“Cities are never random. No matter how chaotic they might seem, everything about them grows out of a need to solve a problem. In fact, a city is nothing more than a solution to a problem, that in turn creates more problems that need more solutions, until towers rise, roads widen, bridges are built, and millions of people are caught up in a mad race to feed the problem-solving, problem-creating frenzy.” Neal Shusterman – The Downsiders
The UrbanKind Institute is a research driven think and do tank dedicated to advancing practices, policies, and programs that are kind to urban people and environments. We use this blog space to interrogate some of the questions, reflect on some of the challenges and highlight some of the successes of urban life. From our offices in Pittsburgh, we seek to better understand the inevitable tensions between people with competing interests as they work to address problems in their relationships with each other and their environment.
Inadequate public education systems, stormwater management, community and police relations, inclusive economies, contaminated soils, childhood obesity, domestic violence, youth violence, climate change, opioid abuse, insufficient playspaces, contaminated water systems, aging infrastructure and scores of other issues continue to plague cities of all sizes and in all regions. Yet, cities continue to grow. The resilience and perseverance of cities is remarkable in itself. Still, we at the UrbanKind Institute believe that we can do better. One goal of this blog is to provide residents and urban practitioners with timely, thought-provoking critiques, insights and analyses of contemporary problems and efforts to address them.