Posts Tagged ‘urban village’

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There are interesting stirrings afoot in the United States these days. From the Tea Party movement to the current Occupy Wall Street protests, Americans are making themselves heard. These two populist uprisings are generally thought to have opposing idealogical foundations, but maybe they share more common ground than is obvious at first glance. The Tea Party is a reaction to perceived government mismanagement, while the Wall Street protests are reactions to perceived corporate greed. In both cases those elected or appointed to powerful positions are being taken to task by the general public. Both are evidence that American democracy hasn’t gone the way of the dodo. Both are proof that we have not become an apathetic people. These are good things!

For those of you who might be interested in attending an Occupy Together event, whether in support or in dissent, Occupy Sarasota will meet today at 10am at the corners of Main Street and Orange Avenue.

While the individuals employed by Laurel Park Management have their own opinions (and will be happy to discuss them with you if approached on the street), LPM itself is more concerned with the airing and sharing of those opinions in a constructive manner—public discussion being one of the core attributes of a vital urban neighborhood—than with supporting any particular political party or movement. We hope Laurel Park will always be a place where neighbors of all political leanings meet and debate and challenge and uplift one another.


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We at Laurel Park Management aren’t out to save the world. We know that task is a little tall for a rental management company. Like most of you, we’re trying to do our jobs well and support our families. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be conscious of our actions, of their consequences. It doesn’t mean we can’t act responsibly and do our part to lessen our impact on this beautiful part of the world that we are so fortunate to inhabit.

Last week’s post was obviously tongue-in-cheek…The Onion is, after all, a satirical publication. But all good satire is rooted in truth, and the truth is that even as busy as our live sometimes get, there is always time to stop, think, and decide whether the action we are about to take is truly the right one.

LPM does what it can to support green living. We use long life CFLs, energy-efficient appliances, low-VOC paints, and low-flow faucets. We offer a recycling program with incentives. We reuse historic buildings rather than knocking them down to build new ones. We support a bikeable, walkable, urban village style of living. None of these things are terribly difficult, and all make a difference. What we’ve found is that green living is really just about consciousness. If we choose to pay a bit more attention and to educate ourselves, even a little, our lives become a bit greener.

So, to remind ourselves and to help those newer to the green movement, here are some easy ways to Go Green (borrowed from Treehugger):

Top Back to Basics Tips



  • Transport Having got a little reading under your belt, you’re probably itching to get started. One of the biggest impacts we have on the planet is a direct result of the way we move ourselves around. Fortunately, for many of us, this is also easy to do something about. You might consider walking, biking or using mass transit, at least a few days a week. Maybe you can convince your boss to let you work from home? Maybe you can carpool with a friend? If nothing else, you should certainly consider fuel consumption as a major factor in your choice of next vehicle. And when it comes to longer trips, flying is notoriously carbon intensive – so let the train take the strain wherever possible. Find a greener route from A to B with How to Green Your Car, and our Cars and Transportation section.
  • Energy With all the talk of solar panels, fuel cells, building-integrated wind turbines, and flux capacitors, it can be easy to think you need a million bucks to go green at home. Not so. Many of the most effective ways to cut carbon emissions are also the cheapest. Turn lights off when you go out, install energy efficient bulbs and appliances, insulate your home, and keep an eye on consumption. Once you’ve done all that, why not investigate if you can buy green energy from your local utility? Check out our guides on How to Green Your Heating and How to Green Your Electricity for a more detailed plunge.
  • Water This is where the folks in Seattle or the UK start switching off, but stay with us, please! Even if you live in areas of abundant rainfall, water is still a major ecological issue. Clean, drinkable water is precious and needs to be used most efficiently. Every drop of tap water we use also requires energy to filter, purify and transport, and that means fossil fuel emissions. And for those of you in dryer areas, you know only too well that water is becoming an ever-scarcer resource. Fortunately it’s pretty easy to do something about–install water-saving shower heads and aerators, turn the tap off when you’re brushing your teeth, switch to more efficient appliances, or collect rainwater for use in the garden. All this and more can be found in our guide, How to Green Your Water. For those wanting to go a little more hardcore, the Navy Shower, or the “selective flush” are worth a try–if the comments on these posts are anything to go by, you’ll be in good company!
  • Food We’ve all got to eat, and most of us do it every day. It stands to reason that our collective food choices have a huge impact on the planet, and with the global food industry shipping products further and further around the world, and with farming becoming ever more intensive, this impact is only getting bigger. Fortunately, there is a resistance underway. More and more people are getting interested in sustainable food systems. To bring it back to basics, there are four principles that can help guide you to greener meals: eat local, eat seasonal, eat organic, and finally, eat less meat. For a comprehensive guide to a more sustainable diet, check out How to Green Your Meals and the Food and Health category.

Want to read more? Check out the whole article at treehugger.com!

