Recent Blog Posts
  • More on Takoma Junction

    The analysis I summarized in the previous blog post generated numerous responses from the public, the City, and the developer.  One central theme of the responses has been skepticism over my contention that the City is subsidizing the developer, NDC. What follows are my further comments on the debate for the Takoma Park City Council:   Is Takoma Park Subsidizing NDC? My preliminary answer was “yes.”  Compared to the lease Read more

  • Rethinking The Takoma Junction Redevelopment Plan

    A basic mantra of progressive economic development should be to deploy public land for public purposes.  This has become clear to me as I’ve watched the nearby City of Takoma Park, Maryland, struggle to move ahead on a controversial development project on a 1.4 acre site called Takoma Junction.  The site is largely undeveloped except that the neighboring Co-op grocery store leases part of it for parking and deliveries. In many ways, this Read more

  • An Interview With Transition Towns

    One of the most influential drivers of localization worldwide is the Transition Towns movement, launched by Rob Hopkins in the United Kingdom, which has inspired initiatives in literally thousands of communities.  “The Transition Network,” according to its web site, “is a charitable organisation whose role is to inspire, encourage, connect, support and train communities as they self-organise around the Transition model, creating initiatives that rebuild resilience and reduce CO2 emissions.  Read more

  • We’ve Won! Now What?

    Last week, I gave a lunchtime talk to the board of the Fresh Sound Foundation in New York City, where I was asked to help this small family philanthropy think about how it could best assist the local economy movement. I thought this was a really interesting question, because depending on one’s perspective, it meant critiquing the movement or identifying great opportunities for it. My basic message was that we Read more

  • Lawyer-Free Crowdfunding in Maryland

      I’m pleased to report that crowdfunding reform has just reached an important milestone in the state where I live—Maryland.  Legislation just passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Marty O’Malley now allows every Maryland resident to lend up to $100 to any local business with virtually no legal hassles whatsoever.  The fact that neither expensive legal documentation nor a cumbersome intermediary “portal” is required is, frankly, revolutionary. Read more