New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Your Neighborhood

{photo source} There's a Greek proverb that says, "A city grows great when men plant trees under whose shade they will never sit." The idea, of course, is that for future generations to thrive present generations must be proactive. If done right, change in cities...

read more

Slow Sarasota?

Today is Cittaslow Sunday, the First International Day of Good Slow Living. How are you planning to celebrate?

Cittaslow, or Slow City, is an organization that celebrates and promotes a human-speed, human-scale alternative to unchecked speed and limitless growth. A couple decades ago some folks in Italy decided they didn’t want fast food chains in their towns, so they created the Slow Food movement to celebrate the culture, tradition, and joy of growing, harvesting, cooking, and sharing local food. Slow Food spread to Slow City, and Cittaslow International now counts more than 130 towns worldwide as part of its network. Sonoma, California, became the first Slow City in the United States in 2009.

So, what is a Slow City? and why should I care?

read more

Is Adaptability More Important Than Art in Architecture?

There are all sorts of debates about architecture. Should houses in a neighborhood all look similar to give the area a sense of cohesion? Is a diversity of styles more desirable? Is the architecture of the past best? Should architecture be more concerned with the future instead? Is architecture about art? Functionality? A building’s relationship to its surrounding environment? Its climate? All of the above?

Sarasota residents love to engage in hearty debates about our fair town/city, and issues surrounding architecture and development are always hot button. Our own neighborhood, Laurel Park, has seen sweeping changes over the past several decades, and is constantly working to find the right balance of development and preservation, of urbanism and village life, of past and future.

read more

Sarasota’s Roadmap to Sustainability

With words like “green” and “sustainability” being thrown around so much these days, we at Laurel Park Management thought it might be good to take a look at what Sarasota is actually doing to become increasingly “green” and “sustainable.” The following is from the official Sarasota County government website:

Sarasota County acknowledges that sustainability is an interlocking network comprised of everything a community touches. Its Roadmap to Sustainability holistically integrates environmental, societal and economic initiatives, fundamentally shifting the role that governance can play in building a sustainable community and transforming its identity. County Administrator Jim Ley presented his Roadmap to Sustainability to the County Commission on Oct. 22, 2006, as an overview of Sarasota County’s direction.

read more

What Gloom and Doom?

The Bradenton-Sarasota housing market showed no ill effects from the expiration of federal homebuyer tax credits, with sales of previously occupied homes hitting their highest point since the building boom, according to figures released Thursday.

A total of 1,068 existing single-family homes changed hands in June, the most since August 2005, the Florida Realtors trade association said. It also was the fourth consecutive month of 1,000-plus sales, something that also hasn’t happened in five years.

“That’s just absolutely phenomenal,” said Cindy Greco, the Manatee Association of Realtors’ president and an agent with Wagner Realty.

read more

Oil Vigil Recap

The oil vigil held in Ken Thompson park earlier this month was a great success, connecting Sarasota with hundreds of other communities around the country in support of clean energy. We here in Laurel Park and the rest of Sarasota are fortunate to have year round access to white sand beaches and turquoise waters. The deepwater horizon tragedy has reminded us all how fragile these gifts really are.

read more