All of which has me thinking about setting priorities. This means developing a short list of ways the Cedar Rapids metropolitan area could move towards urbanism, defined most succinctly on the wise North Bay Design Kit blog as building and operating communities in ways that make them "fiscally viable and environmentally sustainable." What follows are the results of the first round of brainstorming. Note that I'm torn between processes that I understand (like metropolitan government) and goals that I value but am not sure how to achieve (like improving career opportunities for the poor). Still not ready to focus completely, I guess.
|New condo development, 100 4th Av SW, swiped from homes.com|
But young people eventually age. So we need more than condos.
|The city should favor economic development that builds connections and creates career opportunities|
Cedar Rapids has a number of important services aimed at lower-income citizens, including food banks, free clinics and housing options. These are helpful, even crucial, to people in poverty. But they don't get people out of poverty. That requires, in the words of Michael Dukakis's infamous presidential campaign, "good jobs at good wages."
|Route 9, from crtransit.com|
Intercity rail is on hold as long as Terry Branstad is governor--he's rejected federal rail funding, and in last week's Condition of the State address advocated infrastructure improvements, by which he exclusively meant roads and bridges--but we might at least think about what we'd need to do to prepare for this possibility.
|Dlask's Grocery, swiped from Erin McNamara-Ankney via Pinterest|
|The Regional City argues for empowering metro regions as well as neighborhoods|