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Ypsilanti : Featured Stories

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What a 21st-Century Washtenaw Ave. should look like

Ann Arbor's most congested corridor, Washtenaw Avenue, is now geared to sprawling strip malls and parking lots. It's the antithesis of a community-building, pedestrian-friendly space. Nathan Voght, an economic development specialist with Washtenaw County, opines on why creating "places" is key to transforming the corridor and its local economy.

OpEd: Why mediation is a model for problem solving

Unresolved disputes can hurt economies or degrade the quality of life in a community. Belinda Dulin, executive director of The Dispute Resolution Center, explains why mediation is a viable alternative to costly and time-consuming court cases.

The Story So Far...

For nearly five years Concentrate has made it its mission to capture and comment on what's next in entrepreneurship, urban design, sustainability and placemaking for our region. As we enter the mid-point of 2014, we look back on some of the stories and people that are defining the direction of the Ann Arbor area.

OpEd: Why Saying "Yes" to Transit Improvement Millage was Best

The recent passage of the Transit Improvement millage means better bus service, of course, but there are also intangible rewards. Ann Arbor City Council representative Chuck Warpehoski discusses the community benefits of saying, "Yes." 

Cool Jobs: Rob Todd, Maker

It's probably fair to say at this point that the maker movement is no longer a trend but an established facet of modern creative culture. To wit, Robb Todd (aka Robotodd) has not only fashioned a career out of his handmade skills, but also developed some important opinions about the state of our local maker scene.

OpEd: Vote Yes to Transit Choice

Driving a mid-size car costs about $9K a year, not counting the environmental impact, according to AAA. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to go from a 2-car to a 1-car household? Ypsilanti Planning Commission Vice-Chair Richard Murphy explains what passage of the May 6 transportation millage could mean for you.

Mix Studio Theater: Rethinking Retail Space

The promotion of mixed-use development has become a clarion call for progressive urbanists. But why limit the concept to streets and neighborhoods? How about retail spaces and storefronts? That's just what the Mix in Ypsilanti is doing.

OpEd: Vote Yes to Buses and a More Connected Community

The upcoming May 6 vote is designed to get more people on board with boarding the bus. Carolyn Lusch, a regular bus rider and coordinator of the MDetroit Center Connector shuttle, opines on why expanded bus service in the Ann Arbor/Ypsi areas will help to create a more connected, equitable region.

Cool Jobs: Matthew Altruda - Music Impresario

With bands like Tally Hall, Mayer Hawthorne and Michelle Chamuel grabbing the national spotlight, Ann Arbor has been quietly producing first-rate music for a while now. If it was up to Matthew Altruda we'd be a lot louder about it. As the city's unofficial rock impresario and biggest booster, Altruda is the big brains behind Sonic Lunch, The Puck Drops Here, and Tree Town Sounds.

U-M's School of Social Work: Not Just an Ivory Tower

More than just a well-respected educational institution, U-M's School of Social Work assigns hundreds of students to work for and with nonprofits throughout Washtenaw County. Those students have become a uniquely powerful community asset, offering much-needed support to local organizations and acting as ambassadors for new ideas and strategies.

Washtenaw Avenue: The region's next best place to live?

Suburban communities all around Michigan are struggling with outdated notions of development. Here, in the Ann Arbor area, you have only to look at pedestrian-unfriendly Washtenaw Ave to see the legacy of poor urban design. The ReImagine Washtenaw project hopes to correct that by creating a transit corridor where people will one day work, live and play.

5 Things Ann Arbor Could Do To Attract Young Professionals (But Isn't)

Communities change whether we plan for it or not. In charting Ann Arbor's next stage responding to the needs and desires of the Millennial generation (76 million strong) is not simply a matter of indulgence but a social reality. They are, literally, our future. So how do we attract and keep the best and brightest of them? We have some ideas...

Exporting Ann Arbor Beer (and Business Culture) to India

Craft brews are all the rage - here and abroad. So the decision to bring Ann Arbor Brewing Company's brewpub concept to India seemed like an easy, sure-fire hit of a business plan, right? Not quite. Matt and Rene Greff share their experiences opening ABC in Bangalore, a city with very different rules, customs and expectations.

Ann Arbor Roller Derby Raises its Game

Blockers. Jammers. Fresh meat. Roller Derby is more than just the latest hipster entertainment, it's a growing sport with calls for inclusion in the Olympics. Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti's trio of teams may indulge in hilariously cheeky names but they are packing some serious athletic mojo.

Guest Blogger: Tom Woiwode

Southeast Michigan's city rivers are no longer urban backwaters. Tom Woiwode, director of the GreenWays Initative at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, frames the 100-mile Huron River as a destination and valuable economic resource.
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