• The Urbanist

    Selected articles from our magazine
Issue 552 August 2016

What’s Going On: Tensions, and Solutions, in a Changing Oakland

On July 7, more than 2,000 people marched peacefully in Oakland to protest police killings of innocent civilians in other parts of the country. In a city that is changing quickly, and where tensions run high, a peaceful protest is worth noting. We must pay close attention to the reasons people were marching — and work as hard as we can to fix the causes. Read More »
By Robert Ogilvie, Oakland Director

A Plea to End Racial Bias: A Mom’s Response to Police Violence in Our Cities

When people want to know what can be done to change centuries of institutional racism and socialized prejudice, I want them to know my experience as a White mom to Black kids. As Americans, we are all socialized toward bias. In my experience you can change your part in it, and it is critically important for White people to take responsibility for doing so. Read More »
By Alicia John-Baptiste, Deputy Director

Violence and the Urban Commons

There are times when the very fabric of society seems to be unraveling, and this is certainly one of them. San Bernardino, Orlando, Dallas, Nice. Oscar Grant, Michael Brown, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling. How are those of us who think about cities to understand this moment? Read More »
By Benjamin Grant, Urban Design Policy Director

Building an Inclusive Community in Times of Fear and Distrust

Our nation is suffering from a gaping wound reminiscent of the 1960s. During that era, my parents were active in el movimiento , working alongside Cesar Chavez to advocate for better living conditions, opportunities, safety and acceptance. My parents dreamed of a different future than we are experiencing now. We must return to being an inclusive community that provides a path to opportunity and mobility. Read More »
By Teresa Alvarado, San Jose Director
Issue 551
June 2016 to July 2016

June/July 2016 Urbanist

Can State Power Make a Better Region?

Planning and policy lessons from down under.
Sydney, Australia’s planning system is entirely different from the Bay Area’s, primarily because of the strong role of its state government in planning decisions. What can the Bay Area learn from its approach? Read More »

Learning from Australia’s “Millennium Drought”

California has made significant progress in advancing water conservation and efficiency; Australia has done even better.
Australia’s cities and towns survived their terrible drought, demonstrating world-leading innovation and exceptional examples of urban water planning and management driven by crisis. What can California learn from their actions? Read More »

Urban Field Notes: The Ocean Pools of Sydney

No one understands more than Sydney that swimming is one of life’s great pleasures.
The warm ocean is by far the most satisfying place to swim. Living in cold-water San Francisco means I usually have to settle for swimming in a pool, but the ocean pools of Australia, which I visited daily on SPUR’s recent city trip, opened my eyes to the fact that swimming in a pool isn’t necessarily settling. Read More »

Member Profile: Dan McKinley

A designer immerses himself in the life of the city.
Dan McKinley is the art director at McSweeney’s, an independent publishing house founded by Dave Eggers that publishes all manner of fiction, nonfiction and poetry . We caught up with him near the cozy and book-stuffed McSweeney's HQ in the Mission to chat about small cities, literary cities and his interest in making his kids’ hometown a better place. Read More »
Issue 550
April 2016 to May 2016

Beyond Boom and Bust: Where Is Silicon Valley Taking Us?

Our regional economy will evolve — but how? What potential problems should we be grappling with?
How long will the Bay Area's competitive advantage last? The Urbanist examines the boom-bust economic cycle and asks questions about the longer-term fate of our region. Where is the set of innovative clusters we call “tech” going to take us? Read More »

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