As part of a project to gather useful and interesting sources of information about cities, I've identified a handful of print format magazines (with Web sites) devoted to covering urban issues. These are not academic journals; they are not blogs. (I'll gather those later.) Here's what I've found so far:
American City & County is aimed at an audience of city, county and state officials. Every month it covers a wide range of city-related issues, including economic development, technology and infrastructure.
Governing Magazine is a monthly magazine that frequently focuses on state government, but also has strong coverage of local issues. Congressional Quarterly, Inc publishes the magazine.
Government Technology covers issues such as congestion pricing technologies, voting machines, GIS, cyber-security, and features case studies about how local and state governments use technology.
Nation's Cities Weekly is a publication of the National League of Cities. The weekly is available in a downloadable format.
The Next American City is a quarterly devoted to promoting what it calls "socially and environmentally sustainable economic growth in America’s cities and suburbs."
FixMyStreet.com is a Web site where city residents can take quick, visible steps toward getting city problems fixed.
Let's say your neighbor's garbage carts have been overflowing for weeks or the sidewalk down the street is crumbling or your other neighbor just had their fourth loud late-night party this week. At FixMyStreet.com you can report the problem publicly—and, if you want to, pinpoint it on a map with a photo you've uploaded and a brief description.
Staff at the Web site quickly reviews your report to make sure it's a complaint that city government can do something about. They make sure you're not a crank. If you check-out, they post your report on the Web site and categorize it by location and type of complaint.
If that's all they did, the site might just be a good way to let off steam. But what happens next is key: the Web site reports the problem to the appropriate agency at the city on your behalf and then publicly tracks whether the problem gets resolved.
FixMyStreet.com is a Web site in the United Kingdom, and I have no idea whether it's working well or not.
Assuming that the idea works, I can't help but wonder if citywide neighborhood groups might benefit from launching similar Web sites here in the United States. (Are there such Web sites? I haven't found any, but I haven't looked very hard.)
A well-managed, well-publicized site like this could be an effective tool for groups pushing for more responsiveness from city government on code enforcement, road maintenance and other quality of life issues.
The purpose of pain is to say to the brain:
Ow! Houston we’ve got a problem…
But once we’ve got the message we don’t need it again and again…
What do we want? Symptom Relief!
When do we want it? Now!
When you’ve had enough of it there’s just no need to suffer it
Just pop a little caplet and Ibuprofen will buffer it
I've had a go with Aspirin, Codeine and Paracetamol
With Solpadeine, Co-codamol, with Anadin and Ultramol
I love them all, I really do, but I prefer Ibuprofen
There are other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs around
Your NSAID’s these days are quite thick on the ground
There’s Naproxen, there's Nabumetone
and, of course, there's Indomethacin
Each with much to offer us. But I prefer Ibuprofen
I love the way the compound sticks its cheeky little hand in
The way it blocks the enzyme that creates the prostaglandin
Reducing fever, inflammation, and mild to moderate pain
Yes I know it isn’t curative, in anyway preventative
But to dwell on what it doesn’t do is anally retentative
I know it doesn’t treat the cause, the cause will still be there
But it lends a hand, it puts the ‘pal’ back into palliative care.
It does exactly what you’d expect it to say it would do if it came in a tin
In an essay peppered with manifesto-like slogans in the December 2007 issue of The Atlantic, Hirschorn—an editor at the magazine—argues that "serious" news such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times print on their front pages needs to be "sexed-up." He says such news needs to be "marketed with the kind of zeal that so far only [media-baron, owner of the New York Post and now The Wall Street Journal Rupert] Murdoch has been willing to muster."
Hirschorn's right, I think. It's important to understand, though, that he's not saying that newspapers will survive only if they fill their pages with irresponsible, sensationalistic crap.
"Marina told me that one Sharik visited her in bed. Who, or what, this Sharik was I couldn't for the life of me determine."
What the hell is this? you may ask. These are lines from very short stories by a Russian writer named Daniil Kharms (1905-1942), who starved to death in the psychiatric ward of a Soviet prison during the siege of Leningrad.
The lines above are taken from a handful stories by Kharms published in the New Yorker. You can read the full stories--the longest of which is about 625 words--here. They were translated from the Russian by Matvei Yankelvich, Simona Schneider and Eugene Ostashevsky.
Zen Habits upsets expectations, which is a good thing in this case.
Zen Habits is a blog that offers tips on how to be more productive, but also gives concrete advice about how to do nothing. It offers lots of advice about doing things that will make you happier, but does so without promising permanent bliss.
If you're curious about what your city's underground infrastructure looks like but are too chicken to climb down into a storm water tunnel or to lift a heavy metal grate and drop into a utility tunnel, you'll want to take a look at The Vanishing Point.
This site documents one man's explorations of our industrial infrastructure and landscape. Much of his travels are underground in sewer tunnels, but he also explores power generation plants and abandoned, dilapidated industrial buildings.
At Walk Score, you type in an address and within seconds you get a map of your neighborhood and a "walkability score." You also get a handy map and list of all the grocery stores, bars, restaurants, schools, parks, hardware stores and more within walking distance of your address.
Today, September 5, 2007, stands six days between the anniversaries of two historic national disasters. Six days and two years ago—on August 29, 2005—Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Six days ahead six years ago—on September 11, 2001—airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City.
It's not a bad day to think a little about how people respond to disasters, and to marvel at the fact that people—on average—don't behave as poorly as one might expect.
Lots of research indicates that while people may think they'll respond with panic and confusion when disaster hits, they often actually end-up coping reasonably well. Despite this, many of us—including me—still can't escape the hold of what some researchers call "myths" about the public and human response to disaster.