June 22, 2016 || Downtown Shreveport
Re-Form Shreveport welcomed Urban3’s Joe Minicozzi for our second speaking event. Urban3 is a company that uses geo-spatial representation to demonstrate to communities the economic value and productivity of their urban areas. Their methods have encouraged a shift in perception about standard development practices. This work has relevant implications for the economic future and the landscape of Shreveport.
Joe Minicozzi is an architect, urban planner and sought-after speaker. His theories on the financial productivity of urban areas have been published in renowned journals and he speaks and consults on these theories internationally.
Like our October 2016 event with Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns, this event was produced with assistance from civic organizations and individual donors including the Downtown Development Authority and the Community Foundation of North Louisiana. We owe a debt of gratitude to these entities as well as Community Renewal International, the Shreveport City Council, the Caddo Parish Commission and the Metropolitan Planning Commission who all helped us promote the event.
Joe’s visit was a rigorous day of meeting with local stakeholders in small meetings before and after our public events, which were held during lunch time at the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce and in the evening at Central ARTSTATION in downtown Shreveport. Joe shared a presentation to citizens, stakeholders, and community leaders espousing the benefits of understanding the economic efficiency of urban areas compared to sprawling suburban developments. To put it plainly, Joe wants us to “do the math”. Calculating the productivity of a city block requires, in most cases, basic arithmetic.
What Was Accomplished
Following Joe’s visit there have been lively discussions face to face and via social media platforms about how Shreveport might employ best practices to more plan and develop our community. The most immediate outcome of Joe’s visit was this editorial from DDA Board Member Larry Laborde which appeared in the Shreveport Times. As we move forward as an organization we will engage our Re-Form Shreveport community in “doing the math” on development and infrastructure costs so that we may effectively engage with decision makers.