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What do city budgets, wise infrastructure investments and mom and pop shops have to do with a livable city? Turns out, quite a lot. If our cities and our towns can’t make wise and measured investments in the right things, then it’s going to struggle to be a place that people can thrive in. How about progressive change, what does that have to do wit…
 
Part II of the conversation with Larry Beasley and Jonathan Barnett. Why do we even live in cities? There's been a lot of criticism about them during the pandemic which makes this the perfect time to reflect on this very question. Larry and Jonathan discuss this and much more in this second half of the conversation, the first half from two weeks ag…
 
If you were in a position to lead a plan to make your city more livable, how would you do it, what would you do? How would you go about instilling your vision for greater livability but in close collaboration with your fellow city residents, how would you do that? My two guests today for part one of a two part series did not have the luxury of doin…
 
As they say, a picture is worth 1000 words. And when something in your neighborhood or your city has been a certain way for decades or even hundreds of years, it’s easy to forget that a physical place or the places where neighbors come together to know one another can, in fact, change for the better. But this is exactly the power of reimagining wha…
 
How do we know if our cities are livable? There are many cities that you’ve visited that have felt much more or much less livable to you compared to the one you call home. And this is no different than how livable other peoples’ homes feel to you compared to your own home. But the difference with cities is that thousands or millions of people call …
 
What’s the role of transportation in the livability foundation of a city? Even more specifically, what’s the role of public transit in making a city more livable? In places where transit has long been neglected, many might even think that public transit might diminish the livability of a place because it becomes correlated with increases in local c…
 
In the midst of the unpredictability that has come with the COVID-19 pandemic, at least one thing has become quite true: many of the world’s cities desperately need more space. What kind of space are we talking about? Not necessarily private space, like a backyard, but a repurposing of existing public space away from only movement through a place a…
 
One of the most powerful and unpredicted outcomes so far from the Coronavirus pandemic has been the immediate change in how the world’s city streets are used. Pre-pandemic, many cities’ streets were mostly dedicated to moving motor vehicles back and forth in a monotonous rhythm of the daily commute. No longer the case, streets lay mostly empty from…
 
Do you need to become an urban planning professional in order to make more livable cities? Do you need to study civil engineering in order to help design safer neighborhood streets? The answer is, yes sometimes, but not always. The story behind today’s guest, Austin Gibble, will help give you a good example of being both a professional and non-prof…
 
The debate is not a new one and yet it feels like the world wonders for the first time, do dense cities inherently make us more prone to becoming infected with something like a Coronavirus? It turns out, the answer isn’t as simple as it might at first seem to be. I debate this with special guest Yonah Freemark. But the conversation still focuses al…
 
Part II of my conversation with Doug Gordon, host of The War on Cars podcast and local better streets advocate in Brooklyn, NY. In this part we get even deeper on the way cars have impacted our cities and Doug has some very good advice on how you can begin to push back on cars where you live. You can find Part I before this episode released on Marc…
 
Are we talking about a literal war on cars here...not quite. Cars do have their legitimate place in our cities. But in many cities they’ve become the only real and viable way of getting around for millions of people and that comes with many, many problems unleashed on society at large. So where do cars belong in our cities then? My guest today is p…
 
How does transit affect the livability of a place? Turns out, quite a bit. My guest today, Jeff Wood of the Talking Headways podcast, talks about how important it is to be able to experience your city through as many different transportation options as possible. A commonly held belief, particularly in North America, is that cars bring true personal…
 
How calm and enjoyable is your neighborhood, your town, your city? I’m not talking about a sleepy place where very little is going on, but a vibrant place that is still, even while bustling, calm and enjoyable for the vast majority of people who live there or move through it. If not your town or city, then have you visited one where you really noti…
 
What does it take to lead change? Ultimately, it means taking action and not just getting stuck thinking about taking action. For my guest today, Gary Reiter, this was a conscious decision that he wrestled with and ultimately decided on if he was to help make a difference in his neighborhood in Indianapolis. Gary is a dynamic guy with a ton of ener…
 
Bike lanes are sometimes controversial in communities because they’re seen as something encroaching on the space, efficiency and our limited time in getting somewhere by car. Love cars or hate them, for many places in the world they’re the primary and many times only current way of getting somewhere. And we’re not here to solve this debate once and…
 
Gentrification, cultural shifts, crime, unsafe streets, poverty and disconnection. They all sound pretty bleak especially when considered together. But my guest, Joanna Taft, has been experimenting along with her neighbors in the Herron Morton neighborhood in Indianapolis and have found some remarkably sensitive and effective ways to begin to rever…
 
A tough but real pair of questions: do you know anyone, are you good friends with anyone within a short walk of your home? And how much of your life can you live everyday without needed to leave it to buy something? In this episode, I interview Jacob Moses where he talks about these kinds of things for the neighborhood that he lives in Denton, Texa…
 
That's right, trains are greater than cars if you care about livable places. There, I said it - now for some background... Have you ever experienced something so transformational that it caused you to make a major shift in how you do something? My guest for this episode, Mike Christensen, had a large shift that completely changed the direction of h…
 
How do we make change of such massively complex ways of doing things for our cities and towns? My guest today has many thoughts about this and much practical advice to share. In this sixth episode, I interview Michael Schneider where we talk about the gridlocked streets of Los Angeles and how he started the non-profit and coalition to change this, …
 
What happens when you start using your bike to get to places? Turns out, a lot of unexpected things. In this fifth episode, I interview Lauren Crabtree where we talk about her “gateway drug,” the humble bicycle and how that got her to noticing how neighborhoods, towns and cities are built for or against people. Lauren is fascinating to talk to sinc…
 
How do you begin to get involved where you live? Our guest today, Dawn Olsen, just can't keep quiet about the details of where she lives. She just can't help but notice many things that could be better about her neighborhood in Indy and that has meant she has become a trusted voice as the neighborhood president. Dawn will inspire you with practical…
 
Laura Giffel, licensed clinical therapist, Bates Hendricks neighborhood president and advocate, and candidate for Indianapolis city council seat of the 16th district. Laura shares with us about her advocacy work in her neighborhood and will inspire you with practical advice on how to do the same where you live. Find Laura on Twitter @giffel4council…
 
In this first full length episode of Livable City, my friend and first guest Allan LeSage interviews me, Jim Hodapp. In this episode you'll hear from Allan on his views for what makes Chicago livable to him and what he feels is pretty special about this city. Then you'll hear some of the highlights of my story, how I got to caring about cities and …
 
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