Urban Studies | Wilson Center

Urban Studies

From Collards to kale: Redefining Washington's West End

I recently discovered reading a real estate advertisement that my neighborhood – D.C.’s West End -- was being “redefined.”  I suppose that it is.  Certainly development long ago “redefined” the area’s historic African American community out of existence.  I wonder who might be next.

From Collards to Kale: Redefining Washington’s West End

I recently discovered reading a real estate advertisement that my neighborhood – D.C.’s West End -- was being “redefined.”  I suppose that it is.  Certainly development long ago “redefined” the area’s historic African American community out of existence.  I wonder who might be next.

Living Diversity: Documenting Arlington, Virginia Inclusive, Safe, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities

On September 25, 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals intended to shape UN and other international development strategies and agendas over the next 15 years.  The goals replace the previous Millennium Development Goals adopted in 2000 to provide a roadmap for engagement with the globe’s most vexing development challenges in a holistic manner.

Living Diversity: Documenting Arlington, Virginia Inclusive, Safe, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities

On September 25, 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals intended to shape UN and other international development strategies and agendas over the next 15 years.  The goals replace the previous Millennium Development Goals adopted in 2000 to provide a roadmap for engagement with the globe’s most vexing development challenges in a holistic manner.

Performing Community: Diversity, Inclusion, and the Performing Arts

Dynamic cities have always produced vibrancy, but it doesn’t just happen. According to author Blair Ruble, it takes a plan built on a vision of community, diversity, and inclusion. And a primary vehicle for such plans is the performing arts. In his latest book, “Performing Community,” Ruble provides insight into the theoretical with real life examples from places like Washington, DC and Detroit, providing lessons for the cities of the future through an exploration of past and present.

Crossover - Urban Water, Urban Transport, Urban Energy: Transforming Municipal Services and Urban Infrastructure

Addressing urban challenges that lay ahead will require accelerating cross-sectoral learning within and between 21st century cities. Given the scale and costs associated with deferred  investment, cities must keep pace, finding more efficient ways to manage infrastructure and processes.

Any understanding of “community” loses texture and vitality as it becomes a term of art spoken too often in policy debates without much thought.

Recently, I have been hearing a lot about supporting “community” as a way to address pressing urban challenges, such as rising crime, entrenched poverty, and substandard education systems.  The concept of “community” – especially those deemed to be “sustainable” and “resilient” – has come to be a currency of the realm in discussions about cities, development, and rebounding from disaster. Any understanding of “community” loses texture and vitality as it becomes a term of art spoken too often in policy debates without much thought. 

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