/P.U.M.A. Pontificates

After 28 Years, Goodbye LoDo

In the spring of 1987, I was hired by the Downtown Denver Partnership to open a storefront office in the Barth Hotel to advance revitalization efforts in the decrepit Lower Downtown district.  At the time, Denver was reeling from a real estate depression triggered mostly by a bust in oil and gas.  Lower Downtown had [...]

Global Trends Update: The Rebound Wave

P.U.M.A. will be periodically providing updates on topics of interest to supplement our Global Trends Report.  In our first update, P.U.M.A. intern Liz Munn offers insights into The Rebound Wave: How Millennials Are Driving Growth in Second- and Third- Tier Cities. College-educated young adults aged 25 to 34 are twice as likely to live within [...]

Denver Needs a New Growth Narrative

From the August 14 edition of the Denver Business Journal, unedited. The recent Denver municipal elections revealed a significant shift from the past 30 years and the emergence of two dominant factions, neither of which bode well for leading the city into a new future.  Rooted in the lessons of the 1980s, both our economic [...]

Detroit – The Other 90% of the Story

The plight of Detroit has been on my mind throughout the summer.  I’ve had some connection to the city since I was born.  My mother lived in the Motor City in the 1950s, raised two kids (my half siblings) and eventually moved back to Denver after her first divorce.  Later (much later), I was involved [...]

The Deal That Should Have Never Been

In recent years, I’ve had the pleasure of teaching a class on urban revitalization strategies for graduate students at the University of Colorado Denver Masters of Urban and Regional Planning program.  For our “incentives and ethical trade-offs” session, we’ve used Aurora’s Gaylord incentive agreement as a featured item of study and discussion.  In just 37 [...]

The Geography of Faith

Ruth and I are currently in Istanbul, after winding up a study tour of Israel – our first visit to both places.  The Israel study tour, coordinated by our Denver synagogue, included a variety of tours, speakers and experiences designed to provide a look at the country’s past, present and future.  In addition to getting [...]

Anna Jones for Denver City Council

Anna, at left, with the PUMA team Anna Jones, vice president at P.U.M.A. and my professional colleague of nearly 15 years, is a candidate for the open City Council seat in District 10 of Denver.   Anna entered the race after the progressive candidate, Roger Sherman, unexpectedly withdrew. We whole-heartedly support Anna in her [...]

Cultural Arrogance: A Threat to Downtowns?

Last week, NewGeography published an interesting post by urban planner Pete Sanders entitled A Typology of Gentrification.  Sanders made the case that gentrification is more likely to thrive in cities with older, walkable urban neighborhoods and, somewhat provocatively, cities with lower African American populations.  The point of the essay was that gentrification is not a [...]

Cleveland Rocks with Step Up Downtown

Earlier this week, it was our pleasure to participate in the roll out of Step Up Downtown, a new vision and tactical plan to guide private and public investment strategies in Cleveland for the next five to seven years.   Step Up is the latest strategic plan initiated, financed and managed by a downtown management organization [...]