Good morning, RVA! It's 63 °F, and we’ve got another warm day ahead of us. Expect temperatures in the mid 70s and cloudy skies until later this afternoon.
Mike Platania at Richmond BizSense says City Council approved a special use permit last night (at their regularly scheduled meeting, which I totally forgot to mention yesterday) for 224 apartment units on Brook Road right next to the post office. I’m officially excited about the intersection of Brook and Lombardy! It’s near Downtown and the Fan, at the intersection of two bike lanes, close to transit, has a plan for the area that’s part of the City’s Master Plan (PDF), and is seeing development that matches that plan. Meanwhile, Planing Commission is working their way through the process to officially rezone parts of the area to help make sure future development lines up the Master Plan and to discourage a thousand and one special use permits. Tangentially related: If you’re into zoning and rezoning, I highly recommend this PDF from the Department of Planning and Development Review about how the VUU/Chamberlayne rezoning will work and how it will impact the neighborhood.
David Streever writing for Richmond Magazine has a neat profile of Jeremy Hoffman, the Science Museum of Virginia’s earth and climate scientist. This dude is an actual, literal scientist using actual, literal SCIENCE to make Richmond a better place to live. I think that’s rad. He’s a good follow on Twitter, too.
The Virginia Mercury’s Mechelle Hankerson explains how the state’s new African-American Advisory Board works and what it has the power to do. You could take a cynical view on the limited power these types of boards have, but it’s better that they exist than not—they just can’t be the only part of the Governor’s administration working towards racial equity.
It’s a major award! I cannot read this article in Richmond Grid about BridgePark winning an international design award without thinking of the leg-lamp scene from A Christmas Story. The full BridePark plan is extensive but centers around reclaiming space on the Manchester Bridge for humans instead of cars—something we could do today for very little money that would get some momentum going for the rest of the BridgePark project. Over on their website you can read more about the full BridgePark plan, which, as far as I know, does not involve any cabaret lighting (but maybe it should!).
RTD opinion pages, it’s been a awhile! I certainly don’t love this piece that’s titled “Hugging makes Joe Biden who he is” and ends with “I hope he keeps on hugging.” I do not hope that! A huge thing, never mentioned in this piece: consent.
Congratulations to Wahoos everywhere! Last night the UVA men’s basketball team defeated Texas Tech in overtime to claim their first national championship. What a good and satisfying redemptive arc for the Cavs to win it all just one year after they became the very first #1-seed team to lose to a #16-seed in the NCAA tournament. You can watch highlights from last night’s game over on ESPN.
This morning's longread
From the Virginia Mercury comes this great piece about environmental justice, the Governor, and equity. Now that I think about it, two of the best pieces I’ve read about Virginia’s executive branch and blackface have come from the Mercury—the first, this piece by Samantha Willis back on February 13th.
Whenever I discuss environmental justice, I often tell people, and even have to remind my friends within the environmental community, that the inequities we see in the environment are but one of many stressors black people endure and live with every day of their lives. But these stressors of housing, wealth, education and environmental inequities are inextricably bound to one another. The arc on the journey towards justice is long for each of these movements. And they face one common obstacle — the lack of power. You have communities divided by race, intentionally. Black and brown families live in poorer and substandard homes. The school systems in black and brown communities are underfunded and rundown. The land in these communities are undervalued. So when your built environment treats you as “less than,” it is inevitable that companies, and government, move to locate dirty power facilities, toxic waste sites and dangerous infrastructure projects to these areas.
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