Mountain Brook points fingers at Birmingham

Mountain Brook Village

Mountain Brook Village

I love to write about Mountain Brook.

People are interested in Mountain Brook and I know a lot about the subject matter–since I’ve lived much of my life and raised my children there.  (I now live in Vestavia Hills)

When I write about Mountain Brook— I’m mostly talking about the three dozen municipalities that surround Birmingham—so you folks in Mountain Brook—please don’t take this personally.

I was recently talking with a good friend (which I will call ‘Bob’) from Mountain Brook. Continue reading

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Massive trail system planned for Birmingham

Wendy Jackson, Executive Director Freshwater Land Trust

Wendy Jackson, Executive Director, Freshwater Land Trust

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Wendy Jackson.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

When it comes to great walking, jogging, and cycling—Birmingham doesn’t usually come to mind.

EV World selected Birmingham as one America’s five least bike-friendly cities

“Growth has led to sprawl, but city planning has lagged behind in growth when it comes to bicycle and pedestrian safety…a lack of bike lanes and useful paths across the city make it one of the least bike-friendly cities in the United States.”

Well, we’ve had enough and we’re going to change the landscape of Birmingham forever.

Continue reading

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5 Points South landlords are dumb

Grafitti at 5 Points South

Graffiti all over 5 Points South

My wife and I and two other couples were going out to eat one evening.

I suggested one of my favorite restaurants–Surin West in 5 Points South.

One of the women said, “I don’t feel safe around some of the people who hang out at 5 Points.”  The other woman quickly agreed.

So we chose another restaurant in a different neighborhood. Continue reading

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World-class adventure park being built in Birmingham

David Dionne, Executive Director, Red Mountain Park

David Dionne, Executive Director, Red Mountain Park

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is David Dionne.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

We are in the process of building Red Mountain Park into one of the finest adventure parks in America.

If you have never heard of the Park or still think we are near Vulcan’s statue then you need to stop and take a look around.  You will find an urban signature Park developing right beneath your nose and it will change your life and reshape your understanding of Birmingham.
Continue reading

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Is it time for UAB to change its name?

UABIt never would have crossed my mind.

But when a friend suggested that UAB change its name, my first reaction was ‘what a great idea, why didn’t I think of that?”

I’ve thought about it ever since.  The more I think about it the more I like it. Continue reading

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Unleashing the power of a Birmingham neighborhood

David Fleming,, President &CEO of REV Birmingham

David Fleming, President & CEO of REV Birmingham

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is David Fleming.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

You may not have noticed but the city of Birmingham’s reinventing itself—one neighborhood at a time.

Neighborhoods such as Norwood, Woodlawn, and Avondale are all being transformed—and that’s only the beginning.

Great urban neighborhoods are born in different ways.

Some spring up naturally as neighbors become friends; some are catalyzed by a big development; and some are planned.

But there’s one Birmingham neighborhood that’s taking reinvention to new level. Continue reading

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Even insiders screw Birmingham

David Bronner, CEO RSA

David Bronner, CEO RSA

I’ve written repeatedly how Birmingham’s always been dominated by outsiders.

U.S Steel headquartered in Pittsburgh, once Birmingham’s largest employer, controlled our economy.

Montgomery, our state capital, has historically treated Birmingham like a step child.

The UA Board of Trustees in Tuscaloosa calls the shots for our now largest employer UAB.

And through recent acquisitions many of our largest companies and banks are now managed from out of state. Continue reading

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How Birmingham cut homelessness by 53%

Teresa Thorne, Executive Direct or City Action Partnership (CAP)

Teresa Thorne, Executive Director, City Action Partnership (CAP)

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Teresa Thorne.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

We in Birmingham are doing a lot of things right.

If you don’t believe me, jump in your car and drive all over downtown and midtown.

There’s construction everywhere.  In fact it’s difficult to get around because orange plastic barrels are blocking lanes, and fences are blocking sidewalks.

This is exciting—and you can see it with your own eyes.

But there is less of one thing–and I bet you didn’t notice. Continue reading

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What folks in Mt. Brook and Vestavia are losing

Mountain Brook

Mountain Brook

I’m uniquely qualified to write about living in Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills.

I grew up and raised my children in Mountain Brook and about ten years ago my wife and I moved to Vestavia.

People in Birmingham– whether they live in Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills, or in Trussville–want the same thing—to be around family and to have good jobs.

However, that’s more difficult in metropolitan Birmingham than in many other Southern cities. Continue reading

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I challenge our children to make Birmingham great

Giles Perkins

Giles Perkins

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Giles Perkins.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

Editor’s note:  Railroad Park transformed Birmingham. Against  great  odds and overwhelming skepticism, Giles Perkins and a group of committed community volunteers persevered.  I asked Giles to write this piece to give insight to those of you who would like to make a difference.

I think it was in 2002 when I made my first visit to the lot that became Railroad Park.

My sons were younger then–their sister was not born yet–but they came with me and brought their bicycles.  There was a burnt out railcar in the corner.  In the middle of the lot there was an old trailer with someone living in it.  A sign on the door said DON’T KNOCK UNLESS YOU ARE THE POLICE OR I WILL SHOOT.

We packed up the bicycles.  On the ground I found a rusted railroad spike.  I took that spike and put it on my desk as a reminder of the task I had taken on and the distance we needed to travel to have success. Continue reading

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