Ben Brown

December 18, 2014, 9am PST
However your read the tea leaves, if it's true the 'burbs are reinventing themselves in the new era, it’s walkable, compact urbanism that's providing a game plan.
PlaceShakers
November 24, 2014, 11am PST
Community conversations often devolve. Could it be partly due to the "midlife crisis" of the North American demographic? Can we look forward to a time of more social connectedness in the next decade, as we recalibrate to less "me," more "we?"
PlaceShakers
November 4, 2014, 6am PST
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."
PlaceShakers
October 20, 2014, 11am PDT
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.
PlaceShakers
September 3, 2014, 11am PDT
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.
PlaceShakers
July 28, 2014, 2pm PDT
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.
PlaceShakers
July 21, 2014, 11am PDT
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.
PlaceShakers
July 1, 2014, 9am PDT
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.
PlaceShakers
May 12, 2014, 12pm PDT
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.
PlaceShakers
April 8, 2014, 10am PDT
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.
PlaceShakers
March 11, 2014, 11am PDT
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.
PlaceShakers
February 19, 2014, 9am PST
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.
PlaceShakers
December 22, 2013, 5am PST
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.
PlaceShakers
November 27, 2013, 10am PST
Just about everything we screw up as individuals and organizations has to do with our determination to optimize both extremes of predictability and flexibility, writes Ben Brown
PlaceShakers
March 6, 2013, 8am PST
Over the next two decades, we’re going to experience the most dramatic changes in American neighborhoods since the post-WWII era. Ben Brown looks at the changes on the horizon for the housing market, and the role planners will play in meeting them.
PlaceShakers
February 10, 2013, 5am PST
In rising to meet America's changing housing needs and demands, not every community is positioned to pull it off. What to do? Painful though it is, Ben Brown suggests triage.
PlaceShakers
January 17, 2013, 6am PST
What do three-pack-a-day smoking habits, triple-decker cheese burgers and sprawl have in common? They all offer immediate gratification and deferred consequences. But now the bill's coming due. Ben Brown lays out some ways to face the music.
PlaceShakers
November 6, 2012, 5am PST
As the Sandy clean-up gets underway, could this be an opportunity for the Eastern Seaboard to apply some of the rebuilding lessons learned along the Gulf Coast after Katrina? Ben Brown shares some pointers.
PlaceShakers
October 9, 2012, 7am PDT
Ben Brown argues that design adaptations intended to accommodate America's swelling senior population by "aging in place" will be unable, on their own, to meet the challenge. He looks at one model of support that goes beyond universal design.
PlaceShakers
September 11, 2012, 5am PDT
Can community building deliver more jobs than trying to lure back an industrial sector that's been leaving the U.S. for decades?
PlaceShakers