News Roundup › Good Governance
Feb 19 2013
American politicians, including those who argued to cut back on money for preventive measures after Sandy, might want to see how the Dutch have managed to improve public life, public space and the landscape at a fraction of the billions American taxpayers pay out for repairing hurricane damage.
Dec 8 2012
Seville’s transportation revolution goes beyond being bike friendly; horse carts, segways, 3- and 4- person pedicabs, streetcars and buses are also alternative modes of tranportation. This transformation didn’t happen without massive public input and infrastructural investment.
May 22 2012
“Mastering the Metro,” in this case, does not mean understanding the local subway system. Instead, the metro is our city, our community, and those cities and communities surrounding ours. In “Mastering the Metro,” Brian Katz, author and vice president at the Brookings Institution, explores what it means to harness and support ideas, innovation, and growth through local partnerships based on individual communities’ and cities’ strengths and weaknesses. More minds working to achieve a common goal? The possibilities are endless, and are just beginning to take root in communities near you.
May 8 2012
While proposals for the creation of a new hospitality district are being quietly shuffled through the city and state legislatures, concerned New Orleans residents are raising their voices in an effort to ensure increased transparency and public involvement in the process. Citizens’ suggestions include slowing the bills down to allow for further public review and comment, as well as appointing an affected-resident review board.
Sep 3 2011
Today, the High Line is one of Manhattan’s most popular public spaces: a mile-long, modern, high-concept park built on the old railroad track. In the 10 months after it opened in 2009, it drew 2 million visitors and — in a rare ratio for a public space in New York — about half were tourists. Half were native New Yorkers.
Controversy Surrounding New Romney Pilates Studio on Magazine Street May Pave the Way for Reforms in City Planning, Permitting
Jan 25 2011
One major area of questions that emerged with the debate over the Romney Pilates building is the veracity of information presented to public bodies as they make decisions and how to ensure that applicants’ plans stay within the spirit of what was permitted.
Oct 12 2010
“The difference (on the VA side) is that the decision-makers over there are people who care about New Orleans,” Davis said. “On this side, it’s the state and (Louisiana State University) who have shown nothing but contempt for the quality of life in New Orleans.”
Oct 3 2010
Aug 13 2010
“The mayor believes whether it’s the state government or federal government making an investment in the city, we welcome you,” Kopplin said, “but we expect developers, public or private, to operate within the scope of the city’s master plan … and we expect a seat at the table.” He added, “If we’re going to make billion-dollar investments in the city, we’ve got to get them right.”
Aug 12 2010
Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson, who took the lead in pushing for approval of the plan, said its adoption will provide certainty to both residents and developers. “The rules won’t change in the middle of the game,” she said. “You will not be able to just whimsy and whamsy change zoning.”
Jun 27 2010
During his tenure as lieutenant governor and as a mayoral candidate, Landrieu endorsed a new state teaching hospital and showed no desire to join activists pushing for the state to gut and rebuild within the storm-damaged and shuttered Charity shell. But the latest moves suggest the mayor is willing to engage on the design of the hospital, which has drawn mixed reviews from various local planners.
Mar 2 2010
Feb 23 2010
Jan 26 2010
David Dixon of Goody Clancy said adoption of the master plan means that “for the first time New Orleans has a plan that provides a credible and legitimate basis for future public policy and decision-making regarding land use, development, zoning, city capital expenditures, transportation, and similar fundamental decisions that shape the city’s future.”
Jan 13 2010
Such a departure would spare scores of camelback and shotgun houses from being taken by eminent domain for the VA to build its hospital in a century-old neighborhood, much of which is included in a National Register Historic District. The property owners are likely to get lower payments from the seizures, because the City Council prohibited them from obtaining permits to fix their houses after the storm, the only New Orleans neighborhood not allowed to recover.
Jan 13 2010
Transparency ought to be the order of the day in a dispute involving a third of a billion dollars, the health of tens of thousands of post-Katrina New Orleanians and the fate of a 25-square-block neighborhood of historic homes and buildings threatened by eminent domain. Instead, secrecy rules.
