The New Political Economy and Its Culture

Richard Sennett

I look at the practice of democracy not so much as a fixed set of procedural requirements, but as a process that needs to have certain kinds of symbolic markers and consummations that define where people are in relation to each other.

American Culture Facing China’s Rise

Jeffrey C. Alexander and Hans Andersson

How America has long viewed China exerts no small influence on which path Washington will follow in its material and cultural relations with the People’s Republic. 

Saving the Soul of the Smart City

Joshua J. Yates

Taking a hard look at the smart city requires that we ask not only where it might fail to live up to the promises of its boosters, but also where it is successful and how it might nonetheless still fail us as citizens and as human beings.

The New Urban Agenda and the Limits of Cities

Noah J. Toly

Many have suggested that cities should be the vanguard of global governance on issues such as climate, immigration, and terrorism.

Next-Door Strangers

Marc J. Dunkelman

Within cities themselves, new wealth has been greeted with great fanfare—except by those who see gentrification as a threat to the communities that remained during the decades of white flight.

Cosmopolitanism vs. Provincialism

Nancy Isenberg and Andrew Burstein

American politics thrives on exploiting confusion about real and perceived interests, whether those interests are tied to region or class, or both.

Sustain-ability?

Joshua J. Yates

There seems to be little agreement on what it is that needs sustaining, let alone how we should go about it in practice.

There Goes the Neighborhood

Stephen Assink

For Marc J. Dunkelman, the verdict is clear: “The township, in essence, is dying.”

Thinking About Homelessness

Stephen Hitchcock

Thinking about homeless requires separating it from the larger discourse on poverty.

Why Cities Need More than Big Data

Noah J. Toly

Can Big Data be harnessed for the pursuit of thriving urban communities and, if so, how?

Snapshots of City Life: Our Top Reads

Stephen Assink

We at Common Place over the past year read numerous articles on issues facing our cities and communities. Here are our favorite reads.

Back to the City! Back to the Country!

Stephen Assink

One of the most salient features of the post–World War II suburb was its localization of the American middle class and its propagation of practices of mass consumption.

Reflecting on “Data” and “Big Data” for Cities

Patricia McCarney

Cities can benefit from Big Data through city-to-city learning, the exchange of best practices, and improving the lives of their citizens.

The Power of Play in the Public Square

Wendy Baucom

The renovated Place de la République shows the power of the public square.

The Triumph of the Farmers’ Market

Stephen Assink

The "sidewalk ballet" of the farmers' market

Who Is the Smart City for?

Stephen Assink

In India's rush to transform, build, and even engineer entire new cities, critics are right to raise concerns about citizenship and access.

Confronting Climate Change

Stephen Assink

Reimagining our cities provides us an important opportunity to reconsider the various structures of urban life.

Neither Hero nor Villain

Julia Ticona

Uber’s legal troubles and the future of work.