Morgan's Brain

Sep. 8, 2008 at 8:00am

Tampa Has Potential Too!

An article on article caught my eye today. The gist of it is that it's a matter of time before the online activists become involved in local politics. What grabbed me were comments about sprawl and politics that made it sound like it could have been written about Tacoma & Pierce County

Think Tacoma Mall or almost anywhere in the county when reading this paragraph:

"The lack of a sustainable, planned vision for our area on the part of decades of leaders has left a developer-led landscape of mind numbing sprawl. Linear "shopping strips" and placeless big-box retail are lined up along noisy, dangerous, congested and poorly designed thoroughfares that disappear over the horizon. There are few centers, little expression of regional identity, and fewer places where communities can congregate and share ideas, or even accidentally encounter neighbors and friends (like real cities have)."


"..our area has (as almost became a regional motto) "lots of potential." But this enormous local potential has often been like a siren, drawing those who long for positive progressive change to crash on the rocks."

How many time have you heard the word "potential" used in the same sentence as Tacoma? I hear it at least once a week.

Read all about it:
In an ugly sea of sprawl, a wave of change builds

comments [2]  |  posted under politics, tacoma, tampa bay, urban planning


by Erik on 9/7/2008 @ 11:37pm
The remedy to reform the Tacoma Mall from being a remote asphalt desert, accessible by car alone required the area to be gridded with streets where the parking lot is and infilling the area.

Here's an example:

Phase 1

Chattanooga, TN: In 1997, before redevelopment, this mall was nearly empty. Parking lots surrounded a cloistered shopping center.

Phase 2:

Chattanooga, TN: 5 years into the redevelopment of Eastgate Mall, a town square will replace the parking lot and the mall will be turned inside-out' toward the street.

Phase 3:

Chattanooga, TN: The planned resuts of designing for gradual growth. A generation of changes eventually reclaims empty spaces with buildings and public places.

by jenyum on 9/8/2008 @ 7:31am
I think we've still got far better raw material than Tampa, in the form of intact communities. Just a few blocks from the Tacoma Mall is the Whitman neighborhood, full of early 20th century homes on small lots, connected by tree-lined sidewalks.

The sprawl doesn't get truly choaking until you get to the Lakewood border, from there on down to Spanaway it's pretty much a free for all.