here is a place where i (might) put random urban sociology related links/info/articles/cat pictures/etc…



these are from previous versions of the class. i am keeping them because i thought they were interesting at some point, and i want to keep them. no one but me is reading this anyway, so…


  1. tech guy in SF has had enough of the homeless riff raff!
  2. romantic comedies get the city all wrong (but i’m sure they’re still right about what matters…. love!)
  3. suburbs are urban places, too.
  4. public drinking legal in manhattan, thanks to black lives matter activism.
  5. the cat-mayor of carroll gardens (not actually that interesting, but i couldn’t pass up cat-related content!)
  6. who can use the language of the ghetto? bernie sanders? what would sociologists think? (WWST)
  7. time for some post-graduation planning: world’s best cities for millennials! (hey, that’s you!)
  8. death by gentrification in SF
  9. why do the office parks of the “creative” economy look so much like 1950s  suburbs?
  10. more city cats, this time a documentary from istanbul, kedi.
  11. romans seek to clean up public spaces along the tiber.
  12. hey all you young urbanites, in many places city residents are getting older.
  13. lots of fascinating stuff in the guardian’s ongoing series, “the story of cities,” now up to to 31 and counting (#30 is about amsterdam! and bikes! and radical dreamers!)
  14. and one more from the guardian (yeah, i need to diversify my reading, but i’m busy, so…), the right to the city movements across the world.
  15. LA becoming warmer and fuzzier?
  16. where millennials and the working class can no longer afford to live.
  17. is everyone focused too much on gentrification?
  18. cities try to save neighborhood stores from rising rents.

2015!!!!! (thus, some may be out of date/broken links at this point.)

1) chicago PD black site for secret abuse is uncovered. and chicago is second (city) to no one in the realm of stop and frisk (take that, nyc!)

2) is ugly architecture protection from the forces of gentrification? lessons from amsterdam

3) why do developers keep building sprawl? because that’s what people want (or so they say).

4) why people are moving into/out of london, in billboard form.

5) inequality in nyc, as told through the subway (thanks shuba!)

6) how broken windows policing harms people of color (thanks aliza!)

7) does gentrification help inner-city schools? nope!

8) no new taxes = lots more fergusons

9) the gentrification of skid row, and the future of LA

10) drake’s lyrics tell a story about toronto

11) gentrifiers change the definition of neighborhood

12) (most) cities growing faster than average US population growth, and austin, tx growing fastest of all.  (not surprisingly, not everyone sees this as a good thing) [of course, rankings are determined by how things get measured. by a different set of standards, the fastest growing city in america is a retirement community outside orlando, fl, called The Villages)

13) challenging white privilege at private schools in nyc. does it work? some are skeptical

14) culture of poverty talk in the nytimes. and a rebuttal. and another rebuttal. (hmmmmm…. it seems to be a bit of theme on the times op-ed page at the moment…) and while we’re at it, one more response to this battery of opinion pieces. finally (?), here’s a long, detailed response from a sociologist disputing one of the times’s op-eds (as well as the general tone of the times piece we read in class on the topic) (and here’s an interview with him on the same topic), that there was a period when no one studied the culture of poor people and places. and while we’re at it, here’s another rebuttal, albeit in a broader framework, in a recent new yorker. it’s long!

15) kids and their crazy urban hijinks!

16) the scourge of the nyc sewer system: wet wipes!

17) urban cat. (here’s the same cat at coney island)

18) zappo’s founder tries to revitalize (although he rejects that language) downtown las vegas

19) more gentrification in LA: echo park and pasadena

20) a return to company towns as a positive step? maybe not

21) squatting in nyc in the 90s

22) redesigning public parks in philadelphia to encourage diversity

23) fairly recent podcast featuring interview with harvey molotch of urban fortunes fame (i.e., “the urban growth machine guy”)

24) extreme segregation in cairo

25) mapping 60 years of changing cities in the midwest. or if you want to go back further in time, you could try london.

26) the ten best future cities in film.

27) how to sell a stolen banksy

28) efforts to build a utopian city that didn’t quite work. in cartoon form!

