Thursday, January 5th, 2012

The Urbanophile 2011 Year in Review

Another year is in the books. As the new year dawned, The Urbanophile turned five years old. I continue to be amazed that what started as nothing has grown into the platform that it is today. Thanks to all of my readers for being a part of it. I greatly value your readership, participation, and feedback. I’m going to keep plugging away at my goal of creating America’s premier place for serious, in depth, non-partisan, and non-dogmatic discussion of the issues facing our urban areas as long as I’m able.

As we kick of 2012, I’d like to recap some of the highlights of last year on the blog.

I wrote a major expose on the culture of clout in Chicago, showing how it cripples that cities ability to achieve its ambition.
I made the contrarian claim that We Do Need to Build More Roads. (Posted at New Geography).
And Jim Griffioen shared a great piece blowing up the myth of no grocery stores in Detroit in Yes, There Are Grocery Stores in Detroit.

Here is a piece on the real problem of innovation. Hint: it’s not a lack of innovative ideas.

Will Wiles reconsiders Jane Jacobs.
Chicago’s city flag as a great example of civic iconography.

Chuck Banas examines the sprawl bubble.
And I examine how sprawl is a reason why we’re broke.

I look at why Chicago needs to look beyond just the Loop for economic development (posted to New Geography).

Why the central business districts of smaller cities face challenges far different from larger ones.

A look at some of the best city videos out there on the internet.
A point/counter-point series examining why states are anachronisms and why states still matter.
I tell transport advocates that they should face up to the fact that high speed rail is dead. (Posted to New Geography).

Angie Schmitt discusses the problem with boosterism.
I declare Megabus King of the Road.
A two part series on the so-called “programmer drought”: part one and part two.

I ask whether
Sagrada Família will be mankind’s last ever great artistic statement for God.

A look at the aerotropolis concept.
Marcus Westbury examines the city as software.

A review of the film Urbanized
Angie Schmitt asks whether food deserts are exaggerated.

Coverage of a cool project in Indy to repurpose stadium seats at bus stops.

Additionally this year two of the community development projects I worked on for Indianapolis came to fruition. The first was the first ever comprehensive Indianapolis Neighborhood Map and the other was the self-guided Walk Indianapolis Architecture Tours project.

Thank you so much again for reading.


3 Responses to “The Urbanophile 2011 Year in Review”

  1. DaveOf Richmond says:

    Thank you for the blog. Lots of great stuff there. I hope you keep it going for awhile.

  2. James says:

    I found this blog through James Griffioen’s piece, which was wonderful.

  3. Walker Evans says:

    Looking forward to more great stuff from Urbanophile in 2012 Keep up the great work!

The Urban State of Mind: Meditations on the City is the first Urbanophile e-book, featuring provocative essays on the key issues facing our cities, including innovation, talent attraction and brain drain, global soft power, sustainability, economic development, and localism. Included are 28 carefully curated essays out of nearly 1,200 posts in the first seven years of the Urbanophile, plus 9 original pieces. It's great for anyone who cares about our cities.

About the Urbanophile


Aaron M. Renn is an opinion-leading urban analyst, consultant, speaker, and writer on a mission to help America’s cities thrive and find sustainable success in the 21st century.

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