What's not broken in Chicagoland?
Neal Peirce, one of the nation's top journalists covering urban and regional development news, and founder of the National Journal, launched a new web site this month, Citiscope.org. He and his Citistates Group cohorts created the site as the "'go to' place to find the latest news and trends on fresh ideas, approaches, and ways to help the world's cities work better for all their people."
The site features case studies from cities around the world taking innovative and inspiring approaches to everything from housing the poor to welcoming immigrants. With fantastic storytellers on board such as Peirce and Jay Walljasper, it's shaping up to be a great resource.
Right now, Chicago's Climate Change Action Plan is the featured U.S. case study, alongside stories from Berlin, Singapore and Sao Paulo. This got me thinking: Often, we -- we being not just policy advocates, but voters, journalists, humans -- fixate on what's broken. It's understandable; when things work, there's very little impetus to pay attention to them. When things don't work, the motivation to act is clear: Let's fix it.
The problem with focusing solely on what's broken is that we sometimes miss opportunities to improve, expand on, and replicate what's working. Citiscope.org -- and another recently launched site, the Institute for Comprehensive Community Development, which features case studies showing how communities across the nation are solving development challenges -- remind us that we're not a hopeless lot after all. What's more, we continue to surprise ourselves with wonderful ideas that, if shared, can help people living in cities thousands of miles away.
So ... what else is Chicagoland doing that's worth telling the world? I encourage you to share your ideas here, as well as with Citiscope and the Institute for Comprehensive Community Development.