NPR: How Driver’s License Suspensions Unfairly Target The Poor (audio)

January 5, 2015 at 3:49 pm

The dependence on a car for making a decent living in the United States is quite pronounced, particularly in the poor neighborhoods of the United States.

NPR’s recent “Guilty and Charged” investigation shows how rising court fines and fees — often reaching hundreds or even thousands of dollars per person — often hurt poor people the most. “Two out of three African-American men in this neighborhood, of working age, don’t have a driver’s license,” he says while walking down Martin Luther King Avenue in Milwaukee. “And are consequently unable to access the jobs that are beyond the bus lines.”

Not sure where to begin.  Years of bad landuse and legal policies have created a system that is not equal to all.  In a nutshell, if you don’t have a driving license, you’ll be relegated to looking for jobs only accessible by a bus/transit system (or if you are lucky, you may find something within walkable distance from your neighborhood). Even these transit accessible jobs become more difficult to sustain for these residents when the transit funding runs into trouble, leading to service & route cuts. Until we fix this mess, we can’t expect social upward mobility for many of the poor citizens of the US. Listen to the audio below or you can click here to read the article.

Cars are the worst space hogs in our urban environments

December 29, 2014 at 12:45 pm

This graphic puts the use of space by each surface transportation mode in perspective.. and it is quite obvious that cars eat up a lot of space in our urban environments.

Training Opportunity: Open for applications – Building Leaders in Urban Transport Planning course

December 1, 2014 at 6:19 pm

Via City Fix Blog

The World Bank and EMBARQ Mexico – in collaboration with TransMilenio S.A. – will host the third annual “Building Leaders in Urban Transport Planning” course, which provides tools for systematic integrated mobility planning, corridor management, public transport planning evaluation alternatives, governance, finance, and public-private partnerships – all of which are key issues facing Latin American cities and cities worldwide. The course will use a hands-on learning approach, making extensive use of case studies, group exercises, and site visits – all aimed at highlighting linkages between the various components of the urban transport system. The deadline to apply to the course is January 9, 2015.

The event is part of the World Bank’s “Leadership in Urban Transport Planning” (LUTP) capacity building series, which develops leadership, awareness, and implementation strategies for urban integrated mobility planning. It is designed specifically for senior level decision makers at the national, provincial or city level – those who have a responsibility for urban transport at the policy making level, rather than a purely technical level. Academics, consultants, and other members of civil society are also encouraged to apply.

The Building Leaders in Urban Transport Planning course will consist of two parts. The period from January 19 to February 21, 2015, will be devoted to self-study, covering topics in land use and transport planning, and incorporating the environmental and social issues of urban transport planning. Participants will then partake in a seven-day hands-on workshop from February 22 to February 28 in Bogotá, Colombia – a city with a track record of leadership in sustainable urban transportand development. Following the workshop, participants will also have the option to partake in a six-month mentoring program to provide advice and guidance as participants work on city-level projects.

In addition to other special guests, #LUTPColombia 2015 will have the following distinguished faculty:

Learn more about the event and apply here.

The event will be conducted in Spanish, and is organized with support from the Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) and the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP). Follow updates on the proceedings on social media from @EMBARQMX and#LUTPColombia

Call for Submissions: Become a presenter at Transforming Transportation 2015

November 11, 2014 at 10:40 am

Present your ideas for smarter mobility and urban development at Transforming Transportation 2015

Transforming Transportation 2015 (#TTDC15) is the annual conference co-organized by EMBARQ, the sustainable urban transport program of the World Resources Institute, and the World Bank. This year’s conference will focus onSmart Cities for Shared Prosperity, and will examine how smart, connected urban mobility can improve quality of life in cities.

We’re inviting YOU to become a presenter! Pitch your ideas to present on either “Innovations in Urban Development for Smart Cities” or Innovations in Mobility for Smart Cities.” Presentations will follow the PechaKucha format and must be submitted by December 2, 2014 at 11:59pm EST. Those interested can consult the detailed submission guidelines.

For any questions or comments, please contact Tune in for regular updates at and on social media by following #TTDC15.

Job Alert: Executive Director & Editor in Chief – Next City @ Philadelphia, PA

November 4, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Next City seeks an experienced and dynamic Executive Director & Editor in Chief to lead the organization.

About Next City

Next City is a nonprofit organization with the mission to inspire social, economic and environmental change in cities through media and events. Founded in 2003 and based in Philadelphia, Next City is renowned for its smart reporting on urban affairs and impactful events.

Its website,, reaches hundreds of thousands of readers each month who look to Next City for new ideas in economic development, infrastructure, civic technology,  policy and culture. Next City events, including the signature annual conference, Vanguard, help to network this audience of urban planners, government officials, and others who are professionally dedicated to advancing the cities where they live.

