Ben Brown

U.S. politics are "...beginning to sound like a mash-up of Greek tragedy and Groundhog Day. All hubris and irony, over and over again. But the pragmatism required in cities and states is starting to look like an exit strategy."
Nov 4, 2014   PlaceShakers
Republicans and Democrats have connected failures to control spread of Ebola to the other guys’ actions. We’re requiring stressed-out bureaucracies to perform out-of-the-box with zero tolerance in arenas of mind-boggling complexity.
Oct 20, 2014   PlaceShakers
Most North American urbanists turn to Europe for inspiration and direction. Some of that brilliance, Ben Brown reminds us, is due to time and distance.
Sep 3, 2014   PlaceShakers
In the new normal, an affordable lifestyle is suddenly of interest to a larger circle of us. Here's what some interesting innovators are doing about it, between now and when our politics and legal structure fully align with our needs.
Jul 28, 2014   PlaceShakers
Life is hard. So are baseball, soccer, and a bunch of other stuff that require making good enough guesses to size opportunities and duck calamity. With apologies from Ben Brown for beating up on David Brooks.
Jul 21, 2014   PlaceShakers
Consider spending more time at the beginning of a community engagement process understanding predispositions that could turn toxic if we don’t keep the conversation about what unites neighbors.
Jul 1, 2014   PlaceShakers
A local Tea Party type is making a passionate pitch for what his group considers Constitutional guarantees against government planning, and I get this deju vu tug. I’ve been here before. I’VE BEEN THIS BEFORE.
May 12, 2014   PlaceShakers
Communities across the U.S. are increasingly frustrated at the persistence of mid-20th-century thinking about housing among local leaders even in the face of a mountain of 21st-century evidence that times have changed.
Apr 8, 2014   PlaceShakers
As they settle into early adulthood, the anticipated and far-reaching impacts of the Millennial generation are formidable. Community planners, get ready. Change is a-comin.
Mar 11, 2014   PlaceShakers
How can cities and towns narrow the gap between promise and performance and, in doing so, build a solid brand? Ben Brown offers a one step to-do list: Get stuff done.
Feb 19, 2014   PlaceShakers
Ben Brown confronts the politics of NO and finds -- spoiler alert(!) -- "to score, you need to shoot, and to shoot, you need the puck." Welcome to the waning days of Passionate D.
Dec 22, 2013   PlaceShakers