Author: Rob Goodspeed

Going Forward

In the past few years, the posting frequency here has been low as I finished my PhD at MIT and completed my first year as an assistant professor at Michigan. This website has evolved substantially over the years, and I’ve decided there’s no reason to stop now even though I don’t have time for longer, […]

Read more

Urban Democracy, One Click at a Time?

The Economist magazine dedicated a special section of their March 1st issue to democracy. That essay observed that two decades after the triumphant 1990s, the political ideology is facing challenges. China’s rise has shown the economic efficiency of centralized power, and Russia, Venezuela, Ukraine, and Argentina are “perpetuating a simulacrum of democracy” rather than doing […]

Read more

Review: Ehrenhalt’s The Great Inversion

In the acknowledgements section at the end of his book, The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City, author Alan Ehrenhalt demurred he is “no Jane Jacobs” but says he followed her advice for researching cities, namely to study them through close personal observation using a minimum of preconceptions. The results of this […]

Read more

The Trouble With ‘Civic Media’ Studies

On the Radical Anti-Institutionalism of Internet Intellectuals I recently attended a talk by Ethan Zuckerman, the director of the MIT Center for Civic Media advertised as addressing the question “is digital media changing what it means to be an engaged citizen?” As a blogger, founder of three hyperlocal news websites, and now student of technology […]

Read more

Hubway Data Visualization Challenge

Curious about how people are using the new bike sharing systems that have been popping up in cities around the world? The bike sharing system in Boston, Hubway, has released detailed data for roughly half a million trips as part of a data visualization challenge. Sponsored by Hubway and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, competition […]

Read more