A show about cities should explore concrete examples and case studies in urban growth and development. To that end this we our hosts begin a series of City profiles with Jon’s hometown: Los Angeles. They discuss the city’s history, present, and future as well as some of the unique attributes of the place and what it’s like to live there.
Megaprojects, they’re the biggest and most impactful manifestation of infrastructure and urban policy on Earth. Our hosts have a discussion trying to define these projects and break down examples of the financial disasters and engineering wonders they create. They then evaluate this method of investment exploring if there’s a better way to build world class infrastructure and if these enormous investments are truly worth it.
Ben and Jon dive into second half of Walkable City by Jeff Speck. They examine the 10 steps of walkability and the four subsections: the Useful Walk, Safe Walk, Comfortable Walk, and the Interesting Walk. They apply these to cities they’ve spent time in and talk about the process of implementing the policies involved with these kinds of reforms.
Ben and Jon discuss the book Walkable City by Jeff Speck. They talk about why you might want to read the book and the first two sections that cover the general theory of walkability and why walkability is so central to the functioning of a great city.
Ben and Jon discuss the when, how, and why modern cities emerged. They go into many of the key technologies that facilitated this transition and their externalities, both good and bad. They then talk about some technologies that have shaped cities in the last thirty years and examine what challenges lie before cities in the coming decades.
Ben and Jon talk through the origins of cities, where and why they started and what advantages they brought to early people. They also discuss the impacts good and bad of shifting into an agricultural and settled society. They touch on the power dynamics created by the creation of property and how people’s lives change when moving into an urban setting for the first time.