For the month of June, we wanted to focus on Urbanism; with our headquarters in a rapidly changing DTLA and a storefront coming soon, our daily lives are impacted by downtown’s ever-shifting landscape.
Courtney, our Fulfillment & Logistics Director on "Innovation Districts"—a movement she has experienced first hand in Boston.
“In the Boston area we had two, municipally funded to an extent; slightly outlying areas that could easily be accessed by public transport (or by soon-to-be-expanded public transport). These neighborhoods were usually former arts and warehouse districts made cool by artists, then hipsters, until the city took notice and used that cache to market to "innovative" companies like startups and pharmaceuticals (ha!). It was interesting to see them [the districts] come up and to witness the who, what, when, where, and why of it. I worked in one and was on the board of a non-profit arts organization that fought for artists housing in an area that the artists had basically founded when the textile companies closed shop mid-century. Ultimately the small guys got priced out (for instance, my bosses just sold their condo for $1.2 million after buying it 8 years ago for $600k). We didn't make headway with artist housing, instead getting to place the existing artists work inside the lobbies of the companies establishing themselves there. It was very interesting. It's not a bad concept at all, I think it's actually pretty cool, i just lived it from the "little guy" standpoint and felt the sting a bit.”
For more on “innovation districts,” visit this essay.
The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
The Death and Life of Great American Cities is regarded as one of the first sources to critique American city planning. In it, Jacobs dives into how cities operate: what works, what doesn’t, and why developers tend to approach urbanization from the wrong angle.
Our favorite line: “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”