The Rush To Innovate!

Every five years there arise a New Plan to Innovate Eugene. We Old Timers are aware of this. We have seen them come and go……The Innovators! They always start out with THE BIG LIE that informs the citizens “There has been a three year conversation.”

Prove it! Who took part in this conversation? Produce some I-Phone pics? Here are the longest longwinded articles I have ever scene. The Brooking Institute is thanked for conjuring up the latest Pink Elephant – FOR US! They had their Innovative Fun. Now it is our turn. I believe Brookings came up with a cookie-cutter solution – for many cities! How innovative – NOT! Let us take their core claim, being, if you build the Innovative ZONE – they will come – the “workers” who will bump into each other at THE ZONE CENTER! As I have pointed out before, this is about attracting Big Relators to invest in the downtown, and thus they hire the Brooking Institute to INVENT ways to ATTRACT BODIES. Once the Eloi hear the siren, then they have to get to the Core by going through a gauntlet of Molocs, the Bum Brigade.

https://www.registerguard.com/news/20191205/does-eugene-need-to-create-innovation-district

The core idea these innovators put before us, is, bright people will go downtown to “bump” into other bright people – by chance. Do you see what is in the word BUMP? That’s right…….BUM! The chances you are going to run into a aggressive panhandling BUM IN THE ZONE – is high! If you’re smart, you will surmize other smart folks are not going downtown due to – THE BUMS – and not go there! Perhaps you should use your I-phone to make a date, verses building a $30,000,000 dollar – LABYRINTH RAT ZONE – in order to conduct an innovative social experiment.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innovation

Take note of the wood stockade that was erected downtown. It is a Bum Barrier – with planter boxes! There are signs all over it, with words invented to keep the Bums away, and not bother the Egg Heads. The signs inform the Bums they will not be able to come back and night and sleep in Fort Eugene, because a door on the structure will contain a trained Pitbull!

Allow me to transform this Fort into a WOOD BUS with wheels. There is no driver. In the driver’s area is a coffee shop. There are stairs that go up to the TERRACE. During the rainy season, a covered wagon tarp keeps folks dry. Consider a traveling conversation pit – with electric fireplace! A catering wagon can pull alongside. One can have lunch while traveling from downtown Eugene to the University of Oregon.

There are several of these Covered Wagons with planters in each widow. One meanders through the downtown. One goes to the Power Plant, then along the river to the UofO. During the Summer, a more road-worthy Thought Wagon goes out to Fern Lake. Bring your bathing suits!

https://criticalcommons.org/Members/ccManager/clips/zardoztouchteachingembodiedlearning.mp4/view?searchterm=technocinema

What every healthy male of all ages, wants, is go to the Geodesic Dome Innovation Center, where they will find The Naked Girl of their dreams. They also want to champion the cause of beautiful half-naked women. We males are hard-wired that way. The average male has a Sex Thought ever sixteen seconds. Homeless Males are no exception. For this reason our Thought Wagons will charge $3 dollars to board. The Coffee Hostess reserves the right to kick anyone off the bus.

https://criticalcommons.org/Members/ccManager/clips/zardozdestroythepasthistory.mp4/view

What I have designed is a BUM ELUDER! A rolling stone, gathers no moss. The Big Brain Boarders can look down on the Bums as they go by. If need be, you can go Road Warrior and put spikes and barbed wire around our Brain Trust. Of course some homeless activist is going to sue, so there will be a Bum Bus. It will be made of corrugated metal and chicken wire. There is no seating. Every now and then the Bum Bus pulls up to a faucet, and the bus is hosed out. This might be the more Bohemian Ride, where the most radical thoughts in the world are born. How about a mass shower and a washer and dryer? The Shave, Shit, Shower, and Laundry, Ride! Because this is not a permanent structure, the housed ones can’t protest. How many of them own a GIANT home on wheels that they drive to The Sisters once a year?

At night, there is The Surprise Destination. You might end up in a industrial area. How about live music with big throw pillows? Can we have our Sex Theme back? Think ‘On The Road’ and ‘Further’. How about a movie shown on the side of a factory, or, a light show? Fishing anyone?

It is my innovative mobile idea that eludes the trappings of territoritorial-tribe thinking. There is nothing to police and protect. You’re just passing through. This gives The Brainy Border time to think. Think of the money saved. This can be passed on in the form of contests. There should be PRIZES like the one the Brookings Institute received – at taxpayers expense. Were the people consulted about consulting – OUTSIDERS? The Mayor and City Council must not have BELIEVED there are intelligent people in Eugene!

THINK! What can go wrong – will go wrong! This is the history of downtown Eugene.

John Presco

“No! I won’t go! You can’t make me go to the Innovation Core! No!”

