Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Endorsement: John McCain

Even though John McCain is the de facto Republican Presidential nominee, we still offer our very lucrative BOTC endorsement.

Unlike his soon-to-be Democratic opponent, the traditionally urban, Chicago-based Barack Obama, John McCain hails from the American Southwest, a surging, spawling, and very dynamic region of the country. Although Phoenix is usually panned, like sister city Houston, for its uncontrollable growth, these cities possess the DNA of true American urbanism--an essential suburban horizontalism. These new cities of new economies are not riddled with the same hollow cores of the cities of the rust belt nor the same concerns about migrating jobs and brain drain. The urbanisms reflect new urbanism of churning economies, geographies, lifestyles, family structures, immigration patterns, infrastructures, etc--these are the urban paradigms of the new American Century.

There is much to learn from what has been accomplished and destroyed in Phoenix. John McCain, a son of Phoenix, and his potential administration could inject a new enthusiasm and interest in the value of the perimeter and how the urban peripheries can still serve their important purpose in our metropolian areas, albeit more efficiently and productively.

Endorsement: Barack Obama

We here at BOTC spent the night watching the most likely final debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. We had hunches about who we wanted to endorse before hand, but we wanted to wait until after the debate to make our choice, just in case. You never know--maybe Senator Clinton would have offered a rousing speech about the value of urban civic space. But, of course, she did not.

So we offer our endorsement of Barack Obama for the Democratic Presidential Nomination. Although both talked about the investment in infrastructure, we feel that a President Obama would make more robust investment in urban infrastructures. Obama possesses an idealism that will most likely produce urban renewal-like programs on the scale of LBJ's Great Society, which will prove very lucrative and thrilling to architects and urban designers.

Even though the physical city of Cleveland was not talked about much, our fair city would be a perfect testing laboratory for radical and progressive design endeavors that can conflate issue of urban shrinkage, landscape urbanism, new public housing paradigms, new economy geographies, green technologies, and endowed transportation corridors. If a President Obama is true to his word, our cities will be the fertile territories for an American urban rebirth.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Endorsement - - Thomas O'Grady for Congress

We here at BOTC are disappointed in the lack of response by all the candidates. Issues of infrastructure and its effects upon our urban, suburban, exurban, and rural landscapes + collective urbanims will be at the forefront of the next Congress and many congresses in the future. Since no candidates, including assumed poll leaders Joe Cimperman + Dennis Kucinich, responded to our memo, BOTC will make the best educated endorsement that we muster.

Firstly, we dismiss the candidacies of Rosemary Palmer and Barbara Ferris, since we can find no real interest in issues that concern us here at BOTC. We also dismiss the candidacy of incumbent Dennis Kucinich--Dennis may be a whirlwind of advovacy, but his concerns do not align with ours. If Kucinich does maintain his seat in Congress, we hope that he will be a greater advocate for the improvement of our built environment, civic spaces, and public infrastructures.

So the endorsement choice falls between Joe Cimperman, a Cleveland councilman and Thomas O'Grady, Mayor of North Olmsted.

While Cimperman seems to be "seen as involved" with many revitalization projects in his ward, we wonder where is leadership has really improved the built environment. How much influence does Cimperman have as a mere councilman in a city with a shrinking population? We question his capabilty and potential as our Representative in the next Congress to gain political capital and influence on the Hill to improve Cleveland and its inner ring suburbs. Although we may not support Cimperman's run in 2008, we may support him in future campaigns as he gains, hopefully, more executive experince in urban affairs.

Therefore, we officially endorse Thomas O'Grady, an exprienced mayor and executive who serves on a myriad of boards and committees, who is actually responsible for the contruction, operation, and maintenance of buildings, streets, infrastructures, parks. We believe that O'Grady know that value of investment in civic infrastructures and what it takes to construct such edifices for public use. Good mayors are pragmatists, necessarily avoiding un-needed political squabbles, in order to achieve goals for the greater good.

We believe O'Grady would best assuage our concerns here at BOTC. We understand that Mayor O'Grady is quite the long-shot to win the nomination, but we offer our best wishes and support for his campaign.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Endorsement Questions

This has been sent to the Democrat candidates for the 10th Congressional District:

18 February 2008

Joe Cimperman
Barbara Ferris
Dennis Kucinich
Thomas O’Grady
Rosemary Palmer

From: Blog on the City (http://www.blogonthecity.blogspot.com/)

RE: Blog on the City Endorsements for the Democratic Primary 10th Congressional District


Blog on the City, a local Cleveland architecture, urban design, and landscape blog, is looking to make endorsements for the March 4 primaries. We are part of the greater Cleveland Design City Network (http://www.clevelanddesigncity.com/), an aggregator of all known Cleveland architecture + urban design blog sites which frequently comment on our region’s design endeavors.

We are interested in your approaches, ideas, and notions about the built environment and how our built environment can sustain and re-invigorate our city and our region. We define the built environment as any transportation infrastructure, buildings, housing, parks, etc. As our representative in Congress, you will have the power + influence to garner appropriations, write legislation, and advocate for projects that could improve Cleveland and the region. What will you do to improve our urbanisms?

We will be making our endorsements based on your thoughts and your responses to these various questions:

What is your favorite local building + why?
In your opinion, what is the most successful urban space in the city of Cleveland + why?
Should Public Square be redesigned?
What is your position on the West Shoreway proposal?
How would you utilize Cleveland’s lakefront?
What is your position on the Innerbelt Bridge re-alignment?
How would you improve the inner-ring suburbs of Parma, Lakewood, etc.?
If you could re-design downtown Cleveland, what changes would you make?

We thank you in anticipation of your participation.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

BOTC Endorsements

We here at Blog on the City have quite an influence upon opinion and critique within Cleveland's architecture + urban design commnity. With influence comes responsibility. So with a sense of deepening civic responsibilty, Blog on the City will be making endorsements in the presidential primaries, select congressional primaries, and maybe some other issues (we have not decided yet).

BOTC will be endorsing candidates who believe that sound, progressive, and responsible design (architecture, landscape, urban design) can aid in the recovery of the city + region and candidates who will fight and advocate for those radical design endeavors.

Daniel Burnham, the great urban designer who created the Group Plan and continued to be active in Cleveland design review committees late into his life, will serve as our intellectual mentor for this endorsement process. Burnham possessed a belief in the American city, a belief in design integrity, and a belief in the transcendant power of radical civic design endeavors. Which candidates would Burnham believe would serve as proper advocates for the transformations that need to occur to improve and sustain Cleveland?

Burham had Tom Johnson. Who do we have, if anyone?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Cleveland Public Art - - Exhibit Opening Tonight

CPA always puts on an enjoyable opening event . . . .

Urban Landscapes

Join Cleveland Public Art as Ryan Jaenke and Paul Rogers exhibit recent works inspired by Cleveland’s urban landscape.

This no cost opening event hits Thu 2/7 at 5:30PM at CPA, 1951 West 26th Street in Ohio City. Call 621-5330 or visit http://www.clevelandpublicart.org.