Last night marked the launch of Spacing’s Spring ’08 print edition, which is chock-full of good stuff. But sometimes we get more good stuff from our contributors fits into both our daily blog and print issue. And a review from frequent Spacing contributor Ron Nurwisah on the daily blog of The Next American City magazine was one of these good things, so we’re running it here.
Review: The Next American City Daily Blog
The Next American City is a not-for-profit that’s trying to get Americans thinking about new ways to improve their urban and suburban areas. The group writes editorials in major papers from San Francisco to Atlanta, runs events for architects, planners and interested citizens, publishes a quarterly magazine, and runs a daily blog that touches on many of the activities the group is devoted to.
Their blog is a dream for urban policy nerds. Daily posts round up city-related news on minutiae-filled topics such as zoning battles and transit reform. Of-the-moment topics like sustainable transportation and climate change get plenty of space here, too.
The posts tend to skew to a few U.S. cities. New York, America’s largest city, gets plenty of coverage and the blog is also keeping a close eye on the reconstruction of New Orleans. This blog isn’t just for Americans, though; writers and editors do their best to cover the dizzying changes happening in places like Dubai and Beijing. Canadian cities get a little bit of love too.
But let’s face it: American cities are fascinating right now for a number of reasons. Many cities (Baltimore, Boston, and even quaint little Boise) are trying to revive neighbourhoods. Urban planners, activists, and residents are wrestling with three different levels of government to make a better New Orleans out of the disaster of Hurricane Katrina. Nationally, the spectre of crumbling infrastructure and a potentially crippling recession loom over many communities. Finally, there’s an election that may see more people going to the polls than ever before. The writers and editors at The Next American City could be right; we might look back at this time and see it as the period when American cities changed for the better. The best thing is, with this blog, we get a front-row seat. –Ron Nurwisah
What are some of your fave non-Toronto city blogs?