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Everyone seems to love rankings regardless of what the actual value of the ranking might be. Besides the ubiquitous top-ten list, the map is a popular way to show demographic data. Here are a few maps I have been collecting over the past few months that you might enjoy.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. these were fun! the 'renewable energy potential' map is pretty sobering for kentuckians. doesn't help any efforts to wean ourselves from coal…

  2. Looking over these stats, it is, as figures about our area always make clear, a bit disturbing what a tenuous grasp our city has on progress. Our state is held back by its religiosity and isolation and outdated resources. Our city is held back by cliques and special networks and regressive visions. What makes us still seem a pretty cool place? A group of creative musicians and artists and chefs and people who love to party and eat. Beautiful parks and architecture. A handful of smart, hip rich people willing to take risks. Louisville still seems a hell of a lot hipper than Rochester, where I lived before.

    But we are still teetering, and could easily tip into the Detroit-Cleveland abyss instead of the Austin arena. Two things must happen, in my opinion. We must stop the bridges project and we must do everything to save the West End and cultivate the South End.

    I've been preparing a list (with the inspiration of Steve Magruder at Louisville History & Issues) of arguments against ORBoP. My list is philosophical, aesthetic, social. I'll leave finance, corruption, and logistics to others.

    I think it's time to 'radicalize' the fight, if nothing else, to bring smart thinking out more into the general public rather than continuing to preach to the converted. I'm not sure how to do that yet. The forum that BS and LEO sponsored was an excellent start, but I think there needs to be a barrage of info on the media and to the public.

  3. 1. ISOLATION AND DESTRUCTION OF VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AND AREAS. Butchertown and NuLu, areas that are making the city more inviting, will be broken, stunted and uglified. The perception that ‘life ends’ at 9th street is in part the result of one highway. ORBoP will create the same effect at the other side. 8664 would correct the West End mistake. 60 years ago Robert Moses’s highway system made a similar destructive move through New York – and one of the results was the wasting of the South Bronx and other areas.

    2. DESTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS THAT ARE PART OF THE HISTORY AND CHARACTER AND VISUAL FLOW OF THE CITY. Apparently we learned nothing from the damage done by Urban Renewal in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Anytime you tear down buildings you risk a kind of anomie that destroys city life.

    3. WORSENING OF THE ALREADY DANGEROUS LEVELS OF POLLUTION IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA. This problem alone is reason to abandon the bridge idea.

    4. CREATION OF UGLY CAVERNS THAT WILL BECOME SCENES OF HOMELESSNESS, LITTER, AND GRAFFITI.

    5. PSYCHOLOGICAL BARRIERS TO PEDESTRIAN FLOW, TO COMFORTABLE, PLEASING WANDERING. One goal of urban planning should be to make locals and visitors want to walk or bike around from one mixed-use area to another, all over an expanded downtown. With ORBoP, such free wandering will never happen.

    6. EVIDENCE THAT OUR CITY IS LOCKED IN AN OUTDATED VISION OF ‘URBAN LIFE’ THAT HAS BEEN DISCREDITED IN SMART AREAS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. No young, creative professionals will want to come to a place that will have demonstrated such ignorance and short-sightedness. Jane Jacobs won this battle in NY 50 years ago. Why are we still losing it?

    7. SPRAWL.Going out of our way to make mass movement of individual cars from the outer suburbs and exurban counties seemingly easier contributes to sprawl and undermines density. The presence of all that concrete would poison the idea of residential movement downtown. The raised noise levels near the expanded highways and junctions would cripple hopes for more residential development, restaurants, outdoor activity.

    8. THE RUIN OF WATERFRONT PARK.

    9. ELIMINATION OF ALL HOPE FOR A SMART, GREEN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM. The money wouldn't be there, and there would be real obstructions in the way … and no will to start another major project.

    10. YEARS OF CONSTRUCTION THAT WILL DETER BUSINESS AND DEVELOPMENT AND MOVEMENT. Imagine what streets will be closed, what shops and restaurants will be cut off.

  4. I completely agree with you Ken. I love the City of Louisville, and know that is has the potential to become a truly beautiful, bustling metropolis. However, misguided projects like the Ohio River Bridges Project threaten to destroy that potential. Save what can be saved, rebuild what has been lost; THAT is what the core of urban planning in Louisville should be. I wish I could help you "rally the troops" but I am currently abroad, earning a degree in Environmental Policy and Planning at Virginia Tech. But I wish you and all of the other forward thinking activists in Louisville the best of luck in stopping the ORBP.

  5. Ken Lewis and Porter Stevens we can and will stop Louisville from making the biggest urban planning mistake of the 21st century. I am siging up 1 million people who pledge that they will not live in Louisville on or after 2024 if Louisville becomes the only city to ever expand an elevated waterfront expressway and places a massive L.A, style interchange on its waterfront. Porter, I need people from all over the world and someone in your discipline could make a big difference. Look me up on facebook or search for the group I will not live in Louisville (to be renamed soon).

  6. Not live in Louisville!? You might as well be asking me to sign up to amputate part of my own body. As over dramatic as this may sound, I have known for several years now that my destiny lies somewhere within the quiet streets of our fair city. Its strange really; in my twenty years on this earth I have traveled everywhere from New York City to Madrid, and yet I have always felt an urge to return to Louisville. Even as I sit here in Blacksburg, VA writing this, I feel that same tug, just like metal feels the pull of a magnet. This is why I cannot join your Facebook group, Stunoland. I would simply be unable to fulfill my pledge. Now I am not trying to discourage you from assembling your group; 1 million people threatening to up and leave would more than certainly get the Mayor's attention. But Louisville has been my home for virtually my entire life, and I could never imagine leaving it.

  7. I agree with the spirit of the movement, but in 2024, I'll be almost 80 and not anxious to move anywhere else! I'm in this fight for my family and the city itself, which I love and believe in.

    I have an ethical question: Is it right to Friend a mayoral candidate on Facebook with the intention of raising adversarial questions? One thing that bothers me about ORBoP and the candidates who support it is that they are never asked to address very specific questions like those raised by my list. Are they comfortable with the results I outline? Are they fair assessments? Are they fair trade-offs for what they think are the project's positive outcomes? What kind of day-to-day life will there be in downtown and nearby after the whole project is finished? Have they ever thought about making videos of the effects of the project the way 8664 has for its vision? If not, uh, why not?

  8. Ken, maybe you can’t make this pledge–some people can not because it could jeopardize their present careers–but I bet that you have a lot of friends all over the world that will have no problem making this pledge after they see the picture of Louisville’s image defining waterfront post ORBP. Please ask them to sign up on facebook.

  9. Porter, I can understand this sentiment. But you live in Blacksburg Virginia and I know that you know a lot of people who care about good design and will have no problem making the 2024 pledge. With your help, we can and will stop Louisville from making the biggest urban planning mistake of the 21st century.

  10. I apologize if I gave you the wrong idea; I don’t live in Blacksburg, I go to school there. I actually live in the Highlands. My studies will soon be moving to Louisville as well; I plan to earn my Masters degree in Urban Planning at UofL.

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