Hello and hey there. I’m thrilled today to introduce you to The Shared City, a new blog from Next City.
We’re living in a fascinating time. Citizens are pushing to open up local government. Data on our everyday movements are used to shape transit. Lawmakers are coming terms with shared cars and shared apartments, collaborative new ways of working, and creative new ways of funding “public” spaces. Even food trucks can be summoned via text message.
And running through all of this is a thread. The hard-and-fast roles that once organized city life — citizen, government, business — are increasingly fuzzy. Through original reporting, quick hits and analysis, the ambition of The Shared City is to dig into this moment, to route around boosterism and give these changes the critical thinking they deserve. What do things look like from the ground? What works? What doesn’t? Who stands to benefit? Who’s getting hurt?
As for me, your host, I’m Nancy Scola. I’m a reporter and writer who fixates on the places where technology and politics intersect. (I’m also obsessed with sharks, but that doesn’t come up as much.) My own urban background is centered on two great environments: Washington, D.C. and New York City. The former is where I made my home for more than a decade. The latter — well, Brooklyn — is where I live and work today.
But The Shared City is about all cities. I need your help to spot and understand what’s happening in the places you know. I want to hear from you. Via email, it’s firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter, it’s @nancyscola. Also, our RSS feed is here. Things are moving quickly out there, so let’s get started.
Nancy Scola is a lead writer for the Washington Post’s tech blog, The Switch. Scola’s writing on the intersections of technology and politics has been published by The American Prospect, Capital, Columbia Journalism Review, New York, Reuters, Salon, Science Progress, Seed, and other publications.