Newsletter Archive

Part One: A Surprising Detour

I originally thought this email newsletter would be about interesting trends, articles and podcasts related to cities. It might grow into that, but for now, I’d like to take a more personal direction and write about things I’ve learned about cities as I’ve navigated a very unexpected transition from living in the grand metropolis of […]

Design Neighborliness

In Hospitable Cities, You’re Welcomed by Design

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend Rob and I were driving back after a long hike in Waco’s beautiful Cameron Park when we spotted a locally owned baked-goods truck a few blocks from my house. After living in this neighborhood for almost a year, I decided it was time to try their gluten-free bacon jalapeno […]


Snow Day: Can Your City Pass The “Winter Test”?

This article originally ran for Strong Towns. Nearly a year ago, just after moving to Waco, Texas, I found myself huddled on the couch with my roommate, wearing every possible layer I could and jumping up every few minutes to do jumping jacks and burpees. Once in a while, I’d peek outside the window and […]

Design Mobility Transit

Rethinking Normal: Five Ways to Explore Your City Without a Car

As more Americans receive COVID-19 vaccines, “getting back to normal” has become the phrase du jour. But when it comes to the design of our cities and neighborhoods, some city leaders are wondering if getting back to normal is truly worth it. Should we really be going back to relying on cars for every single outing? Some […]

Design Europe

Cities Are for Older People, Too

We’ve all seen them on our Instagram feed: older people photographed in classy outfits, reading a newspaper, sipping a coffee, or walking with their hands folded behind their back. It was not until Europe that I realized how unused I was to seeing older people out in the city. On street after street in Rome, […]

Design Mobility

The Hidden Inequity of Car-Based Design

Last Christmas, I had a lengthy and interesting debate with my mom about car dependence and the value of living in walkable places. Given her age and various health challenges, my mom was understandably suspicious about the idea of living without her trusty minivan. So I was surprised when she began sending me text messages […]

Design Regulation

The Cost of Adaptation is Too Damn High

One of the basic realities about cities is that they change. They change because humans change and keeping pace with this reality is at the heart of urban resilience. Resilient cities posses the ability to change with us as our knowledge, priorities and needs evolve. Resilient cities are those where the cost of adaptation is […]

Design Mobility Transit Walkability

5 Reasons Why Walking Your City (Most Likely) Sucks

As a traveling journalist, I have walked dozens of cities. I’ve walked the streets of Paris and Rome, the streets of forgotten small towns in the American South. I’ve walked exciting historic corridors and empty suburban wastelands. I’ve walked through ghettos, homeless encampments, busy intersections and luxurious, mansion-lined residential streets.  With every walk, I’ve discovered […]

Design Suburbia

Why proximity matters

The events of 2020 have made it obvious the role that proximity plays in how we experience our cities. The lockdowns of COVID-19 trapped many Americans in their suburban neighborhoods. The rallies and marches surrounding George Floyd’s death made clear the relationship between easily-accessible public space and democracy. The shift to remote work has anchored […]


The relationship between urban design and charity

One of the most well-known Christian parables is the story of the Good Samaritan. When a law expert asks Jesus how to inherit eternal life, Jesus reminds him to keep the law, summarized in the First and Second Commandments. “But who is my neighbor?” the legal expert asks. Jesus then tells the story of a […]