Twitter Serves Up “Better Urbanism in 3 Words”

Fun with brevity.

(Photo by Timothy Krause, via Flickr)

This is your first of three free stories this month. Become a free or sustaining member to read unlimited articles, webinars and ebooks.

Become A Member

Try saying “community development block grant” five times real fast. The flexible source of federal assistance, critical to many U.S. cities, as Next City’s Oscar Perry Abello noted last week, is suffering somewhat from a lack of visibility amid the White House’s threats to cut the program. And it’s also a mouthful. As is, let’s face it, “flexible source of federal assistance.”

When it comes to talking about cities, the people who work earnestly every day on the challenges that face them can end up going down a rabbit hole of jargon, acronyms and portmanteaus. There’s a reason one of Next City’s most commented on articles so far this year is “What Planning Jargon Do You Want to See Disappear?”

Well, Twitter and one notable Canadian urbanist came to the rescue this week. Brent Toderian, city planner and founder of Toderian UrbanWorks, invited the Twitterverse to offer their take, ever so briefly, on what makes for “better urbanism.” What followed was a fun stream of tweets that hit all the nerd pleasure points — rule of threes, a chance to show off how clever you are, high-fives from your bubble — and also offered a dose of simplicity.

Toderian kicked things off Monday:

Many people replied (“urbanist” in Twitter bio, check) with succinct boos to cars or applause for transit and pedestrians, but there were also nods to other pressing problems like affordability.

Followers were treated to a raft of pretty pics too.

Sure, tweets aren’t solutions themselves. But with Twitter so often a platform for toxicity, users can use a few more rallying hashtags. It’s not too late to add your two cents; the thread was still going as of this morning.

Like what you’re reading? Get a browser notification whenever we post a new story. You’re signed-up for browser notifications of new stories. No longer want to be notified? Unsubscribe.

Janine is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer and editor.

Follow Janine

Tags: urban planningurban designsocial mediaurbanism

Next City App Never Miss A StoryDownload our app ×

You've reached your monthly limit of three free stories.

This is not a paywall. Become a free or sustaining member to continue reading.

  • Read unlimited stories each month
  • Our email newsletter
  • Webinars and ebooks in one click
  • Our Solutions of the Year magazine
  • Support solutions journalism and preserve access to all readers who work to liberate cities

Join 1106 other sustainers such as:

  • Anonymous at $5/Year
  • Brian at $60/Year
  • Paul at $120/Year

Already a member? Log in here. U.S. donations are tax-deductible minus the value of thank-you gifts. Questions? Learn more about our membership options.

or pay by credit card:

All members are automatically signed-up to our email newsletter. You can unsubscribe with one-click at any time.

  • Donate $20 or $5/Month

    20th Anniversary Solutions of the Year magazine

has donated ! Thank you 🎉