the results are in! thanks for your feedback today. my goal is to try and pull in enough of the preferred topics to get them in to the next 3 days without overloading you with work. of the 6 themes, i’ve decided to focus on tourism, education, and futures (imagined and real). to that end, there will be a little bit of a sampling of texts, which may seem like too much, but my goal is to offer them to you, and for you to read the one(s) you are interested in/able to read and for me to pull them together in class discussion. will it work? has anything worked yet?


may 2: the tourist city, a tale of three parts. 

miriam greenberg, The Limits Of Branding: The World Trade Center, The Fiscal Crisis, And The Marketing Of Recovery” [[this is the history of the WTC before and after 9/11 and its role in the changing nature of the city brand and its tourist economy. extra points for architectural disctinction!)

peter eisenger, “The Politics Of Bread And Circuses: Building The City For The Visitor Class”  (this is not about mega-events, but about city’s subsidizing big stadiums and the relationship between visitors and residents they create. it is a different sort of tourism, but a model for thinking about these kind of relations)

alistair boone, “what airbnb did to nyc” the new tourist economy — who it hurts and who it helps…


may 7: education in the city

i’m pulling together examples for this (not my actual area of expertise), but hope to have 2 readings, at least one of which will offer a positive model of what can be done. stay tuned…

Maia Bloomfield Cucchiara,”Cities Are Trying to Fix Their Schools by Luring the Middle Class: It Won’t Work

Shelley McDonough Kimelberg,”Middle-Class Parents, Risk, and Urban Public Schools“.


recent nytimes article on school choice and segregation.

charter schools in detroit


may 9: the future is now? the future is not.

mike davis, “planet of slums” (he’s pretty good at cramming a lot of information into a short(ish) article) — consider how this model of urbanization follows/diverges from what we’ve learned so far in class, and how the future of cities is more likely to be seen in the developing world than nyc or london.

rob kitchen, The real-time city? Big data and smart urbanism

[[i know you probably won’t read all of this, but take a look at these two (different?) visions of the present, which are also visions of the future. they are quite different, on the surface, but we can easily imagine how they might work together…. or we may easily imagine it together in class wednesday.]]



some random critiques of smart cities, since everything is a threat, and nowhere is safe…

data bodies in code space

stop saying smart cities

the future of smart cities (by saskia sasson, one of the most prominent urban sociologists)

too smart cities?

the dystopian city and urban policy

spectrum of control: a social theory of the smart city



things we won’t get to, but should if the world were not horribly unjust and cruel.

transportation (i know people want to think about highways (see this handy Vox explainer video), but i’m a purist: urban cycling! (looking forward to reading the book this summer)

college towns...

more to come…