Moving Beyond the Sharing Economy: The Case for ‘Sharing Cities’.

© CUNY 2012 The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture What can be bad about an economy that’s called ‘sharing’? Sharing is the antithesis of our current dog-eat-dog economy right? With a booming global population and mass-migration to cities, surely anything that encourages getting-along with each other is a good thing? But the sharing economy is under attack – though surprisingly not from market-is-gospel neoliberals. It’s being rejected by people who put [...]

By |2018-01-30T17:58:38-04:00July 10th, 2014|Just Sustainabilities, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Storying institutions: Understanding why things are as they are.

Stories are everywhere. We tell stories about who we are, stories about other people and stories about our past. We read stories and watch them on our screens. We even use stories as professionals, students, and academics in planning and policymaking, although they aren’t always acknowledged as such. Storytelling and story-listening are important both because they are happening all around us, whether we realize it or not, and because stories can lead to change. In [...]

By |2018-01-30T17:58:01-04:00May 18th, 2014|Just Sustainabilities, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Farewell Madiba. You ‘belong to the ages’

Nelson Mandela comes to Brixton. July 12 1996. I cannot even begin to fully assess the influence of Nelson Mandela on my life. From first hearing his name as a teenager to fighting against apartheid through disinvestment campaigns as a student at Durham University in the 1970s; from my outrage at the killing of Steve Biko in September 1977 to my exultation at Madiba's freedom from prison in February 1990; from my tears [...]

By |2013-12-05T21:42:16-04:00December 5th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

From Loncheras to Lobsta Love: Food trucks, cultural identity and social justice.

Fish tacos, vegan cupcakes, gourmet pizzas, and barbeque ribs, all served from the confines of cramped, idling, and often garishly painted trucks. These food trucks are becoming increasingly common sights in many cities throughout the United States such as Boston, MA, Washington D.C., and Chicago, Ill. Within the past few years, urban dwellers have flocked to these new businesses on wheels to get their fix of food that is inventive, authentic, and often inexpensive. In cities [...]

By |2018-01-30T18:03:05-04:00June 28th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Fixity or fluidity? Constructions of nature are in the eye of the beholder

I'm a Senior Scholar at The Center for Humans and Nature which is based in Chicago. Recently, they asked for my response to the question "How is nature critical to a 21st century urban ethic?" I replied that before I answer, I first need to ask the more fundamental question: “What is nature and how is it constructed by people in our increasingly different and diverse urban communities?” Read my full response here

By |2013-06-18T05:26:11-04:00June 18th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Introducing just sustainabilities: Policy, planning and practice.

This unique and insightful text offers an exploration of the origins and subsequent development of the concept of ‘just sustainabilities’. Introducing Just Sustainabilities discusses key topics such as food justice, sovereignty and urban agriculture; community, space, place(making) and spatial justice; the democratization of our streets and public spaces; how to create culturally inclusive spaces; intercultural cities and social inclusion; ‘green collar jobs’ and the just transition as well as alternative economic models such as co-production. With a [...]

By |2018-01-30T17:51:41-04:00April 23rd, 2013|Uncategorized|1 Comment

“A new redundant elevator is installed”………

For those of you who read my recent Blog Danger. Overhead Catenary Wires are Alive!? you'll understand I'm not an MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority), or more simply ‘T’ basher. I love it. We need it. I get it. I use it. But who's in charge of communications? Read the notice above at Porter T Station. Someone at MBTA Customer Communications please, please put me out of my abject and oxymoronic misery and tell me just what is a [...]

By |2011-09-21T19:14:15-04:00September 21st, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Equity? “That’s not an issue for us, we’re here to save the world”

People often ask me “why should race, class, culture, justice and equity play a role in sustainability; isn’t sustainability about ‘green’ things, you know, ‘the environment’?” My response is usually along the lines that irrespective of whether we take a global, statewide or more local focus, a moral and ethical or practical approach, inequity and injustice resulting from, among other things, racism and classism are bad for the environment and bad for sustainability. What is [...]

By |2011-08-24T17:46:03-04:00August 24th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Danger. Overhead catenary wires are alive!?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not one to poke fun at public transport systems; I love them, I use them in whichever city I visit, and I visit a lot of cities around the world. I was given Mark Ovenden's wonderful Transit Maps of the World and geekishly pore over it, memorizing details, recalling experiences I've had in the cities he covers. But the time has come to stand up, proud, and be counted in revealing [...]

By |2011-07-12T19:16:19-04:00July 12th, 2011|Uncategorized|2 Comments

People, plants and…..racism?

A recent edition of Yale Environment 360 got me thinking about something I've written about in the past, and which informed my Ph.D. In an entry entitled Alien species reconsidered: Finding a value in non-natives Carl Zimmer notes that: "one of the tenets of conservation management holds that alien species are ecologically harmful. But a new study is pointing to research that demonstrates that some non-native plants and animals can have beneficial impacts". He continues by [...]

By |2011-03-31T23:45:49-04:00March 31st, 2011|Uncategorized|2 Comments