29) a photographic tour of murakami’s tokyo (in 3 parts)

30) abandoned cities aren’t just for “real life” anymore, now we can find them online, too.

31) metro areas with highest and lowest rates of gay residents

32) gentrification in SF –> a story about the eviction of station 40 in the mission, where a friend of mine lives (for whatever that’s worth)

33) and in this week’s this american life, we get “three miles,” a story of urban inequality, educational disparity, the trap of poverty, and… middlebury college? (and an unrelated, but still related bit of news, check out this cover from another college’s course catalog, which kind of sums op, inadvertently (we hope!), the main theme of the TAL story)

34) gentrification news from cleveland…  and from LA, the upside to gentrification: reducing racial segregation (wait, not so fast…)

35) italian-american museum moves to evict (almost) last italian american living in nyc’s little italy…

36) here’s a super(duper) long article on the complicated housing situation in SF. no easy answers here!

37) public art, town boundaries, and all the controversy they entail, right here in little old vermont

38) yesterday on the way home, my bus had to pull over to let a passenger out so he could throw up. yum! in other bus-related news, here’s a new rapid transit bus system in hartford, ct that has all the transit advocates excited…

39) grit as glamor, athens-style, and the threats of cleaning it up

40) maybe your generation isn’t as urban as we thought. (pssst. it might have something to do with class distinctions within the “millennial” age group)

41) in-depth stories from SF’s mission district (thanks, nina!)

42) food deserts and broken promises in brooklyn (written by middlebury grad)

43) interactive map of early modern london



1) “urban olfactory” a museum exhibit on the history of urban smells, including the deliciously romantic scent of 18th C Paris

2) the ny times real estate section: how the other half (of a percent) live. this is, of course, a recurring theme of the entire section, but here’s a recent taste, covering the housing needs/desires of young, multimillionaires…

3) while the cool urban explorers love to document the “horrible beauty” of abandoned buildings in detroit, now the city is getting on the action, creating a photo census of the city’s over 70,000 vacant properties.

4) economic activity in the US (what do you think those concentrated spots are???!??!?)

5) rebecca solnit (she provided one of our quotes on the first day) tells us stories from san francisco, google busses, silicon valley, and the changing city: last year and this year.

6) looking for empty buildings? try europe!

7) spike lee on gentrification  (in other gentrification news, landlord sabotage!) (and one of the countless articles streaming out building off of mr. lee’s “outburst” on gentrification in nyc, this one a “history lesson” of the concept)

8) neuroscience and urban planning (although i am not impressed with the effort to appropriate whyte as a psychologist and the role of “brain science” replacing perfectly good sociology, but so it goes…)

9) hipsters in the suburbs!

10) the costs and benefits of urban historic (officially!) neighborhoods, featuring bed-stuy, in nyc

[NOT ABOUT CITIES, BUT RELATED TO STUFF DISCUSSED IN CLASS] an article about fraternity hijinks

11) the atlantic’s feature on “american futures” which focused on development of “small towns” across america, with extended explorations of specific towns, including our very own burlington (which you have to keep going to (at this time) page 4). interesting (to me, at least) in the way it frames things in terms of placemaking and what makes a city successful.

12) the obituary of lee lorch, who fought to integrate the stuyvesant town housing projects in NYC. the obituary tells a fascinating story of how racial segregation worked, and was fought, in the american city. (as well as the challenges of working for social justice from within the academy.

{apologies for all the ny times links… i am in a bit of a rut at the moment, but will work to expand my range of sources so you don’t get too bored, or find them first (p.s. if you find them first (whatever “them” is, feel free to share.) but it does show how little effort it takes to dredge up a lot of “city” related news…}

13) dangerous streets! the conflicts between road users in the city raise questions about who belongs on the streets, as well as who the streets belong to, um, i mean, to whom the streets belong. (want to see a map of crashes in the city? look here.)

14) and, in connection to our discussion of “what’s changed” when we discuss the “culture of poverty,” here’s a rather telling example of the current debate (notice that this version is not racialized, at least not explicitly), from our dear friend nicholas kristoff.