On Tralfamadore, Billy is put in a transparent geodesic dome exhibit in a zoo; the dome represents a house on Earth. The Tralfamadorians later abduct a pornographic film star named Montana Wildhack, who had disappeared on Earth and was believed to have drowned herself in the Pacific Ocean. They intend to have her mate with Billy. She and Billy fall in love and have a child together. Billy is instantaneously sent back to Earth in a time warp to relive past or future moments of his life.

https://www.oregonbusiness.com/article/real-estate/item/18699-eugene-moves-forward-with-plans-for-innovation-district

https://www.registerguard.com/news/20191205/does-eugene-need-to-create-innovation-district

There’s been a three-year conversation about adopting the economic development strategy of developing a district, but it’s still not clear if the city is ready or even equipped

Even after years of talking about it, there’s still not a clear answer to whether Eugene is ready for — or equipped to support — a specialized city zone dedicated to innovation and commerce.

That zone would be called an “innovation district,” if city officials and local stakeholders can agree where, how and if to deploy that designation. Steps were taken this year to advance the conversation, including an assessment of city assets and the establishment of a prototype governing body, but it won’t be until early next year at the soonest a decision will be made.

Calling a slice of downtown, or perhaps all of it, an innovation district would see Eugene follow a worldwide economic development trend in which cities recognize a naturally evolving pattern in commerce and research sectors to cluster together. Cities such as Portland have adopted the planning and branding strategy, but in Eugene there’s concern a boundary line would be exclusionary.

An innovation district, simply described, is the opposite of and an answer to a remote suburban office parks. It’s a special city zone nudged, forced or organically developed into a space where research, business, entertainment, living and, yes, innovation thrive because they all share the same space.

There’s usually an anchor to the district, often a research university that feeds and is fed by the businesses clustered around it. That cluster is what’s believed to drive the innovation — much is said about workers bumping into each other, sharing ideas and spreading the wealth in their community.

If all the cool, creative and city-defining stuff in Eugene already was crammed into one square mile downtown, that area probably could wear the innovation district label without anyone questioning it. But no one quite yet has figured out where — or if — any one part of town should be so labeled.

“The way we’ve been thinking about it is almost more like a heat map than like a boundary,” said Eugene Chamber of Commerce CEO Brittany Quick-Warner. “You have specific areas that do clearly have a higher concentration of activities and maybe should take a little bit more focus as far as filling some of the critical gaps that we have. But it sort of spreads out into the area surrounding it, as well. We’ve gone back and forth a lot.”

What’s in a name?

Anyone involved in the years-long conversations about a Eugene innovation district can thank the think tank Brookings Institute for bringing it up.

Economists and city planners at the Washington, D.C.-based research group have for years studied and advocated for innovation districts in cities worldwide. A few years ago the chamber even brought Scott Andes, a Brookings Institute technology and economic development researcher, to Eugene to speak about innovation districts.

The Brookings Institute still is refining its research, but what’s clear is economic trends and worker preferences are driving the creation of innovation districts, according to Jennifer Vey, senior fellow and the Director of the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking.

“Market trends that are really the result of a more open and collaborative innovation economy matched with the growing preference of young, educated workers to congregate in vibrant neighborhoods that offer choices in housing, transportation and amenities,” Vey said. “That mix of those two trends has sort of led to the organic growth.”

Tech people in Eugene know Mark Davis. He’s been downtown for years as a co-owner of CodeChops, a tech-focused cohabitating workplace for startups and remote workers. And he’s a Eugene booster, helping keep the city lively with events like King Pong, a giant version of the classic game.

He’s been calling downtown an innovation district for years.

“When the downtown revitalization happened and when the fiber (optic internet) came, I started referring to it as the innovation district,” Davis said. “To me, there’s a particular buzz that was happening downtown, maybe it still is, that felt new … it was really feeling like innovation was happening.”

The Barn Light Cafe and Bar on Willamette Street has been a tech hub for years, a place to meet and share ideas. Davis said a recent change in its hours now has moved an informal Wednesday tech worker group meeting to Theo’s Coffee House a few minutes away. The EugeneTech Slack channel keeps that tech collective in communication with about 880 registered users. When local innovators want to bump into each other, they usually can.

“If we formalize it, what’s the benefit? What’s the reason for formalizing it? If there isn’t a strong reason to put a name on something, I would say do the work of celebrating the innovation that already exists, and I would strengthen those networks,” Davis said.

Davis is concerned slapping on the “innovation district” label wouldn’t serve as more than a marketing ploy, and even Eugene Economic Strategies Manager Anne Fifield cringes at the idea of a label for the sake of a label. But there’s value in branding, she said, as long as it’s genuine.

“My seat is about growing economic opportunity for folks in Eugene, and that means increasing employers and the types of jobs that are available,” Fifield said. “Tying that to a unique description of what makes the core of our community interesting, whatever we call it, I think is helpful.”

Portland has branded the Central Eastside Industrial District, South Waterfront and South of Market University District as the Innovation Quadrant, a public-private partnership focused on real estate and business development, career pathways for an innovation economy, placemaking for a navigable physical landscape and resources for startup companies.

