Top 10 BRR Blog Posts of All Time, and a Goodbye

 12.20. 2013 | As the year winds to an end, so too does this blog. This will be our final post. Building Resilient Regions was designed to be a temporary project, funded with a generous grant from the MacArthur Foundation. The goal was to bring together a group of scholars from a range of disciplines to think deeply about the ideas of resilience, regionalism, and metro staying power.

We started this blog far into the Network’s life, in April 2011, and with the help of a great team of writers at HiredPen, and the rich body of work that the members of BRR have produced, we’ve been writing twice weekly about all things metro resilience, including economic development, equity, infrastructure, immigration, and governance. Our plan was to use the day’s headlines as a pivot to discuss the deeper issue behind those headlines and add some context to the stories. Looking back on the posts,  I can see the ebb and flow of the defining trends of the past two years, from the rise of big data, to the tentative rebirth of manufacturing, to the foreclosure crisis.

We’re going to miss writing about topic. But the good news is that the site will remain as a repository and resource, so dig in and look back on the posts, as well as the great research on the site. To get you started, below are the top 10 posts since we launched.

Top 10 BRR Blog Posts of All Time

1. A Q&A with Kathryn Foster, the Creator of the new Resilience Capacity Index: A New Tool for Urban Planners.  The post on the debut of BRR’s Regional Capacity Index tool, which helps metro areas understand what makes them more (or less) resilient in the face of shocks.

2. What’s Gone Terribly Wrong in San Francisco? A post on whether San Francisco has outgentrified itself, and whether a regional perspective could help. “If we were one city, San Francisco could spend some of its incredible wealth on the things Oakland needs, like hiring more cops and teachers, not to mention more transit connections between the two cities.”

3. Crowdsourced Planning: Technology Helps Metro Areas Reinvent Community Planning. New York City unveiled a new tool asking residents is to submit ideas about how to improve New York’s environmental sustainability. 

4. Why Libraries May Be an Essential Part of Cities of the FutureIn today’s knowledge and information economy, libraries are becoming more important, not less, particularly as builders of human capital.

5. Regionalism is Not the Answer, It’s the Question. BRR’s Bill Barnes talks about the prospects of regionalism at a one-day gathering in Chicago. “Instead of ‘people should cooperate around regional housing plans, or governments should look beyond their power base,’ we should ask, ‘what is going on that makes regional efforts succeed or fail?’”

6. A New Image for the Suburbs. The startling rise of suburban poverty in the US., and the role of federal policy in helping suburbs adapt.

7. Bringing Production Back Home. A reblog of a post by BRR’s Ned Hill on the trend of manufacturing returning to the United States and which fields in Northeast, Ohio, are best positioned to capitalize on the trend.

8. Big Data and Urban Planning. A look at how big data can help design better cities, and the launch of the  Urban Center for Computation and Data at the University of Chicago, which is studying exactly how.

9. The Rust Belt AdaptsBuffalo and Cleveland are two of America’s favorite cities when it comes to kicking the “Rust Belt” in the shin. But recent studies are indicating that they are also, perhaps, bellwethers, indicating that smaller urban areas are just as capable of rebounding.

10. Is Razing Homes Ever a Good Solution to Foreclosures?  Cleveland thinks so. BRR’s Ned Hill responds to a controversial move to raze neighborhoods devastated by foreclosure crisis.


While the above are readers’ favorites, here’s a few of my own. 

And with that, we sign off. Thanks for reading.

—Barbara, Sarah, and Jon, and the team from HiredPen




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