Last week was great.  Idea Channel put it down for the Vine Street corridor in the Urban Design Challenge. The team embraced the challenge by putting the site in a broader context and addressing the issues that they felt were most important. If you want to hear more about their concept, make sure to come out the Community Design Forum on June 7th. As the usual Forum host is a member of the Idea Channel team, I have volunteered to moderate. It should be entertaining and informative, and there will be beer.

The morning after the Design Challenge, I hopped a plane with The Bearded One to Tampa. We were invited down there by the one and only Blake D (who was a pupil of mine until he turned evil…just kidding). Last century, Blake and I shared a small office at the RPA for the first year of my professional career. He left Chattanooga for his homeland of Florida and Glatting Jackson (which was later bought by AECOM). AECOM is currently undertaking a downtown plan for the City of Tampa, and as a part of the process is hosting a number of Knowledge Exchange Forums. Each of these forums deals with a specific topic, and we were invited to come tell the Chattanooga story at the public realm forum (correction: Stroud was invited to come tell the Chattanooga story, and I was invited to make sure that Stroud kept his presentation to no more than 20 minutes). I must admit that when the trip was planned, I had grand visions of sunshine and a cigar smoke filled night in Ybor City. Alas, it was not to be. It rained the whole time we were there, and we ended up dashing through a downpour to eat somewhere in Channelside. No serious complaints, however, as this was work not vacation.

As expected, Stroud killed at the forum. (I dropped the ball as our 20-minute presentation ended up running 33:09, but no one seemed to mind).  As we were prepping for the presentation, it occurred to me that he and I (and others no doubt) have given this talk numerous times on the road but not frequently at home. I thought it would be a good idea to record his presentation and make it available online. It is uploaded in 3 parts below.  Although we were asked to go into greater detail on a couple of things that are more relevant for Tampa, it is a pretty good overview of the Chattanooga story from a broad urban design perspective. Enjoy.

In sporting news, a hearty congratulations to the 5-6 year old Hixson Thunder for overcoming their “coaching” to win their pre-season tournament, regular season, and post-season tournament.

I'm a proud papa (and a marginal coach). 

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