Next City is supported by its readers, corporate sponsors and many of the country’s largest foundations, including the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Knight Foundation, MacArthur Foundation and Surdna Foundation, among others.

Job Description

Next City seeks an Executive Director & Editor in Chief at an exciting time: the organization has a rapidly growing online presence and audience, as well as strong philanthropic support. At this juncture, Next City seeks a hands-on executive who will lead its next phase of growth by overseeing the organization’s editorial strategy and programs, developing the organization’s business plan and providing thought-leadership. The right candidate will be comfortable talking about urban policy trends at public events and on television, expressing Next City’s vision to funders and readers, and leading staff to achieve their best.

The Executive Director & Editor in Chief will accomplish the following:

Editorial Leadership & Programming

–       Set editorial strategy and ensure high standards of editorial content

–       Develop ideas for innovative programming for high-impact events

–       Serve as the face of the organization in media, at events and with donors

–       Leverage and build upon the success of the Vanguard Conference, an annual 40 under 40 urban leadership conference

Fundraising / Business Development

–       Develop an overall strategy to build sustainable revenue opportunities

–       Maintain and grow Next City’s foundation and corporate support

–       Build relationships to develop major corporate sponsorships for events and sponsored content

–       Develop an individual donor base for Next City, from subscribers to major donors

–       Plan and execute an annual fundraiser

Budget / Administration

–       Develop annual budget for board approval and submit quarterly financial reports

–       Hire, lead and manage all editorial and administrative staff

–       Work with COO and bookkeeper to oversee accounts receivable and payable and the annual audit process


–       Serve as primary organizational liaison to board of directors

–       Increase the size, diversity, engagement and impact of Next City’s board

–       Meet with board quarterly and report Next City business

–       Establish board committees


–       At least 5 years of experience in senior management roles

–       Experience in and understanding of online media

–       Excellent public speaking and written communications skills

–       Passion for social, economic and environmental concerns

–       Demonstrated fundraising and/ or business development ability

–       Self-driven personality, start-up mentality, relationship-oriented work ethic

–       Experience in at least one of the following: media, urban policy, nonprofit development. (Those with experience in all three areas will be preferred.)

–       Ability to travel domestically and internationally 20% of time

–       Occasional nights and weekend work

To Apply

Applications will be reviewed immediately. Please submit a resume, a cover letter with salary requirements and three references to In addition, please send a link to a video demonstrating your public speaking ability and a link to a published writing sample, if available. No phone inquiries please. Click here to Apply.

Adding a new feather in my cap! Selected for the 2014 Vanguard Class!

March 11, 2014 at 5:01 pm

I’m truly humbled and honored to be selected for the Vanguard Class of 2014 heading to Chattanooga, TN during April 2014. What makes it extra special is that I’m one of the 40 emerging young leaders selected from a pool of 300 super-qualified applicants.

Hosted by Next City, this fifth annual Vanguard conference in Chattanooga, Tenn. is a gathering of the best and brightest young urban leaders working to improve cities across sectors, including urban planning, community development, entrepreneurship, government, transportation, sustainability, design, art and media. The conference will engage these professionals from around the country on series of presentations, workshops, tours and other activities over a period of three days.

Looking at the names and designations of others in my 2014 cohort, it is just beginning to sink in that this is a seriously big deal. The selectors have put a lot of faith in my potential for impact (Questions they asked during the evaluation process: will this person have their life changed by the conference? what can this person teach someone else from across the country? and will this person be leading the urban affairs field forward in 10 years?). The selection make me realize the challenges ahead and I’m determined to validate their faith in my abilities to deliver. My home town folks in India won’t even know what this means but it all started from that dusty corner of Southern India and I owe this to them.

Can’t wait to meet fellow 2014 classmates and get started on this new quest to reshape and redefine urban America. Below is the announcement posted on the Next City website.

Source URL :

Announcing the 2014 Vanguard Class

Chattanooga | 03/11/2014 7:00am | 0

Credit: Casey Yoshida, Cargo Collective

Next City has been hosting its annual Vanguard conference for five years and never before have we seen such a quantity of terrific candidates. (You can read more about the 300 applications we receivedhere.) Indeed, the growing demand for participation in Vanguard suggests that we need to find ways to expand future conferences beyond 40 attendees. As we begin thinking about the 2015 event, you can anticipate that we will broaden the participant pool.

We had to turn down so many young stars from around the country, and I can imagine many of them wondering why they weren’t picked. The selection process is more of an art than a science, but in a nutshell, our two guiding principles for choosing Vanguard participants are diversity (geography, ethnicity, profession, personal character) and potential for impact (will this person have their life changed by the conference? what can this person teach someone else from across the country? and will this person be leading the urban affairs field forward in 10 years?).

