Tag Archives: political risk

Pay it Forward – Development Risk is Political Risk

The post Pay it Forward was written June 8th 2011 when the property in the picture, Famous Daves in Linden Hills, was the hot topic of development in the neighborhood. Six months later in the grey days of December the development furor has made it to the local news. At the center of the debate is the 5 story profile the developer is seeking to build. Locals fear is that the building won’t fit in. Just a block away is a seven story building. The only development risk is political risk. Get people behind a project or against a project and let the chips fall where they will. What impedes development like this project is political will. It’s the same political will that is driving the development of the Vikings stadium. From the political risk at the expense of the will of people involved in the development debate a project moves forward or dies. When political risk rears its head development may be recognized as a bastard iteration by the developer and the community. With political risk the American city continues to fall behind the modern cities of the world where life and style are woven into the fabric of everyday life. Negative energy has spawned the Vikings Stadium and this 5 story project with doubtful outcomes for anyone other than self-interested parties.  In the end political risk drives development risk and “what you see is what you get”

Just had the fortune to chat with a third generation bike rider. Some might say toddlers are the future of biking. I beg to differ. It is young people, teenagers and twenty somethings who are changing our streets now. The future is here folks, just get on board and put a bike between your legs. 

This young woman explained briefly the history of her bike. It was her grandfathers and her mother rode it at one time, but otherwise it has been in the family since the 1930’s. Grandfather is 94 and still driving a car. Having an object passed down is something rare these days. Passing on real values is even rarer. Finding that a simple and elegant tool has survived through world wars and massive technological change is like finding the holy grail. It wasn’t a golden chalice we have been searching for. When the bicycle has been there right before our eyes all the time.

Good design and functionality  can be found in our objects de auto as well. When Cuba was cut off by US embargoes it became imperative to make do with fixing up the old stuff.

Should heaps of discarded stuff beckon more and more stuff? When is enough really enough? When is maxed out no more or less a drunken stupor? 


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