Jan 5 2010
Nov 2 2009
Apr 17 2009
The Kansas City Star
By Yael T. Abouhalkah
April 15, 2009
For years economic development gurus have pumped up tax-increment financing as the savior of Kansas City’s budget.
The mantra went this way: TIF projects will bring in new jobs, stores and tax revenue so the city will be able to spend more money on basic services such as public safety and capital improvements.
However, new information from the city shows this contention isn’t coming true. In fact, a good case can be made that tax-increment financing is killing Kansas City’s budget. Read more.
Feb 17 2009
Feb 17 2009
“It’s a travesty,” Fielkow said. “This action takes us 10 steps back at a time that residents now more than ever are calling for more openness in government. With this (executive order), the mayor has moved us to a different era. He is trying to avoid the Open Meetings Law with a scorched earth process and is willing to kill all the fields.”
Jan 31 2009
Nov 6 2008
To expand their coalition, Lang said, Republicans will need to find ways to talk about issues relevant to metropolitan areas. “You don’t have to have the same policies as the Democrats, but you have to talk about this and not just talk about values in the small towns,” he said.
Nov 5 2008
Sep 20 2008
All of the great challenges that confront the 21st-century city — from class, race and environmental issues to the continuing duel between history and modernity — are crystallized in New Orleans.
Yet the kind of visionary urban plan that could address these issues in a bold and thoughtful way has yet to materialize. Instead, some of the country’s greatest architectural minds are inventing the future in cities like Beijing, Shenzhen and Dubai, where their talents are more appreciated.
Aug 18 2008
Jun 24 2008
First initiated some four decades ago, the Metropolitan Leadership Forum includes among its graduates leaders in every aspect of New Orleans life, including government, education, business, faith, and the nonprofit sector. This year’s class will join more than two thousand fellow alumni in serving as a tremendous resource to the community.
Jun 9 2008
“As soon as Vitter said he had just gotten off the phone with Rove and other Republican officials,” Landrieu says, “he started in on the first talking point to come out of the ordeal. I said to myself, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe the White House has already given David Vitter talking points to talk about this.’ We weren’t going to blame anyone. We weren’t going to blame the president. I mean, is there a Republican talking point for how to get people water? But that was Karl Rove.”
May 27 2008
So what are intelligent responses to our predicament? First, we’ll have to dramatically reorganize the everyday activities of American life. We’ll have to grow our food closer to home, in a manner that will require more human attention. In fact, agriculture needs to return to the center of economic life. We’ll have to restore local economic networks — the very networks that the big-box stores systematically destroyed — made of fine-grained layers of wholesalers, middlemen and retailers.
May 23 2008
May 14 2008
Apr 29 2008
“It is time to get the Office of Inspector General fully staffed and operational so that it can begin to do its job,” Fielkow said. “Our city has important issues that must be addressed by the inspector general sooner rather than later, and we cannot afford to wait any longer for bureaucratic issues to be worked out.”
Apr 19 2008
Apr 8 2008
“We built the opera house in two months, the botanical gardens in three months, Niemeyer’s museum in five months. We transformed the city’s main street into a pedestrian area in 72 hours. It wasn’t that we were chasing after records - it was necessity.”
Wally N’Dow, former head of the UN Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), has described Curitiba as “a wonderful example, because cities that follow this lead can jumpstart the economies, assist the poorest of their poor, and clean up their cities.”
Apr 7 2008
Beginning on Aug. 31, 2005, and continuing for at least five days, Gretna police, Crescent City Connection bridge police and Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s deputies turned back hundreds of people trying to walk across the bridge to escape the misery of New Orleans, which was flooded, blacked out and in short suppy of food and drinking water.
Apr 2 2008
Mose Jefferson, the eldest brother and chief political strategist of embattled U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, was indicted by a federal grand jury today on charges that he repeatedly bribed Ellenese Brooks-Simms, the former president of the Orleans Parish School Board, to ensure her support for a computer-based algebra curriculum he was selling.
Jan 28 2008
The open-air center will include a 140,000-square-foot Lowe’s Home Center, another 200,000-square-foot anchor, two other 100,000-square-foot anchors and 650,000 square feet of other assorted retail and a movie theater… . The New Orleans-based developer is still finalizing the development’s total costs, but the TIF bonds will provide some percentage of that cost, he said. Last summer, Kailas estimated a total cost of $200 million.
