Livability On the Other Side of the Tracks

This image, floating around various blogs, shows Florence Italy and a highway interchange in Atlanta at the same scale. Where would you rather live?

This is a post about transportation, but first we have to talk about homicide. As a Chicagoan, I get asked about the murder rate here pretty often. The first thing I say is that it’s really not as bad as you might think from reading the Tribune or Sun-Times. Which isn’t to say it isn’t […]

Putting the “Class” in “Creative Class”

Richard Florida addresses the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, 2013.

One question Livability often gets is: How can I get my city on your Best Places to Live list? We’ve given some suggestions from time to time, but say you want to put some ideas into practice and you don’t know where to start. I now have a really good answer for you: Take these […]

What We Can (And Can’t) Learn From Pharell About Creating Happy Cites

Can Listening to 'Happy' make us and our cities Happy?

I recently attended the “Doable Cities Forum” in Chicago. One of the speakers was Charles Montgomery, author of The Happy City. The book is a great guide to the research and practice of creating cities that are not only livable, but will also improve the lives of people who live there by allowing them the freedom […]

Why Gen X is to Thank for the Urban Baby Boom

Gen-Xers fueling the urban baby boom. Photo: Skeddy in NYC/Flickr

  Cities are having a baby boom, according to Trulia’s Jed Kolko’s analysis of recent Census data. Some seem surprised by this. Some are quick to say it represents a huge shift in behavior. Imagine, cities with children in them! Sure, it’s a big deal. But it’s also not surprising and not necessarily going to […]

The Growing Role of Livability in City Conversations

Skokie Village mayor, George Van Dusen and developer John McLinden pose before the groundbreaking at the Floral Ave. development

It’s a great time to care about cities because it seems as if cities are caring more and more about themselves. By that I mean that livability (small ‘l’) is entering into conversations in cities of all sizes. Here are some quick examples. I was invited to give a talk to the Downtown Committee in […]

The Have and Have-Nots of Walkable Urbanism

Throughout U.S. history, we have had divides. Initially we had a lot of land to conquer, and we drew a line between settled and frontier. That gave way to urban versus rural. As we moved from an agrarian society to a mechanized one, the urban versus suburban divide became the key differentiator and has remained […]

Guest Post: Our New Best Place

Matt's former and our current home in Chicago.

Before moving into Matt Carmichael’s former house earlier this month, my husband and I had lived in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood for almost 15 years; it was our perfect place. We bought our Logan Square two-bedroom, one-bath condo in 2006 at the height of the real-estate bubble, unfortunately. Like a lot of young Americans in […]

Why Do People Move? Here Are the Top Reasons for Relocation

I just became a statistic. Between 2012 and 2013, about 36 million Americans moved to a new home. That’s about one in every 8.5 people. Last week I joined the ranks of the relocators and uprooted my family from a slightly suburban existence in a big city to a slightly urban existence in a suburb. You […]