Author Archives: Mayor

Main Street’s Social Capital

The Journalists Resource at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (here) puts 1962 as year zero in the history of big-box stores. In the five decades since, the landscape of retail has changed significantly. Hundreds of small towns and larger cities have seen main streets suffer and tax revenues fall to below-subsistence levels. The research […]

City Women

On February 2, 2017, If You Were Mayor co-founder Whitney Powers was honored by Historic Charleston Foundation as the 2017 recipient of the award for “Women Who IMPACT Preservation.” The festivities to announce and celebrate the honor occurred in the ballroom of the newly renovated hotel on Marion Square The Dewberry. Over two hundred people attended […]

Winter Wakeup Call

We’ve been working to calibrate our winter message following the recent presidential election; to gauge how cities might fare during the coming administration; and, to sense how individuals and organizations see their roles changing, if at all, in the immediate future. It is no secret that the divide between urban and rural areas decided who […]

Roadway ROI

Are there real world examples that demonstrate a higher return on investment (ROI) for taxpayers when cities choose people over cars in their transportation decision-making? In our blog post Transportation Values we established that a set of livability parameters could responsibly be used by local officials to gauge priorities for transportation projects: (1) the potential for the project to […]

Transportation Values

The recently published book The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead is every bit the Swiftian journey the Wall Street Journal’s book reviewer suggests – taking the reader on a tour through various vignettes of abuse and humiliation directed at the black “slave” for well over 300 years. The recollection is one of sur-reality and horror where the “peculiar […]

Pooling Ride Shares

Occasionally the best things in life are free and so it is with ride-hailing. Uber Pool and Lyft Line are ushering in a major change in transportation which, among other desirable outcomes, will be a game changer for public transportation. Users are right now, today enjoying reduced time, cost and stress with increased productivity. A […]

Quality Housing for All

The South Carolina Community Loan Fund, a state-wide community development financing institution, has been serving as an affordable housing advocate in the Charleston region for over ten years. Its CEO, Michelle Mapp, estimates that by 2020, the region’s growth will require 50,000 units of affordable housing units where the monthly cost burden is no more […]

Rethink Folly Road: A Complete Streets Study

THE PROJECT The purpose of the study was to identify the opportunities and explore the potential to transform the Folly Road corridor into a more sustainable, multi-modal corridor, which could serve as a precedent for the Charleston Region.  This study document includes a detailed analysis of the corridor, and  75 specific recommendations compiled in three […]

The Diversity Dividend

Gated communities, ghettos, and gentrification represent a perversion of the diverse spectrum of housing options that city advocates call for today. Ta-Nehisi Coates in his startling, yet brilliant, expose’ in The Atlantic “The Case for Reparations,” raises the bar on the discussion of “fair housing” with regards to African Americans who have been denied the […]

North Central Neighborhood Stabilization

THE PROJECT Funded by a grant from the 1772 Foundation, HCF hired Alexandria-VA based urban planning consultants, czb, to study the dynamic market effects surrounding the North Central neighborhood (outlined below.) The development pressures in this area are dramatically increasing. So, too, is the pressure to preserve the historic fabric and character of North Central […]