For the past 4 years or more, I've focused my planning and local community attention on Shorewood. I've begun writing on Shorewood from a very practical perspective and some of this has from time to time slipped into my day to day writings.
Obviously my book deals with much more than Shorewood, but Shorewood has evolved into a real model for various practical reasons, as did London when doing my PhD. thesis.
Sometime ago, I was employed as an urban designer and planner at the London County Council for several years, while working on my doctor's degree. I was able to augment my thesis based on this practical experience, completing my PhD. dissertation at London University, (LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science), where I was a Fulbright Scholar.
When I returned to the U.S. with my English ancient and my PhD. in my back pocket, I became UWM's first Director of University Planning in charge of planning and construction, one of my duo-role tasks at UWM was to develop the first city planning and urban design courses taught in the Department of Urban Affairs (my original position was that of assistant professor).
I convinced President Harrington that the School of Architecture should be located in Milwaukee instead of in Madison and he set the wheels in motion before retiring. Urban planning was later placed in the School of Architecture as was intended.
In my role as Director of Planning, I developed the concept of a central plaza with underground parking in the center of the UWM campus. I supervised the planning of the three high-rise dormitory buildings with a central concourse and dining room and two-floor community units. This at the edge of Downer Woods on Maryland Avenue. And we got the towers built in spite of some conventional concerns. .
My work in urban affairs got me involved in neighborhood redevelopment and planning in Milwaukee and in local communities.
While teaching planning and urban design in the School of Architecture, I was asked by several communities to serve as planning consultant. This lead to establishing my own consulting firm where I was able again to function professionally. I even did some work with our neighbor, Whitefish Bay.
I could study the development of local communities and local government, directly involving my students in the real thing.
This indicates that my observations are based on a rather long-time period of both practical and academic involvement.
After receiving my master's degree in economics at Nebraska University, where I learned that I wanted to become a city planner, I applied for my first job in the field as a “city planning technician” in the engineering department, in my home town of Omaha and later became Director of City Planning there.
My closest friends have known me more for my interest in philosophy and political science and discussions in those areas rather than for my actual professional pursuits as a planner.
Sometimes, I've been asked who I am. This is part of who I am. I also find myself asking about those I deal with on a day to day basis, who are they? We never know who anyone really is. But perhaps that is the way it is meant to be.
My wife Ebbie and I, have lived here on the lake for the past 35 years. We designed and built our house here, which might also explain our interest in Shorewood and in all things having to do with its planning and development.
This is not meant to be my resume'. I'm not applying for a job. This is intended to make more obvious why I have a POINT-OF-VIEW. .
It might also give context to why this POINT-OF-VIEW about Shorewood often comes out into my comments and writings from time to time.
Obviously this is my own partial perspective of who I am. It has also given me the opportunity to talk about myself. So if anyone really wants to know what inspires my interests in Shorewood, and my point of view, there it is.
Now more to the POINT, not on what I've done for Shorewood lately, but what we can all do together and I'm working on that.
How about developing a concept of a central place, a public plaza, like the UWM plaza that can become the CENTRAL PLACE for Shorewood at Capitol and Oakland, not for parking below but for car movement?
Wouldn't it be nice to be able to cross the street at any point at this intersection, the cars below, out of sight and out of mind? I think that I shall develop a model for discussion so all citizens can get involved. More later.