Jan 21 2008
In the late 1960s, I argued that DC should have governing neighborhood commissions. When we were granted “advisory neighborhood commissions” in the 1970s, I argued that our first goal should be to kick the A out of ANC, replacing their token status with real governmental powers. I still believe such bodies are a greatly needed national urban reform. Among the jobs of such bodies would be to preserve the community and culture which they serve.
Jan 10 2008
National homebuilder KB Home has scrapped 35 planned market-rate homes in River Garden, the mixed-income development that replaced the St. Thomas housing project in New Orleans … . New Orleans may not be ready for mixed-income development, said Szubinski, who has worked with a mixed-income project in Dallas.
Jan 4 2008
Dec 20 2007
When city officials reorganized the Office of Recovery Management into the Office of Recovery and Development Administration, Blakely gained responsibility for the code enforcement and safety and permits departments — two catalysts for rebuilding. The departments have the power to cite negligent property owners for blight and provide permits for reconstruction, respectively.
Dec 10 2007
Nov 21 2007
Nov 13 2007
Oct 18 2007
Sep 29 2007
The study also features “Where did the Katrina money go?” — an in-depth analysis of federal Katrina spending since 2005. The Institute reveals that, out of the $116 billion in Katrina funds allocated, less than 30% has gone towards long-term rebuilding—and less than half of that 30% has been spent, much less reached those most in need.
Sep 21 2007
Aug 13 2007
Thomas, whose guilty plea represents the most significant development to date in a sprawling federal probe of government corruption overseen by U.S. Attorney Jim Letten, admitted to accepting nearly $20,000 in bribes in 2002 from restaurateur Stan “Pampy” Barre, a confidant of former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial.
Jun 19 2007
“The most surprising finding in this study is that, for the first time in 20 years, something rivals crime as the biggest problem facing New Orleans,” researchers wrote in the “Keeping People” 2007 Quality of Life Survey in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes.
Jun 19 2007
These pockets of productivity are notable in that people succeeded with little if any involvement from the central government. To my colleague Peter Gordon of the University of Southern California and me, this sends an important message: Rather than try to fix a doomed political process, neighborhoods should be allowed to secede from the city.
Nov 16 2006
Although there had been uncertainty over whether the city’s charter allowed the IG to have subpoena powers, the ordinance provides such authority. Without subpoena powers, some officials have said, the IG cannot be truly effective.
Nov 16 2006
Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor. On the Gulf Coast, the reverse is happening. Federal state and local governments are teaming up with corporations and developers to systematically steal hurricane relief funds from the poor to enrich themselves.
Sep 29 2006
The story of how the Army Corps of Engineers drowned New Orleans does not pack the kind of emotional power that leaves telepathic TV personalities almost speechless. It is a story that takes place mostly in the fine print of technical studies and appropriation bills, long before the rooftop rescues. But it’s still a story that should tighten your throat.
Jul 11 2006
For all our machinations to keep a Black figurehead in office, we have just ensured that the mayoral candidate with the least favorable policies towards the Black community remains at the helm of our city’s re-invention. So if we end up with less ‘chocolate’ at the end of four more years, it won’t because the White bogeyman Uptown ran us out of town. It will be because we voted ourselves right on out of New Orleans.
Jul 11 2006
Gill Pratt didn’t mention her long history of showering millions in taxpayer money on the group — or her ties to its president, Mose Jefferson, with whom she has had a long personal relationship. In an interview, Gill Pratt described Mose Jefferson — the brother of embattled U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, Gill Pratt’s political mentor and former boss — as a friend.
Mar 11 2002
The plan has been back in the spotlight this month as Audubon’s chief critic, Internet group SaveAudubonPark.org, sent out a rash of e-mails questioning city money that is going to the golf course renovation. At its March 21 regular meeting, the City Council will decide whether to allow the mayor to enter into a “cooperative endeavor agreement” with Audubon, which would allow Audubon to access $1.98 million in bond money for the golf course project.