Next American City Features St. Louis as 2012 Vanguard Class Descends on City

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The Next American City 2012 Vanguard class will descend on St. Louis this week. Coming from 24 cities, this group of 43 individuals will be in town this week along with past members of the Vanguard for workshops, tours and panel discussions about how to improve American cities. I'm incredibly grateful to have been named a member of this year's Vanguard class. Past members in St. Louis include Michael Allen and Jeff and Randy Vines (members of this year's host committee). A full list of the 2012 Next American City Vanguard class is below.

Looking ahead to the events in St. Louis, Next American City has featured items by Michael and Tim Logan of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Starbucks in a Flying Saucer: St. Louis Preservationists Embrace Modernism highlights the successful effort to get the Midtown building's owner and the city to value the unique landmark, as well as the apparently successful effort to preserve the Modernist AAA building just a few blocks away. As he notes, "When developer Rick Yackey had Alderwoman Marlene Davis introduce a blighting bill that exempted the “flying saucer” from mandatory demolition review last June, he likely didn’t anticipate much attention."

Tim's excellent Free Fall: The Struggle to Keep Houses Standing in The Ville is a must read. "When you talk with preservationists who work in north St. Louis, you get the feeling that there’s a sort of slow-motion race going on. In one lane is the inexorable spiral of blight, in which a house is abandoned, then taken over by squatters or junkies until fire or weather or scavengers render it so badly damaged that there’s nothing to do but tear the thing down. In the other is a market that’s gradually shifting back toward older neighborhoods and historic homes, helped along with tools like the historic tax credit."


{graphic from Free Fall}

From Next American City: "More than ever, our Vanguard class works for robust private and non-profit organizations and government, rather than community development corporations. While many of our Vanguard class members work for large organizations, many got hooked on having an impact on their city with blogs and other local projects of their own. So we’re seeing a formalization of young urbanists, with new pathways toward influence."

Vanguard 2012 Class

Stephanie Allewalt
Milwaukee, Wisc.
Northwest Side Community Development Corporation, Fund Development Manager
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Adjunct Professor

Cara Bertron
Seattle, Wash.
PlaceEconomics, Director of Rightsizing Cities Initiative
Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority, Real Estate Lab Coordinator

Bethany Ritz
Los Angeles, Calif.
Climate Resolve, Associate Director

Michael Brady
Detroit, Mich.
Center for Community Progress, Vice President of Policy

Daniel Brook
New Orleans, La.
Author, A History of Future Cities (Norton, 2013)

Laine Cidlowski
Washington, D.C.
D.C. Office of Planning, Urban Sustainability Planner

Alison Crowley
Arlington, Va.
City Interests, Real Estate Development Associate

Sarah Dirsa
St. Louis, Mo.
HOK, Director of Social Responsibility

Emily Doerr
Detroit, Mich.
Detroit Regional Chamber, Manager of Small Business Programs / Urban Initiatives

Robert Feldstein
Brooklyn, N.Y.
City of New York, Chief of Staff, Office of Policy and Strategic Planning

Cali Gorewitz
Brooklyn, N.Y.
NYCEDC, Senior Project Manager

Andrea Hansen
Boston, Mass.
Harvard Graduate School of Design, Lecturer in Landscape Architecture

Alex Ihnen
St. Louis, Mo.
NextSTL, Founder

Sarah Kaufman
Brooklyn, N.Y.
NYU Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, Research Associate / Adjunct Assistant Professor

Melissa Konur
Fort Worth, Texas
Downtown Fort Worth, Inc., Planning Director

Robert Linn
Detroit, Mich.
Data Driven Detroit, GIS Analyst

Ryan Lugalia-Hollon
Chicago, Ill.
Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice, Justice Fellow

Daniel Makela
Louisville, Ky.
Louisville Metro Government / NYU, Bloomberg Innovation Delivery Fellow

Nolan Marshall
New Orleans, La.
Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives at Tulane University, Director of Policy and Advocacy

Patrick McDonnell
Carrollton, Texas
Dallas CityDesign Studio, Community Designer

Neeraj Mehta
Minneapolis, Minn.
Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, Director of Community Based Research

Minh Nguyen
Atlanta, Ga.
City of Atlanta, CRM Analyst

Luis Nieves-Ruiz
Orlando, Fla.
Orange County Government, Principal Planner

Liz Ogbu
Oakland, Calif.
California College of the Arts, Visiting Artist / Scholar in Residence

Eli Pousson
Baltimore, Md.
Baltimore Heritage, Field Officer

Ganesh Ramachandran
Jamaica Plain, Mass.
Goody Clancy, Senior Urban Designer

Quilian Riano
Brooklyn, N.Y.
DSGN AGNC, Principal

Kathy Risko
Pittsburgh, Penn.
University of Pittsburgh, Director, Congress of Neighboring Communities

Tracey Ross
Washington, D.C.
Living Cities, Program Associate

Ryan Rusnak
Davenport, Iowa
City of Davenport, Planner

Bill Sadler
Denver, Colo.
Reconnecting America, Program Associate

Danya Sherman
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Friends of the High Line, Director of Public Programs, Education & Community Engagement

Marika Shioiri-Clark
Cleveland, Ohio
Soshl Studio, Founder

Lilly Shoup
Washington, D.C.
US Department of Transportation, Policy Analyst

Stephen Spiker
Richmond, Calif.
Urban Strategies Council, Director of Research and Technology

Will Stewart
Manchester, N.H.
Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Vice President of Economic Development and Advocacy

Ben Stone
Baltimore, Md.
Station North Arts & Entertainment, Executive Director

LaToya Thomas
Washington, D.C.
Wiencek + Associates, Director of Communications and Business Development

Matt Tomasulo
Raleigh, N.C.
CityFabric, Founder

Krissie Wells
Cleveland, Ohio
Housing Research & Advocacy Center, Fair Housing Research Associate

Katy Welter
Chicago, Ill.
Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice, Law and Policy Analyst, Criminal Justice Project Manager

Brandon Whitney
Brooklyn, N.Y.
ioby, Co-founder/COO

Dave Wilkinson
Washington, D.C.
City First Enterprises

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  • Congrats on joining the Vanguard, Alex! Hope you benefit from the experience.