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Top Twitter Feeds

Some of the most active and valued Twitter users in the planning and urbanism conversation share their favorite Twitter feeds.
May 9, 2016, 2pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The headquarters office of Twitter is located in San Francisco.
Anthony Quintano

Planetizen published its most recent Top Twitter list in January 2015. Since then, technology additions and the value of Twitter's stock has inspired a lot of commentary and speculation about the future of the company. All of that consternation, however, has largely remained in the background for those of us who rely on Twitter for news and opinion, and especially news and opinion related to planning and urbanism.

This current update of "Top Twitter" feeds should not be taken as an "out with the old; in with the new" moment. I stand by all of the recommendations on the previous list, all which remain active and valued participants in the planning-focused discussions on Twitter. If you're just getting started with Twitter, or if you're looking for new voices to follow, those recommendations stand.

For this year's list, however, we cast a wider net of research, reaching out to a group of highly active Twitter users, who also happen to hold high-profile positions in the media covering planning or positions in academia, studying and teaching planning. We owe a debt of gratitude to all of the people who contributed to this year's list. Given the busy schedules and outrageous levels of output that each of the contributors exhibits on a daily basis, it's safe to say that their recommendations imply an appreciation of the Twitter platform as well as an appreciation for the people who fill Twitter with constant news and entertainment.

You'll notice a few repeated recommendations, which we've left in place to illustrate the breadth of reach and appeal that's possible for those who excel on the Twitter platform.

Add the following Twitter feeds without hesitation, if you haven't already.

Emily Badger

@Wonkblog writer covering urban policy for The Washington Post. Outdoor lover. emily.badger[at]  

  • Kim Mai Culter, @kimmaicutler  knows more than anyone I can think of about the intersection of land use, politics and tech in the Bay Area, where all three are colliding to spectacular effect.
  • Geoff Manaugh, @bldgblog  Geoff Manaugh constantly forces me to change how I look at the world (and the city).
  • Jed Kolko, @jedkolko  a super-smart economist who doesn't mess around with data and knows how to write, too.
  • Jamelle Bouie, @jbouie  the lead politics writer at Slate has a not-so-secret passion for housing issues, which flare up regularly on his feed.
  • Kriston Capps, @kristoncapps  tweets about architecture, design, housing with attitude.
  • Daniel Kay Hertz, @DanielKayHertz  good source for data analysis and Chicago news (Chicago news being the most important news).

Laura Bliss

Writing @CityLab. One-time @NHMLA tour guide (holler w/ yr dino questions). [email protected]

James Brasuell

Managing Editor @Planetizen | Name is pronounced Brasuell, like Casual | Tweets are Casual, like Brasuell.

I've added a few more names to the Top Twitter list we created in 2015. In the category of people Planetizen trusts and relies on for breaking news, high quality writing, and thoughtful analysis on a daily basis:

In the category of satire that offers a break from the relentless seriousness of the news, while also offering serious lessons:

Jennifer Evans-Cowley

City Planning professor interested in participatory technology, smart cities, and the Internet of things. (tweets are my own thoughts).

  • Rick Robinson, @dr_rick  I love his stuff. He regularly blogs original content and shares interesting work around smart cities.
  • urbandata, @urbandata – Data geeks can get a regular stream of interesting data on cities.
  • Human Scale City, @humanscalecity – Interesting stuff on a variety of planning and urban policy related topics.
  • Harvey Miller, @Mobileharv – Regularly covers topics of GIS and sustainable transportation.
  • PewResearch Internet, @Pewinternet – Shares all kinds of interesting data on the demographics of internet and mobile technology use.

Media sources:

John King

S.F. Chronicle urban design critic. Author of mint-fresh Cityscapes 2: Reading the Architecture of San Francisco (Heyday, 2015). I took the photos, too!

  • Otis White, @OtisWhite – a good daily skim of interesting pieces broadly related to cities and planning.  All over the place both in terms of topics, and geography.
  • Inga Saffron, @IngaSaffron – Besides links to her always provocative criticism for the Philadelphia Inquirer (and her guilty pleasure "Good Eye" column), great for a smart eye on the nation’s often-overlooked 5th largest city, where architecture and politics are bare-knuckle sports.
  • SocketSite, @Socketsite – a San Francisco real estate blog that understands the virtues of being selective, and checking the planning filings on a daily basis.
  • Richard Campanella, @nolacampanella – New Orleans is lucky to have someone like Richard Campanella keeping an eye it. Great archival photos, and the occasional cultural geography essay that shines.
  • Karrie Jacobs, @KarrieUrbanist – For when I’m in that New York state of mind. One of the best architecture writers around, first editor of Dwell magazine and a caustic wit in the best possible way

William Riggs

@CalPoly Professor Focused on Sustainable Transport Environment Land Housing & Future Tech; Consult @sustinereurban; Runner Cyclist & Musician @billyriggsband

Emily Badger from the Washington Post. Emily's not planning-exclusive, so it's a diverse policy/politics/urban issues feed that is very well-rounded in my opinion. When I'm not getting information from the New York Times, I also find myself retweeting Richard Florida's posts very often. He always posts interesting and provocative graphics/graphs. Other than that, the top academic colleagues that I pay attention to are Michael BoswellLisa Schweitzer, and Jennifer Evans-Cowley.

Angie Schmitt

Urbanist writer, SJW, loudmouth. People before cars. @streetsblogusa @streetsblognet 

Some of our favorite traffic engineers, big thinkers and reformers:

For equity in biking and planning, leading discussions on race:

For comic relief:

Alexis Stephens

communications @PolicyLink, but these riffs are mine. been known to write about cities, PoC, economic opportunity, music, subcultures

Josh Stephens

Land use journalist, with hint of educator. Educator with hint of land use journalism. L.A. native. Contributing editor to @Cal_Plan. New to Twitter. Be gentle.

Chris Steins

Assorted tidbits from the Urban Insight team, edited by Chris Steins

Josh Williams

Urban Planner. P/T blogger for Planetizen. Former Curbed. Studier of post-war reconstruction, refugee camp design, and urban stuff. Map nerd.

Anthony Flint

Urbanist, fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, contributor to CityLab, author of Modern Man: The Life of Le Corbusier, Architect of Tomorrow

Top Twitter Feeds

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