A Beautiful Priority

For years I’ve taken students on trips abroad and there has been one recurring problem, long before the advent of the smartphone, which frustrated me: they would be so worried about recording their trip that often they weren’t truly experiencing where they were. With the smartphone we see it even at everyday events and in

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LuLu-lations

(My step daughter LuLu has long wanted a presence on my blog. She has requested some space here to write about her view of growing up in Springfield. Here are her ideas, only lightly edited by me, the evil overlord of Rational Urbanism) Urban Blues ​So I live in the city of Springfield, MA. Yes,

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The Stormcrow

“You have ever been a herald of woe. Troubles follow you like crows, and ever the oftener the worse. I will not deceive you: when I heard that Shadowfax had come back riderless, I rejoiced at the return of the horse, but still more at the lack of the rider; and when Eomer brought the

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Not Going Out Of Their Way (This Time)

You might recall the great pains The Republican took to point out that “Springfield’s” #13 ranking in quality of life by US News & World Report was really about THE REGION AS A WHOLE. Here’s an example of more metro level data expressed with just a little less emphasis on its regional character: From the

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Tug of War

(Apologies to Johnny at Granola Shotgun) The struggle for renewal along the region’s oldest stroad is visible. These photos go in order as you cross the Memorial Bridge heading toward The Big E fairgrounds: Crappy disintegrating asphalt sidewalk until…¡Chipotle! What’s a “build to line” again? Someone call Shel Silverstein: They razed a nice old church

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Rochester Americans

(That’s two AHL inspired headlines this month) I had the most interesting experience while hanging out at my favorite local farm last weekend. I was in conversation with a father who described how beneficial the experience of being on a farm had been for his “city kids”. As the family seemed clearly to be middle

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The Present, the Future, and That Other Future

I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. I know what I think is going to happen, and I know the vision I have, as murky and fuzzy as it is, for how we are going to get there but, having been wrong about many things many times before, I have no doubt

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Syracuse, Crunched

Read this: Did you catch it? Read the excerpts of this one now: There you go. You see? The Quality of Life ranking is for the METRO area, not just the city. People in Syracuse might miss that, despite the brief nod to “metro area” in the story, and walk away feeling good about their

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How Deep Does the Stupid Go?

As I think about it this could be the blogpost version of the movie “Inception”, but if you enjoy urban design and have a fondness for anachronism it could be worth delving through the layers. Worcester and Springfield (pronounced “Spring-Field”) are similar cities facing similar problems but all in all Worcester is ahead of Springfield.

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Read it for the Articles

Read these two articles (one and two)and peruse this list of car friendly cities. Take a moment or two. Synthesize the information. I start, if I’m being honest, with a tremendous, overwhelming feeling of schadenfreude lightly dusted with some righteous indignation and just a hint of despair.  Changes in mortality by region due to climate

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