Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Inside Silicon Valley Radio Interview

I was recently interviewed by Russell Hancock, President and CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, for his radio show on KLIV AM 1590. Russ was a great host and we had a fun conversation. We discussed the renaissance of Downtown Redwood City, how it came to be, and how it may be a model for other Silicon Valley cities.

If you'd like to take a listen, I have embedded the interview for you below, and I added pictures to the audio to assist in telling the story.

By the way, Russ' show is excellent. You can listen to past editions here.

UPDATE: If you like this subject, more material has come on line since I published this post in April. In June I wrote a blog post which goes into greater detail about Downtown Redwood City's resurgence, which can be found here. I also returned to Russ' show in June for a tag team interview with my friend and mentor Bruce Liedstrand, and you can listen to it here.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Stagnation in Capitol of Innovation: Transit and Urbanism in the Silicon Valley

Pictured above is a map of private transit systems operated by Silicon Valley technology companies, which was created by the graphic design firm Stamen. These private transit systems shuttle tech workers from San Francisco down to the suburban campuses in Mountain View, Cupertino, Redwood City, and other cities in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

As a map geek, I love this map. But as a Silicon Valley urbanist it really troubles me. There are two undeniable problems that this map brings to light:

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Getting Small Storefront Buildings Right

Downtowns all over America are filled with small storefront buildings such as the one in the sketch above. They are on narrow, deep lots and often have two or three simple storefronts. Many of them fell into decay as sprawl deadened their neighborhoods and as retail switched to large, corporate, car-oriented formats. As our downtowns become popular again, they are prime candidates for rejuvenation.

When small businesses move in and undertake improvements, however, they often make mistakes which keep these buildings and their tenants from being as successful as they could be. Remember, you have about eight seconds to pull a passing pedestrian in; don't miss your chance by having an underwhelming storefront. Here are four tips to get it right: