The Spoke in Your Own Eye

My bike gave me my first sense of autonomy as a kid. Looking back on a childhood spent without a phone and without GoogleMaps I have to suppose that I used primitive technology like paper maps or my own memory to get from my house to a friend’s house. The useful world got a little

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Retail

Just after the financial collapse of 2008 many of the same people who had warned of the residential real estate bubble bursting started to warn of a bust in commercial real estate. Long before the Amazon Effect or Cyber Monday it was being pointed out that the United States had, in particular, orders of magnitude

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Not on the List

The interplay of data and personal experience are what I use to understand what’s happening to my community. What I glean from my own experience of course tends to be too narrow to wholly depend on, and most of the data I can find is often too broad to be sure just how accurate it

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The Belgian Bronze

Any long time reader of Rational Urbanism who is eager for me to get back to my roots will be happy to know that I’m about to repeat an old favorite. Overwhelmingly, when someone writing about urban issues, white flight, gentrification, and topics of that ilk uses the words “bad schools” or “good schools”, they

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Don’t Believe Your Eyes

A few weeks ago I saw this artist’s rendering of a development in a place called Berlin, Massachusetts: I skipped past it and the accompanying article a least a dozen times before I really noticed what was being claimed: That this rural/suburban town was becoming a mixed use community. I looked at the picture: I

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Double Down

Just admitting that certain evidence supports an idea contrary to our hopes, our dreams, and our previously held beliefs can be the hardest thing to do. In theory I try to be much more skeptical of evidence which supports my views than that which contradicts it but that can be very hard at times.  The

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Dear John Michael Greer

(Once a month John Michael Greer’s blog Ecosophia hosts an “open post” where he encourages readers to ask him questions about any of the topics he tends to write about. I always want to participate, but my Wednesday afternoons are particularly busy and so, by the time the weekend rolls around I assume he has

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Busophilia

A few weeks ago we were able to get out and do some work in the garden for the first time this season. We’re moving some beds from one area to another and exchanging them with a pathway leading to the back gate. You can see a lot by looking, and last year I saw

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Yes and No

I asked myself last week, if I had never seen a single newspaper article, magazine photo essay, or television news report on climate change would I, at some gut level, be aware of any particular changes in weather patterns here in southern New England. The answer was no. I recall the snowless period from the

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Hey Sofia

One of the problems with passenger rail is that for many people what they see in their mind’s eye when it is referenced is a steam locomotive from a movie out of the Old West; a technology of a time before the acceptance of the germ theory of disease, before the light bulb, and before

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