Depending on your point of view, 2009 could be said to be the best of years or the worst of years to write about cities. The news was certainly grim: Cities struggled to balance their budgets, deal with foreclosed properties and provide jobs for their citizens. Still, 2009 was also a year when cities began to think seriously about sustainability, when young people took jobs at CDCs instead of investment banks and when cycling may have reached a tipping point as a practical, legitimate mode of commuting.
This was also a year of exciting additions to americancity.org: We introduced regular columns, as well as several city-specific home pages. As always, we focused on trying to find stories of best practices in urban areas around the country. We talked to experts, young activists and philanthropists; we walked the streets of Philadelphia and other American cities to find examples of progress and passion, and we planned and schemed for 2010, which holds great things for our magazine and our website (more on this soon!).
To see a roundup of reports, interviews, slideshows and features from 2009, click here. And now for the best commentary of 2009:
In her column Borderline, Maggie Tishman wrote about St. Patrick’s day. The idea that we’re all Irish on St. Patty’s is one successful marketing scheme, helping sell an unseemly amount of green and clover-shaped merchandise in the week leading up to March 17th. But the slogan’s social significance should not be overlooked on account of its tackiness