Suburbs and Redlining

looking for a tongue and cheek way of learning about the impact of redlining (who isn’t, am I right?). Adam Ruins everything a truTV show takes on the suburbs. Give it a view!

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#MoreWomen

Elle UK used photoshop to make a profound point- Where are the Women?

They used pictures of leadership, arts and business and took out all the men. It becomes clear that far too often women are either not represented or represented by one sole woman- despite being over half of the world’s population!

Which always makes me wonder? What would the world be like with more women making the decisions?

Elle asked:

“Why aren’t there #morewomen making it? There is room for more of us at the top. One woman’s success makes EVERY WOMAN STRONGER! More women for #MoreWomen”

Their film, by Alex Holder and Alyssa Boni is pointed. But maybe skip the comments, you know how the internet can get…

Amazon HQ2

Amazon is looking to grow, and they are putting a call out for bids for a new home to grow in. I think we’re about to see a massive push from cities all over for this new headquarters which will create 50,000 new jobs, and be an economic anchor institution in its new home. I also think we’ll see lots of opinions for and against bringing Amazon into new cities over the next few weeks as well. Massive influx of investment and growth of any kind, when done incorrectly, leads to massive influx or exacerbation of inequality. And the discussion of how to invite Amazon, and should cities invite Amazon are worth having.  If nothing else, it will be interesting to see how cities woo Amazon, without hurting their current residents and businesses.

CityLab makes an interesting point about bringing Amazon to the heartland (and we support that idea for a whole host of reasons). But regardless of where Amazon sets up shop, we want to throw a suggestion out for how.

Amazon, fill a vacant mall or two! America has malls, (emptied with some help from Amazon…). These large spaces used to serve as anchors for communities growth, but as they dry up and stay vacant, many are serving as anchors dragging down their surroundings. But many would be perfect for your new headquarters campus. just to name a few of the reasons Amazon should consider filling empty American malls for a campus:

  • They are usually located near great transportation, given that the heyday of malls coincides with the heyday of sprawl
  • They are affordable for acquisition because there are few other uses for the space outside of large office buildings and some other fabulously innovative ideas.
  • Cities don’t have to give away the public coffers to help you reactivate/renovate  currently vacant spaces.
  • Malls come with ample parking so consider that fight about traffic/parking- over
  • Reactivating a mall for a headquarters would be so innovative it would give Amazon some wonderful PR. (and set a replicable standard for other large employers wishing to build campuses)

 

August is for Neighbors

August has been a busy month for Root + Branch. We sponsored and helped organize two neighborhood block parties for the South Side of Columbus, Ohio, and boy are we bounce house-ed out!

Root + Branch gets involved with projects like this because creating spaces for community members to gather, meet each other and celebrate the neighborhood are vital to creating connected, thriving neighborhoods. Enjoy these pictures of all the fun we had. And come join us next time!

 

 

One party was put on in partnership with Restoration Hope, South Side Thrive Collaborative and the United Way. The second event was hosted in partnership with the Schumacher Place Civic Association, with help from the United Way. All the thanks to every volunteer, participant, vendor, non profit and attendee for helping put on these fantastic events!

Three Startup Lessons

We’re only a few years into our mission, and so in many ways we still view ourselves as a start-up. We live that lean startup life with small but strong committed team, including members working from other cities, and advisors giving their expertise in their own time. We work in office spaces and coffee shops, and we have an office dog that serves as hour HQ mascot! We are always looking to other start-ups, to share best practices and lessons learned. And when we find a couple of good tips, we like to share!

Over at Ellevate, a network of boss ladies collaborating and supporting each other (and a fellow Benefit corps, B Corps shout out!), Moha Shah a ScaleUp Advisor at TiE-Boston shared three lessons she learned at a Start Up. In essence she found that skills, founders and learning culture make a difference!

Read more on the Ellevate Blog.

 

Putting Art on the Map

We LOVE innovative ways to engage communities with art. And Columbus, Ohio is in the middle of executing a project just like that!

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The “Sign Your Art” installation features small wooden tiles hung on sign posts around the city. The tiles are created by both professional artists, as well as Columbus residents and visitors. The annual Columbus Arts Festival gave more than 700 visitors the opportunity to paint a tile for free, and sign their work.

These signs are installed all over the city, and when pinned to a Google Map, the sign posts spell: “ART.

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