15) what does smart vision (i.e., “google glasses” and what will come after) have to do with the city? everything! buried near the end of the larger critique of our “perfection” oriented technology, is a fascinating statement about how smart contact lenses can “solve” the homeless problem. with those kind of solutions, how could anyone not like them? and yet some people do, as evidenced by the recent “hate crime” against a wearer of google glasses, as part of the ongoing tensions over gentrification in that city.

16) when cities get too expensive, form a commune: here’s the brooklyn version of the story, and here’s a SF version…

17) (another in the series of reading material which might be used to help think about studying the “urban” in vermont) here’s a recent story on the “out of control!!!!!!” heroin situation in our neighbor to the south, rutland. next stop on their winter vacation in vermont, bennington.

18) wait, are there any cities out there besides SF and NYC? yes! here’s a story on atlanta’s food deserts.

19) back to nyc… the kitty genovese case, and all the “truth” it revealed about city life, revisited.

20) cities seek to help those resisting gentrification. lots of familiar arguments about neighborhood changes, as well as a bit of innovative policy ideas. but this quote captures a central theme of the current tensions in the city that we will confront again and again: “I don’t belong anymore.”

21) comparing cycling in the city across the european (and canadian!) metropoles…

22) marshall berman (a great political theorist who dies last year) interviewed in a documentary about NYC. here he is on graffiti, and on robert moses, and here’s a 90 minute lecture touching on these and more themes…

23) another city-related film streaming on netflix: the pruitt-igoe myth, about public housing in st. louis, its rise and fall and the lessons (not) learned, along with a broader history of the trajectory of the american city (trailer) [warning: sad!]

24) an alternative theory for both the rise and decline of urban crime waves, which is less dependent on both culture and police as explanations: lead.

25) the future of racial profiling.

26) the high cost of urban living and the effect on artists and art.

27) more news on the increasing evictions in SF, and the companies (y?) behind them.

28) show at the Met in nyc, featuring photographs of 19th C paris.

29) the new mayor in nyc takes on charter schools.

30) culture of poverty talk from former VP candidate (which set off a flurry of reactions, including a walkback from ryan. here’s a summary from paul krugman). (and, as another response, “how we built the ghettos“)

31) cars and urban public space

32) the transformation of chinatown in vancouver, bc.

33) turning abandoned houses into art in detroit, which are now the target of arson attacks.

34) ikea turns to urban planning in london

35) hey kids, priced out of brooklyn? time to move on up to the upper east side!

36) urban pollution, it’s not just for china anymore. the latest victim, paris.

37) as SF booms, the homeless problem doesn’t go away. and in other SF new, drones will start delivering your purchases! (for a surprisingly reasonable price.)

38) are malls over?

39) artists and neighborhood transformation in nashville.

40) counting rats in nyc.

41) how tech tools transformed nyc’s sex trade (warning, do not trust the work of “famed scholar” venkatesh — there are many, many critiques out there aimed at him (including being an fbi informant, misrepresenting his data on sex workers, misappropriation of grant money, etc.), but i thought this was interesting anyway, if we pretend the data and analyst aren’t suspect)

42) schools as centers of neighborhood renewal in baltimore.

43) tax credits for rebuilding struggling downtowns.

44) removing freeways from downtowns

45) before and after pictures from the 19th century improvements in street cleanings in nyc

46) we don’t talk to strangers in london, and that makes us great!

47) coffee shops as places for community or for screen-work? NPR visits little burlington, vt to find out how one business approaches that question. (this is not a great summary of the actual case, since it misses the commerce angle. sue me…)

48) a panel discussion on concentrated poverty featuring paul jargowsky (remember him? we read him about the culture of poverty), ta-nehisi coates (important writer on race in america and other things, you should be reading him), patrick sharkey (nyu sociologist), and sherrilyn ifill (naacp). there’s a lot here, if you find such things interesting and/or important.

49) the active failures of federal efforts to curb residential segregation. and (by the same author) the return of racial segregation in american schools.

50) an hour-long documentary about how mass tourism has “ruined” barcelona

51) talking to strangers in the city (thanks, kyle!)

52) urban political segregation in milwaukee (an example of similar trends in other cities, with “blue” centers and “red” edges)

53) rich parts of baton rouge want to start their own town. no more poor people sucking up their tax money!

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