Birmingham, Troy plan for one-city look with transit-oriented development

Birmingham and Troy will host a transit-oriented-development charrette (fancy French word for public meeting) on June 15-16, but as one Birmingham Planning Board member says, "it's not only about transit."

Those words came from Mark Nickita, an architect and urbanist. He points out that the neighboring cities need to continue to work together smoothly so they can develop the land around the transit station proposed for the border of the two municipalities.

The Birmingham/Troy transit center is set to be built in Birmingham's emerging Rail District, a stone's throw from Troy. That area traditionally served as an industrial hub before it began redeveloping into an urban center similar to downtown. The charrette will focus on creating development guidelines for the district and surrounding area.

"That needs to be strengthened and grown in the proper way so it doesn't look like two cities," Nickita says.

The hope is the transit center, which will facilitate everything from commuter rail to bicycles, will serve as a primary institution to tie the two cities together and open the door to further municipal cooperation.

The charrette will be held from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. both days at The Reserve Banquet Facility, 325 S. Eton St. in Birmingham.

Source: Mark Nickita, member of the Birmingham Planning Board
Writer: Jon Zemke
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