We’ve all been there: an ugly building goes up in a neighborhood we used to love. A street gets widened, taking away the last available sidewalk down that road. A proposition on the ballot asking whether we want road repairs to be funded by corporations or a gas tax. Another strip mall goes up where a wildflower meadow used to be. An old building downtown is put up for preservation or demolition, and a public referendum held asking which it’s going to be.
We take these changes in our everyday landscape for granted – changes that often feel like they are for the worse – when in actuality, we have a lot more agency over these things than most of us realize. But even when we genuinely want to take an interest and have a greater say in how our cities and neighborhoods are managed, matters of urban development, preservation, neighborhood management, and transit and transportation seem hard to research and, worse, dauntingly complex to understand.
Good news: there’s good news.
Read more →