Urban Studies

Cities in Play: Empowering Citizens and City Governments to Work for More Responsive Public Policies

As populations and economic potential become increasingly concentrated in urban areas, cities around the world are on the front lines of pressing global issues ranging from inequality to sustainability. Tackling these challenges requires both ingenuity and collaboration between public officials and citizens—and cities need to ensure that residents are equipped to engage. One way is through technology. Technology can be used to improve transparency, accountability, and communication between city officials and their residents.

Company Towns in Russia: Past and Present

This panel examined company towns that arose in Russia during industrialization in the late 19th century, and those experiencing deindustrialization in the late 20th century. Volodymyr Kulikov compared company towns in the US and in Imperial Russia, exploring the social transformations that took place as farmers, peasants, and migrants entered the company-centered industrial world. Stephen Crowley discussed the current dilemmas of Russia’s “monotowns,” one-industry cities and towns created during the Soviet era that are often struggling to survive in a competitive global economy.

Brent Lindsay and Amy Pinto and Community-Specific Theater

A garage door dominates the cinderblock industrial storefront tucked onto Santa Rosa, California’s Sebastopol Avenue next door to the Criminal Baking Company and uncomfortably close to a major highway cloverleaf. Only a splash of purple paint and a seemingly handmade red sign suggest what lurks inside – an exciting scrappy theater company -- The Imaginists -- dedicated to art, activism and community, bringing theater to the disenfranchised and the disenfranchised to contemporary American theater.

Russia Is a Political Hazard Zone

Russia has not seen a protest of this size since 2012 or earlier: on March 26, tens of thousands of people went out into the streets to show their indignation at government corruption. Some 1,500 were detained and dozens prosecuted as a result. Unusually for Russia, protestors in more than 80 cities took part in the events.

Violencias y criminalidad en las principales ciudades andinas: Caracterización y políticas públicas


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Urban Life and Creativity: From Conflict to Cultural Innovation

What role does the experience of urban life play in stimulating creativity? In his newest book, “The Muse of Urban Delirium,” author Blair Ruble writes about the challenges of urban diversity, conflict, and creativity by examining the emergence of artistic expression in a series of specific cities at particular times. His analysis provides the focus for this edition of Wilson Center NOW.