Sunday, January 6th, 2013

The Urbanophile 2012 Year in Review

Well, we’ve closed the books on another year here at Urbanophile HQ. Thank you so much for your readership and all the comment contributions. I truly value your attention and participation. Before moving forward with new posts for 2013, as usual I’d like to first take a look back and highlight some of the best of 2012 in case you missed them.

Vancouver: An Olympics Urbanist Preview – a brief look at Vancouver from Jarrett Walker of Human Transit fame.

From Naptown to Super City – A look at the transformation of Indianapolis through sports, with lessons for other cities in great strategic decision making and execution.
The Reasons Behind Detroit’s Decline – in one of the year’s most popular pieces, planner Pete Saunders gives his take on the unique planning features that facilitated the decline of Detroit.

What Exactly Does an Infrastructure Bank Do For Us Anyway? – I ask some questions about infrastructure banks to which I’ve yet to receive fully compelling answers.

The OECD Reviews Chicago – A look at the colossal OECD “territorial review” of Chicago.
Re-Branding Indianapolis Through Humanitarian Efforts – a look at soft-power branding by Kelly Campbell.

The Second-Rate City? – A tough look at Chicago that appeared in the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal. Without a doubt my most widely read piece this year.
The State of Chicago – This month I also kicked off a mammoth 20 part series that examined some of the themes from my City Journal piece in more depth.

Why I Don’t Live in Indianapolis – A jeremiad against poor urban design and low standards in Indy.
Why Technology Is Driving More Urban Redevelopment – The increasing presence of tech and venture capital in urban centers, as relayed by LA based venture capitalist Mark Suster.

What Is a Global City? – A look at how various surveys have defined this squishy concept.

The Brief, Wondrous Life of the One Dollar Bus – Jefferson Mao looks at ethnic entrepreneurship through the lens of a dollar bus service in Flushing.
Brief Notes from a Trip to Philadelphia – A surprisingly controversial survey of cheese steak land.
The End of the Road for Eds and Meds – Over at New Geography, I posit that the great growth wave in education and health care has nearly peaked.
The New Geography of Jobs – My review of Enrico Moretti’s new book.

Detropia – A review of the Detroit documentary Detropia.
Don’t Fly Too Close to the Sun – Speculation that proximity to a mega-city is in fact a negative, not a positive.

New England vs. Midwest Culture – George Mattei contrasts these two regions

What I Believe – A look at my “manifesto” for this site.

I hope you enjoy these – and I hope very much that you’ll continue to read and participate in 2013 as we continue on our mission here to help cities find real, sustainable, inclusive success in the 21st century, through serious, in depth, original, independent, non-partisan, and non-dogmatic analysis and discussion of the issues facing America’s cities and regions in the 21st century.

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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.

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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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