Menu

Blog

The Thriving Cities Blog exists to investigate the deep structures and ideas that underpin the ways we view and understand our cities. Whereas most blogs trade in policy debates or current trends, our goal is to go deeper. We want to examine the underlying forces that affect the possibility and limits of our cities to thrive. We aim to explore the beliefs, institutional arrangements, and everyday habits that foster commitment and care in places that are often endogenously conflicted and complexly interwoven. We believe that exploring these topics online together will help us unearth the elusive capacities of our cities—both individual and collective—needed in shaping our communities for the better.

Blog

A Brief History of Indicators Part 1

We are awash in indicators. From big aggregate economic metrics such Gross Domestic Product (GDP), to more socially oriented indexes such as the Human Development Index (HDI), and all popular demographic statistics—life expectancy, to carbon footprints and “happiness” metrics—we measure almost all aspects of our lives.

Blog

How do we know if a community is thriving?

Our search for evidence drove us to spend the last two years exploring how other community groups think about the health and well-being of their communities. This week we released our Indicator Explorer, an interactive web tool which highlights the most popular indicators* used by community indicator projects and situates them within our human ecology framework and current academic research.

The Good
The Beautiful
Blog

The Emergence of Place Attachment

Enabling local affections involves hard work from individuals, locally embedded institutions, a built environment scaled to people, and community-focused habits and practices.

The Beautiful
The Prosperous
The Just and Well-Ordered
The Sustainable
Blog

Walkability and the Thriving City

Aside from improvements to cardiovascular health, walking, particularly within one’s community, provides a myriad of benefits.

The Good
The Prosperous
Blog

Local Leadership and Civic Networks

The next time a city or community is struggling, rather than looking only to macroeconomic forces or national policymakers for reasons, we should equally examine the strength of local leadership and the texture of their networks.

The Good
Blog

Following Fido: Considering Other Measures of Gentrification

The most effective measure of gentrification will not be a magic bullet, but rather a constellation of variables aimed at addressing its processual and multi-dimensional character.

The True
The Prosperous
Blog

Thriving from the Center: Freeing Urban Innovation from Ideology

With patience, with equanimity, and with discernment, we can identify new potentials to provide opportunities for growth and prosperity to everyone.

The Beautiful
The Just and Well-Ordered
Blog

The Arbiters of Urban Taste

This past April, the Landmarks Law turned 50. Its legacy has been important for shaping the urban environment.

The True
The Good
The Beautiful
The Prosperous
The Just and Well-Ordered
The Sustainable
Blog

A View from the Twin Cities

Is MSP really Greater? A brief look at the Human Ecology of Minnesota’s Twin Cities reveals tremendous upside along with numerous challenges.

Pages