Author Archives: craigpurcell

Flexible Framework


Any city needs to offer a flexible framework for growth which provides maximum choice with minimum of bureaucratic overhead in order to encourage creativity and innovation.  Government needs to stop creating obstacles in order to protect existent stakeholders whom like and want to bar competition.


We do not know where the next new network or node will develop intensity within the polycentric city. A framework for growth must be adaptable, resilient and encourage new ways to use the establish system.


Existing treasured historic places are in need of protection from the rapacious self interest of developers  & property owners whom would take rather than give and contribute to the betterment of urban places — that said self interested “historic” property  owners installing cheap junk component part upgrades need to monitored closely as they incrementally break  poorly enforced preservation standards by installing things like cheap vinyl windows, plastic columns & pressed junk metal & fiberglass products which do not stand the test of time nor develop patina & a dignified aging of the city fabric.

historic patina

Stone steps & wrought iron in Bolton Hill, Baltimore


This authentic material issue is difficult to manage because it creates and NSA like Stasi culture within historic neighborhoods monitored by bureaucrats, neighbors & historic commissioners whom seek to avoid conflict and  willfully turn a blind eye to Violators.

visual territory copy

The outfall is of course a culture of complaint is created and innovations like collecting temporary public space for a Farmer’s Market around the Markethouse cannot be accomplished as complainers rule & bureaucrats and elected officials cower. Other cities manage to create Authentic Markets like Easton, Maryland but Annapolis seems to get have gotten in its own way on this one.

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There was a time when Annapolis did not allow sidewalk cafes in the mid 1990’s.  The same provincial and self destructive arguments are in play today over the Annapolis City Dock revamping and vision which cost the former Mayor his job.