Praise For the Urbanophile

Aaron brings sharp insight to the challenges and opportunities of the nation’s heartland cities. Reading The Urbanophile always gives me a new angle on the issues our cities face.” – Carol Coletta, President of ArtPlace

I am a HUGE fan of Aaron Renn, his Urbanophile blog and his thoughtful opinions regarding urban policies. His research, insight and mastery of a wide range of relevant topics amaze and impress me. His awareness and understanding of the world’s best and most innovative practices as well as his critique of those that miss the mark provide an invaluable service to those of us who spend a great deal of our time in the trenches. His perspective and suggestions are often unique and timely. From wayfinding signage and branding to bus rapid transit, canal redevelopment and beyond, Aaron’s opinions have been very helpful in viewing Downtown Indianapolis with a fresh eye and striving for the best……For 35 years I have been a community builder, planner, practitioner and advocate for Downtowns. I have had the honor to learn from some of the best, including Jim Rouse, Mel and Herb Simon and William Whyte to name just a few, and work with inspired and committed public, private and non-profit sector partners in cities across the United States, including Indianapolis for the past 17 years. I thoroughly enjoy and have benefited greatly from knowing Aaron Renn and absorbing his good work over the last several years.” – Tamara Zahn, President of Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.

In the global future, cities are where it’s at, and no one is a better guide to this future than Aaron Renn. It takes a small-town native to really love cities and, at the same time, to be honest about them. This tone – love and honesty, coupled with deep scholarship and insight – that distinguishes The Urbanophile and makes it the best blog writing – hell, probably the best writing anywhere — on cities and what they have to do to cope with this new world of ours. It’s a bonus, and our great good fortune, that Aaron’s roots and viewpoint are both Midwestern.” – Richard Longworth, Senior Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and author of Caught in the Middle: America’s Heartland in the Age of Globalism

As a businessman turned Transportation Commissioner for Indiana, I sought out Aaron Renn because of his writings as the Urbanophile (found by my wife). His writings were occasionally critical of the department’s actions and sometimes complimentary, but I found his views generally to be balanced and apolitical (a rarity in state government). Aaron’s views often accented aesthetics which I originally thought to be frivolous. What I learned through our association is that the pleasing design and practical design are not mutually exclusive concepts. That “revelation” helped to create processes to coach design teams to prioritize with the communities and genuinely listen to our “customers”. Consequently, we were able to establish not only better community relations, but also more pragmatic design.” – Karl Browing, former Commissioner, Indiana Department of Transportation

You are such a great voice in the checkered urban debate!” – Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and author of The Global City and Territory, Authority, Rights

Smartly-written and approachable, the Urbanophile is a trove of urban solutions. Written by Aaron Renn, the site focuses on urban improvement strategies, with a mainly Midwest bent. With a global recession and continued problems in the former industrial areas of the United States, the fresh ideas and innovative suggestions outlined almost daily in the Urbanophile offer a cogent and achievable sense of hope for the urban areas of the world.” – Planetizen

Aaron Renn is one of the keenest, and most impartial, observers of America’s urban scene. Urbanophile epitomizes the basic common sense of America’s heartland cities – something sorely missed in the coast-dominated discussion of metropolitan areas and their future.” – Joel Kotkin, Distinguished Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and author of The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050

Aaron Renn is equal parts anthropologist, educator, satirist, and maven, who offers an often contrarian, but always fresh take on city life and urban planning in the context of the 21st century. He possesses the rare ability to present smart and compelling arguments that exude thoughtfulness and academic rigor, while at the same time, being witty, poignant, and approachable. The Urbanophile should be required reading for anyone who is involved (or interested) in city life, architecture, cultural renewal, economic development, public policy, transportation, art, design or culture.” – Kristian Andersen, President of Kristian Andersen and Associates

Few people writing today are smarter on this stuff than The Urbanophile.” – St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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.

Full Bio


Please email before connecting with me on LinkedIn if we don't already know each other.



Copyright © 2006-2014 Urbanophile, LLC, All Rights Reserved - Click here for copyright information and disclosures