185/