Archive for January, 2012

Sarasota's First Labor Day Regatta, 1947

Event Details

  • Friday, January 27
  • 6-8pm
  • Mildred Sainer Pavilion
  • 5313 Bay Shore Road
  • Free and Open to the Public

Sarasota County and New College of Florida present the Sarasota Oral History Project reception and viewing. Enjoy stunning photographs and wonderful stories from people who lived through the good and sometimes not so good times on the Gulf Coast. Those interviewed for the project include Lorraine Rife, Richard Braren, Peter Stultz, New College alum and Assistant to the VP of Finance Jono Miller and Herman Johnson, who provides maintenance support for the New College Fitness Center. Meet and mingle with the interviewees, the student interviewers and your fellow water heritage fans. An outdoor reception will follow this free event. View past oral history sound slides at www.sarasotaoralhistory.com. For more information, contact Amanda Dominguez at 941-650-1089.


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The John Ringling Causeway links Lido Key and St. Armand’s Circle with the mainland and downtown Sarasota. Its sleek design mirrors our expansive sunsets, and the bridge features protected cycling and jogging lanes. Hart’s Landing, tucked beside and beneath the bridge near the middle of the photo, is a local haunt of both fishermen and fishing birds. A beautiful place to be, and a beautiful place to look at.

Google Maps location: http://g.co/maps/rx8r9

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Freiburg Photowalk

Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. The "old town" is actually a carefully considered reconstruction, as the city was almost totally destroyed during WWII.

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It’s the new year, and not just any new year. 2012. The end of the world. Or just a year of notable changes, depending on how you translate ancient Mayan. In any case, the turning over of the calendar offers a chance to wipe the slate clean; to self-reflect, to identify the wrong turns we took, and to chart a new course. So, we at Laurel Park wondered what sort of resolutions cities might make if they were inclined to do such things. If Sarasotans were to come together and speak with a collective voice for the common good, for the present and future of our entire city, what might we resolve to do?

Well, the beginning of an answer might be found in, of all places, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.

Renowned for decades as one of Europe’s greenest cities, Freiburg has an important story to tell about post-war reconstruction, challenging conventions, innovating new directions in transport and energy, and maintaining its momentum to become an extremely liveable environment that combines tradition and modernity.

Freiburg was awarded the title of European City of the year 2010 at The Academy of Urbanism’s awards ceremony in London in November 2009. This prestigious award was voted by the academicians following a short-listing process, detailed study visit and a documented assessment report. In celebration of this recognition, the City of Freiburg hosted a study tour and discourse with the academy, producing a charter that advocates good practice in sustainable urbanism.

Known as the Freiburg Charter, the document details twelve guiding principles, four each in three categories: Spatial, Content, and Process. Taken as a whole, the principles suggest a city that continuously evaluates itself and adjusts its course to make sure as many people as possible can thrive without jeopardizing the quality of life of future generations. This, of course, is the very essence of sustainability. What makes Freiburg different than many other so-called “green cities” is that Freiburg puts its principles into action and has been doing so since it was leveled by bombs during World War II.

We’ll get more into all of this in follow-up posts, and we’ll also look at our fair Sarasota and ask how lessons learned in Freiburg could be applicable here at home, why such a charter is needed, and how it might help make Sarasota an even better place to live and vacation. For now, we invite you to think about the 12 principles, listed below, and to read through the whole document at your leisure here (it’s barely 30 pages with a lot of pictures).

The 12 Guiding Principles


1) Diversity, Safety, and Tolerance

2) City of Neighborhoods

3) City of Short Distances

4) Public Transport & Density


5) Education, Science, and Culture

6) Industry & Jobs

7) Nature & Environment

8) Design Quality


9) Long-Term Vision

10) Communication & Participation

11) Reliability, Obligation, and Fairness

12) Cooperation & Partnership

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