The Brookings Institute has worked with Oklahoma City, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, among others, to develop their innovation districts. In Philadelphia and Oklahoma City, Vey said the main concerns for their innovation districts was how spread apart individual assets were, which, unaccounted for, could be potentially fatal flaw.

And though Vey said there’s power in branding, there are cities that have labeled their particular downtown blocks without the real elements that define innovation districts.

“Some places want to establish an innovation district where the baseline really isn’t there and really may not be,” Vey said.

eved to drive the innovation — much is said about workers bumping into each other, sharing ideas and spreading the wealth in their community.

If all the cool, creative and city-defining stuff in Eugene already was crammed into one square mile downtown, that area probably could wear the innovation district label without anyone questioning it. But no one quite yet has figured out where — or if — any one part of town should be so labeled.

“The way we’ve been thinking about it is almost more like a heat map than like a boundary,” said Eugene Chamber of Commerce CEO Brittany Quick-Warner. “You have specific areas that do clearly have a higher concentration of activities and maybe should take a little bit more focus as far as filling some of the critical gaps that we have. But it sort of spreads out into the area surrounding it, as well. We’ve gone back and forth a lot.”

What’s in a name?

Anyone involved in the years-long conversations about a Eugene innovation district can thank the think tank Brookings Institute for bringing it up.

Economists and city planners at the Washington, D.C.-based research group have for years studied and advocated for innovation districts in cities worldwide. A few years ago the chamber even brought Scott Andes, a Brookings Institute technology and economic development researcher, to Eugene to speak about innovation districts.

The Brookings Institute still is refining its research, but what’s clear is economic trends and worker preferences are driving the creation of innovation districts, according to Jennifer Vey, senior fellow and the Director of the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking.

“Market trends that are really the result of a more open and collaborative innovation economy matched with the growing preference of young, educated workers to congregate in vibrant neighborhoods that offer choices in housing, transportation and amenities,” Vey said. “That mix of those two trends has sort of led to the organic growth.”

Tech people in Eugene know Mark Davis. He’s been downtown for years as a co-owner of CodeChops, a tech-focused cohabitating workplace for startups and remote workers. And he’s a Eugene booster, helping keep the city lively with events like King Pong, a giant version of the classic game.

He’s been calling downtown an innovation district for years.

“When the downtown revitalization happened and when the fiber (optic internet) came, I started referring to it as the innovation district,” Davis said. “To me, there’s a particular buzz that was happening downtown, maybe it still is, that felt new … it was really feeling like innovation was happening.”

The Barn Light Cafe and Bar on Willamette Street has been a tech hub for years, a place to meet and share ideas. Davis said a recent change in its hours now has moved an informal Wednesday tech worker group meeting to Theo’s Coffee House a few minutes away. The EugeneTech Slack channel keeps that tech collective in communication with about 880 registered users. When local innovators want to bump into each other, they usually can.

“If we formalize it, what’s the benefit? What’s the reason for formalizing it? If there isn’t a strong reason to put a name on something, I would say do the work of celebrating the innovation that already exists, and I would strengthen those networks,” Davis said.

Davis is concerned slapping on the “innovation district” label wouldn’t serve as more than a marketing ploy, and even Eugene Economic Strategies Manager Anne Fifield cringes at the idea of a label for the sake of a label. But there’s value in branding, she said, as long as it’s genuine.

“My seat is about growing economic opportunity for folks in Eugene, and that means increasing employers and the types of jobs that are available,” Fifield said. “Tying that to a unique description of what makes the core of our community interesting, whatever we call it, I think is helpful.”

Portland has branded the Central Eastside Industrial District, South Waterfront and South of Market University District as the Innovation Quadrant, a public-private partnership focused on real estate and business development, career pathways for an innovation economy, placemaking for a navigable physical landscape and resources for startup companies.

The Brookings Institute has worked with Oklahoma City, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, among others, to develop their innovation districts. In Philadelphia and Oklahoma City, Vey said the main concerns for their innovation districts was how spread apart individual assets were, which, unaccounted for, could be potentially fatal flaw.

And though Vey said there’s power in branding, there are cities that have labeled their particular downtown blocks without the real elements that define innovation districts.

“Some places want to establish an innovation district where the baseline really isn’t there and really may not be,” Vey said.

 

Follow Adam Duvernay on Twitter @DuvernayOR or email aduvernay@registerguard.com.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to The Rush To Innovate!

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    Who saw this coming? Shadow Inc. BLEW UP the Democrats! They pretended they had a innovative program in order to secure their salaries fron other Innovative Sharks. I am going t form a SECRET company of Bohemian Bums who will put these products to the test – before they are used! Iowa ended up with a wooden planterbox bus on cheap wheels. The hand count is on. The pic above whould be photograph of the year. https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/02/04/after-epic-nightmare-iowa-democratic-app-built-secretive-firm-shadow-inc-comes-under

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