Bright Ideas, Big Cities


    In the new issue of Metropolis, Karrie Jacobs pens an interesting piece about how big-city mayors in the U.S. “have emerged as a sort of government in exile, putting forth a remarkably progressive, and occasionally visionary, domestic agenda while the federal government has been AWOL.” Here in New York we know all about having a mayor who thinks big, but Jacobs hardly mentions Bloomberg. She concentrates, instead, on Martin O’Malley, the former mayor of Baltimore, who spoke about how forming a response network to address emergencies like terrorist attacks or natural disasters was a job best handled close to home, since Washington “will be thirty to forty years catching up with this reality,” and San Francisco’s Gavin Newsom, who talks about green initiatives for his city and says, When you’re going to get serious about addressing the issues of global climate change, it will be happening, by definition, in urban cores…We’re basically following these UN environmental accords and doing it in the absence of leadership from our states and respective federal governments. As we look forward to a new administration, Jacobs concludes, our future president should take note that cities are no longer something to be fixed, but should be acknowledged as planning leaders, “not only to give them the succor they’ve been denied in the past eight years but also to learn from them how this country can once again move forward.” Isn’t it pretty to think so?
    Like Urban Renewal, Only Backward [Metropolis]
    Photo by Just-Us-3.

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