Glaeser, Pendall or Fulton

The names in the title are scholars. Put their names into the Google Search Engine to bring up the list of their papers and something you don’t see often without asking for “images”, a list of documents available for academic consumption.

Scrolling yields more ideas than the entire class of graduate students from every urban study, anthropology, architecture and urban planning program on the planet can read and understand in a term. An enormous body of work for consumption at very little cost other than the megawatts required for delivery

William Fulton, Rolf Pendall, and Edward Glaeser are among a legion of urban observers aligned with an even larger multitude of undergraduate students and colleagues on a band of words circling the planet. It seems to me, across the top of each image above, a story of their work explodes. Very quickly, the search reveals a random grab of key-words for a planet of cities that is unready to be a planet of cities.

“territorial governance, measuring sprawl, smart growth, urban sprawl, urban areas, cities, planning, density, geography, Brookings, metropolitan.”

All of our scholars will agree these are the issues, yet remain gleeful in naming the exceptions that has got to stop. The movement for cities will begin as one of those moments when these words are spoken quietly but routinely:

“You are in, and you (yes, you – so very sorry) are out.”

The time for neat, exploratory examinations of the trouble brewing will end when these individuals are hired for refugee analysis. The synergism here will be determined by the ability of social and physical environment designers to produce shelter, food, clothing and most importantly, strong opportunities for people and whole families to escape from the causes of environmental threat, including one another. Based on my reading they are not ready. My brothers are ready, they are not.

The Synergy Project

The answer has been right in front us all along. What matters is the place, and what happens in a place. To fully discover the importance of a place, it would be illogical to call it the earth.

The earth is big, as a system it is described best in terms of its solar system. It will be better to make sense of the earth in smaller ways, one with people we know who want and need create good places.

Rex L. Curry

Our Compacity

Density is a science term. Compacity is a measure places like the New York Metropolitan Area. New York City on the other hand has a fairly distinctive line around it, and that defines it reasonably well.

People know exactly where they are in the NYMA and when not. Boundary lines separate one thing from another and the stuff that makes the NYMA separate from everything else is tied to the density of things per unit of land or water. At some point, the area is not dense enough to be called metropolitan. These many densities combine to form measures of compacity, of everything we know and to the detriment of humanity, it still remains a vague notion.

Politics and Plans

Lines are also the subject of power. I am a researcher more than a practitioner. The lines in the world of politics and plans distinguish one leader’s area from another. Leaders may be political representatives or other types that reveal areas of distinct responsibility for services such as police, fire, and sanitation or how water, gas, electricity, and bytes serve your community. The lines are multi-linear they can define you by your zip code or the train line you use as equivalent to career routes to and from places that shape human life.

The Synergy Project

The premise of combining stories and writing about the compacity of urban life and the many opportunities it offers includes elements of personal political leadership essential to educate and inspire the will to create change on a scale so massive it appears impossible. It is not.