Surprising Life in America’s “Dying” Cities

Here is the piece I wrote for which challenges the way we think about statistics.  In cities that Newsweek magazine declared to be “dying” we have seen amazing amounts of life and activity.  Recall the recent post that showed New Orleans was the “coolest city for startups”; on Newsweek’s list, New Orleans was the #1 dying city.

Check out the piece which includes the amazing Grand Rapids Lip Dub – if you have not seen the video yet, you must check out the incredible response that Grand Rapids came up with to being declared a dying city.

Why Streetcars Are Better Than Buses –

Check out 36 Reasons Streetcars Are Better Than Buses – nice piece from My favorite reason – “unlike a bus, a streetcar informs and helps citizens to formulate an image of their city, even if folks don’t ride it. It is a feature of their public realm. Because of this, these streets get greater public attention.”

TEDx Tampa Bay Presentation

It was my honor to be part of TEDx Tampa Bay for the second year in a row.  As part of the team that produces the event, I have been able to work with people who are passionate about the community and the spirit of ideas and engagement represented by TED.  This year I was also privileged to be one of the speakers at the event.

I have spoken around the world but I will say that TEDx was one the most pressure packed presentations I have ever given.  The tight format is part of it but mostly it is the pressure of knowing you are part of the global TED community.  The global audience for these talks is an amazing array of people who are also doing extraordinary things.  This is a group that you want to impress and I hope the ideas contained in it are worthy to be part of that global conversation!

Building Emotionally Connected Cities – Guest Post for

Last month I had the pleasure to meet Melissa Lafsky, the editor of We were both invited to participate at the annual Forum on Land and the Built Environment at Harvard University. She asked me if I would be interested in writing something for them and I leapt at the chance.

Read the column here. is a must read for city champions everywhere. The breadth of what they cover is as broad as the definition of nfrastructure itself. Check it out!