Cityspeak

Cityspeak

Cityspeak features the visionaries who are designing, building, and reimagining cities as we know them today. From the shimmering skyscrapers of Hong Kong to the stuccoed bungalows of Los Angeles, cities across the globe develop through a familiar pattern. Like the cell cycle of an organism, buildings are constructed, demolished, and reconstructed in a chaotic choreography performed to the rhythm of each city. Join host Max Masuda-Farkas as he interviews the people shaping the cities we love, right down to the parcel, block, and neighborhood. Follow Cityspeak on Twitter @cityspeak_pod.

Episodes

September 21, 2022 24 mins

Marwa Al-Sabouni is an architect born, raised, and presently living in Syria. Despite the outbreak of the civil war in 2011, Al-Sabouni chose to remain in her home country, a decision which has shaped her philosophy as an architect.

Al-Sabouni explains how architecture can influence whether a society lives in peace or teeters toward conflict.

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Living with roommates is no longer a lifestyle reserved for college students.

In the last five years, as many as one in five individuals aged 40 and above lives with roommates, depending on the location.

Capitalizing on this trend are companies like Common, a real estate developer and operator of so-called “co-living apartments.” Instead of renting out entire apartment units, co-living companies rent out individua...

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Inclusionary zoning is a policy born of good intentions.

On its face, inclusionary zoning policies mandate that real estate developers allocate a certain percentage of new residential units to affordable housing. But do these policies achieve their intended aim?

Emily Hamilton, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center, argues that inclusionary zoning may not be so effective after all.

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Famed urbanist Jane Jacobs once compared the city sidewalk to a ballet, calling it a "complex order...always replete with new improvisations." Soon, this ballet will feature a new dancer: robots.

Viggy Ganapathy is the head of government relations at Serve Robotics, a company designing small, four-wheeled robots that deliver food from local restaurants right to people's homes.

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Alex Israel is the CEO and founder of Metropolis, a mobility technology company that has set its sights on the one of the largest, but frequently overlooked fixtures of the modern city: parking.

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June 22, 2022 25 mins

What does one do when cities stop permitting housing? Sue them. Dylan Casey is the Executive Director of the California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund, an organization that has set out to compel cities through legal action to permit new housing in California.

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Any parent knows that it is during a child's earliest years that one ought to be the most careful. What they eat, what they watch, even what they listen to are all factors known to have an effect on a child's development. Now, according to a new study, there is yet another factor to add to the list: where a child grows up. Anne-Claire Binter, a researcher at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, explains the impact o...

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June 6, 2022 27 mins

The rise of e-commerce and on-demand delivery has jammed up the curbside with delivery vehicles. Frequently, these vehicles are left double-parked as their drivers race to drop off everything from large packages to personal-size pizzas. Jordan Justus is the founder and CEO of Automotus, a company that is helping cities to eliminate curbside congestion through the power of parking cameras and computer vision.

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How to solve as stubborn a problem as housing affordability? Perhaps start by putting an entrepreneur, a technologist, and a world-famous architect in the same room. Bjarke Ingels, Roni Bahar, and Nick Chim talk about their latest venture Nabr, a startup on a mission to put more people on a path to homeownership.

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The design of school buses in the U.S. has remained mostly unchanged for decades, yet school buses make up the largest public transportation system in the country, moving 27 million children every day. Hear from Ritu Narayan, the founder and CEO of Zūm, a startup that has set out to give the yellow school bus a full system upgrade.

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Joel Klein graduated from public high school in Queens in 1963. Nearly 40 years later, he was appointed Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. Tune in for the former Chancellor's views on public education in the nation's biggest cities.

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Bert Kaufman is the head of corporate and regulatory affairs at Zoox, the autonomous vehicle arm of Amazon. He discusses what's in store for cities when self-driving cars eventually roam the earth.

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U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana was part of a coterie of ten Senators largely responsible for getting the $1 trillion infrastructure package to the President's desk. In this special edition of Cityspeak, he discusses the importance of infrastructure spending for U.S. cities and towns and the unique relationship between the federal, state, and local governments in building it.

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Professor Sheila Foster is the Scott K. Ginsburg Professor of Urban Law and Policy at Georgetown University Law Center, where she researches and lectures on environmental law and justice, urban land use law and policy, and state and local government. In her upcoming book, Co-Cities, she proposes a new framework for how cities can and should be governed.

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Will Butler-Adams is the CEO of Brompton Bicycle, the manufacturer of the world-renowned Brompton folding bike. The Brompton is beloved by urban cyclists around the world and is for many the embodiment of city living.

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In the season finale of CitySpeak, Los Angeles City Planning Director Vince Bertoni shares some of the joys and challenges of running one of the largest urban planning organizations in the nation.

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With nearly 600 gas stations dotting the Los Angeles landscape, the rise of the electric vehicle presents an opportunity for the city to repurpose a significant portion of its urban fabric. Yan Krymsky, a design director at Perkins&Will, discusses some of his ideas for what L.A.—and other car-centric cities like it—should do with its gas stations.

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Eric Jaffe is the Editorial Director at Sidewalk Labs, an urban innovation company with a plan to tackle sustainability and affordability in cities around the world. Eric joins Max to highlight some of the company’s revolutionary technologies.

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Ken Steif is a data scientist, city planner, and professor at the University of Pennsylvania Weitzman School of Design, where he leads the school’s Master of Urban Spatial Analytics program. In his new book Public Policy Analytics, he explains how the public sector can catch up to private industry in adopting data science to make wiser, more efficient decisions.

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March 23, 2021 22 mins

Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University where she researches globalization and migration in the context of global cities, a term which she coined in her 1991 book of the same name. Professor Sassen looks back on the three decades since the publication of her seminal study and offers her predictions on what’s in store for cities in the decades still to come.

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