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We like to call Laurel Park Sarasota’s urban village. But what do we mean by that? Isn’t “urban village” an oxymoron? Not necessarily. At Laurel Park Management, we see “urban” as a condition of density and diversity, basically a place where a variety of people come together to make a variety of things happen. Urban places are often intensely built-up, like New York City, but they don’t have to be. And we see “village” as an approach to local life taken by residents, by those who get to know their neighbors, who stop to say hello when passing you by on the street, who lend a hand during times of need and invest themselves in the future of their community.

Due to its proximity to Main Street, Washington Blvd (301), Towles Court, and Burns Square, and thanks to its many involved residents, we think Laurel Park is indeed a budding urban village. At the heart of such a place is collaboration, exchange, sociality. We think a place grows great when the varied strengths of residents merge and mitigate individual shortcomings. Two heads is better than one, so to speak. And the shift to sustainability will unquestionably require a group effort.

Some say that technological and entrepreneurial developments, from the internet to social media and car-sharing, herald a boom of cooperation and interaction that may well rival the rise of cities in the first place. Don’t believe us? Check out the TEDtalks video above featuring Rachel Botsman. Interesting stuff…

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2011 Winter Forum

You don’t have to be a marketing guru to know that youth sells. Everything it seems, including cities, are sold to the youth. Picture crowded sidewalks in the vaunted Creative City—a bunch of stylish 20 and 30 somethings, right? But as important as the energy and innovation of youth is, there’s something really important that the young don’t have: the wisdom of experience. Isn’t this an area where Sarasota could perhaps shine even brighter? Could it be that the Sarasota’s “silver sector” is the key to economic growth?

SCOPE, our exceptional local think tank, thinks so.

Since early 2005, SCOPE’s initiative, Aging – The Possibilities has focused on the role of older adults as untapped assets in our community. How do we maximize both the substantial talent of this population and the opportunities for individuals to age in place while retaining an active and independent lifestyle?  Over 900 residents participated in this initiative.

SCOPE’s annual Winter Form on Aging will be held on Friday, February 25, at the Chelsea Center in Sarasota. Featured speakers are Drs. George Vaillant from Harvard Medical School and Helen Kivnick from the University of Minnesota. Interested in how Sarasota might be able to grow its economy on the strength of its senior citizens? Check out SCOPE’s website for more information and to sign up for the winter forum.

SRQ has always attracted successful retirees from diverse professional backgrounds. And in recent years, anchored by the success of New College and Ringling School of Art & Design, a young creative class has indeed been developing. Aren’t there ways to bring them together more (through mentoring, or even collaborative efforts)? To encourage a greater sense of community across boundaries such as age (and, likely, aesthetics)? To involve everyone who’s willing in the building of an urban village? We’ve seen glimpses of it first hand in Laurel Park, where hipsters, families, and retirees live cheek to cheek. But couldn’t different demographic groups combine their respective strengths and leverage them into something really dynamic?

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What is a walkable neighborhood, and why should anybody want one? Here’s what walkscore.com has to say:

Picture a walkable neighborhood. You lose weight each time you walk to the grocery store. You stumble home from last call without waiting for a cab. You spend less money on your car—or you don’t own a car. When you shop, you support your local economy. You talk to your neighbors.

Walkscore believes that walkable neighborhoods are essential to the health of cities and citizens alike. We here at Laurel Park Management agree. Walkscore gives Laurel Park a rating of 92 out of 100, meaning that virtually everything one wants or needs is within arm’s (or in this case foot’s) reach. From any of Laurel Park Management’s Downtown Sarasota apartments, residents can walk to grocery stores, restaurants, shopping, movies, parks, services, and just about everything else. That’s why we call Laurel Park Sarasota’s urban village.

check out Laurel Park’s Walkscore rating at walkscore.com

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Owned and operated by local green builder Devin Rutkowski, LPM manages nearly sixty apartments, cottages, and bungalows in Historic Laurel Park, Downtown Sarasota’s urban village. Our unique properties exude historic charm and feature many green amenities including energy-efficient appliances and lighting, low-VOC paints, and low-flow fixtures. We also offer a recycling program with incentives.

LPM is committed to green living, and encourages you to join us. Laurel Park feels like a quiet residential village, but its proximity to Main Street and Downtown Sarasota enables residents to live virtually car free. Bicycling and walking is not only better for the environment, it’s better for our own health and better for our community. Interested in learning more about green living? Stop by the office and say hello.

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Looking for a place to call home? Want to be able to walk to Main Street and Downtown Sarasota? Curious about this whole Urban Village thing? Laurel Park Management welcomes you.

We have studios, 1BD and 2BD apartments, cottages, and bungalows for rent throughout Sarasota’s Historic Laurel Park neighborhood. All units are close to bus lines, within walking distance of Main Street, Burns Square, Payne Park, the Bayfront, and everything Downtown Sarasota has to offer. New College, Ringling College, USF, Asolo, and East-West College are all within a ten-minute drive or a twenty-minute bike ride.

Most units have been completely updated, with many featuring hardwood or tile flooring, laundry facilities, and energy-efficient lighting, fixtures, and appliances. Pet policy varies by property. Students are welcome.

Feel free to call us at 941-906-7609 or email us for more info.

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