We have always sought to make Vanguard a conference for emerging leaders, and so even those applicants with enviable resumes weren’t necessarily our top picks. Likewise, we have been committed to linking cities across the U.S. While cities such as New York and San Francisco certainly boasted some of the highest-caliber candidates, we also recognize that there is talent from smaller cities that deserves to be connected with those coastal innovation hubs, too.

We’re proud to meet and connect with this outstanding group in Chattanooga in April. The 2014 Vanguard class, along with over a dozen Vanguard alumni, will meet for workshops, local tours and an “unconference” to collectively learn and think about how to improve our cities. The event is made possible with support from the Lyndhurst Foundation, the Benwood Foundation and the Footprint Foundation, and it is being curated with the help of a host committee made up of local civic innovators. Stay tuned to Next City (#Vanguard14) for live coverage from the conference and recaps afterward. And congrats to this year’s class!


Jamie Alderslade
Citi Community Development, Director of Policy, Research and Communications
Brooklyn, NY

Ian Beniston
Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, Deputy Director
Youngstown, OH

John Bilderback
Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department, Step ONE Program Manager
Chattanooga, TN

Nick Bowden
MindMixer, CEO
Omaha, NE

Marlon I. Brown
Michigan State Budget Office, Budget and Policy Analyst
Mason, MI

Noah Budnick
Transportation Alternatives, Deputy Director
Brooklyn, NY

Demion Clinco
Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation, President
Tucson, AZ

Harmon L. Cooper
Sedgwick LLP, Associate
Bowie, MD

Rondell Crier
Rondell Crier Design, Owner
Chattanooga, TN

Melissa Dittmer
Rock Ventures, LLC, Architect
Detroit, MI

Amanda Eaken
Natural Resources Defense Council, Deputy Director of Sustainable Communities
San Francisco, CA

R. Denise Everson
DC Housing Authority, Redevelopment Project Specialist
Washington, DC

Lakweshia Ewing
Hamilton County Department of Education, District Coordinator Community Partnerships
Chattanooga, TN

Mike Field
JP Morgan Chase‎, Senior Analyst
Jacksonville, FL

Cristina Garmendia
OpportunitySpace, Co-founder
Allston, MA

Juan Gomez
California’s Boys and Men of Color Initiative, Statewide Advisor
Freedom, CA

Ashley Z. Hand
City of Kansas City, Chief Innovation Officer
Kansas City, MO

Brandon Holmes
Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Greater Peoria, Executive Director
Peoria, IL

Lisa Hook
The Asia Foundation, Senior Program Officer
San Francisco, CA

Christine Ingrassia
St. Louis City Board of Aldermen, 6th Ward Alderwoman
St. Louis, MO

Kiran Jain
City of Oakland, Senior Deputy City Attorney
Berkeley, CA

Milicent Johnson
Peers, Director of Partnerships and Community
San Francisco, CA

Maeghan Jones
Chattanooga Area Food Bank, President
Chattanooga, TN

Michael Kaufmann
Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Director of Special Projects and Civic Investment
Indianapolis, IN

Stephen Larrick
City of Central Falls, RI, Director of Planning and Economic Development
Providence, RI

Vanessa Leon
Pinchina Consulting, Founder
New York, NY

Adrian Michelle Lipscombe
City of Austin, Bike Share Coordinator
San Antonio, TX

Andrew Londre
Couleecap, Business and Income Developer
La Crosse, WI

Manasvi Menon
Parsons Brinckerhoff, Associate Consultant
Brooklyn, NY

Justin Garrett Moore, AICP
NYC Department of City Planning, Senior Urban Designer & City Planner
New York, NY

David Thomas Moran
Geo-social Photographer
Orlando, FL

Carlos Moreno
CAP Tulsa, Graphic Designer
Tulsa, OK

Ananda Palanisamy
Citizant, Inc., Senior Transportation Management Specialist
Rockville, MD

Jenny Park
Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency, Senior Planner
Chattanooga, TN

Maria Poblet
Causa Justa :: Just Cause, Executive Director
Oakland, CA

Sarah Ray
McKinsey & Company, Associate
Washington, DC

Lindsey Scannapieco
Scout, Director and Founder
London, UK

Peter Smith
U.S. Social Security Administration, Policy Advisor
Baltimore, MD

Boris Suchkov
MTA New York City Transit, Principal Transportation Planner
Staten Island, NY

Kim Szeto
Boston Public Schools, Farm to School Coordinator
Boston, MA

William Christopher Tate
TateSpace LLC, Founder and President
Paterson, NJ

Julie Ulrich
The Nature Conservancy, Urban Strategies + Watershed Coordinator
Philadelphia, PA

Alissa Walker
Gizmodo, Urbanism Editor
Los Angeles, CA

Jase Wilson, CEO
Kansas City, MO

Katelyn Wright
Greater Syracuse Land Bank, Executive Director
Syracuse, NY

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