The Ethics of Governing

PhD candidate Anthony Orlando discusses the “Ethics of Democracy” in the latest episode of Our American Discourse.

Democracy is a dialogue. It requires our leaders to ask, to listen, and to react. Good governance thus hinges on conversation and consent—and whether we like it or not, conflict. Planners and policymakers have to balance competing needs, never more so than in today’s polarized environment. How do they do the right thing? Does such a thing even exist? Citizenship demands that we engage with these uncomfortable questions, especially in this troubled era.

Listen to this episode of Our American Discourse by clicking on the orange play arrow on this post, or subscribe at iTunes, Soundcloud, Google Play, or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Turning the Corner: Progress Is Not Dead, Trump Is Not the Future

PhD candidate, Anthony Orlando, writes an op-ed about Los Angeles voters and Measure S within the larger political context:

The voters of Los Angeles have taken a stand—and the world should pay heed.

“Measure S,” the ballot initiative defeated in yesterday’s election, was not just a local issue. True, it would only have halted high-rise construction in one city. But like Brexit, like the election of Donald Trump, its effect would have been global.

The City & The City

The City and The City by China Miéville is a noir detective murder mystery set in an urban fantasy landscape where the cities of Beszel and Ul Qoma are not just neighboring, but enmeshed in overlapping space. What begins as a question of whether the young woman’s murderer transferred the body between the cities illegally (Breach) becomes a…

Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles

This episode features a discussion of David Ulin’s Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles. A transplant to Los Angeles from New York, Ulin’s long essay/memoir is a meditation on moving through and defining his relationship with the sprawling diversity that is the City of Angels. The book begins with an essay on how walking can be a way to discover the city (any city or town) through serendipity.

Dream Cities: Seven Urban Ideas That Shape the World

Wade Graham’s latest book Dream Cities: Seven Urban Ideas That Shape the World is ostensibly about the architects the seven big ideas that have shaped contemporary cities across the world. Our discussion centers on whether Graham has fulfilled that mission or whether he’s trapped in the confines of an under 350 page book for this massive introduction to urban planning and city history. The answer may lie in the reader rather than the book, listen to the conversation for a lively jaunt through recent architectural history.

Meet the man who orchestrated Detroit’s astonishing revival

As emergency manager of the City of Detroit from March 2013 to December of 2014, Orr oversaw the largest and most complicated municipal bankruptcy proceeding in the nation’s history. He helped the city restructure $18 billion in debt, reduce overall debt by $7 billion, as well as implement a $1.7 billion revitalization plan for city services.

Raphael Bostic, director of the USC Bedrosian Center who led the discussion with Orr, noted that many cities – including Los Angeles – should heed the warning and example set by Detroit.

Podcast – Invisible Cities episode

Featuring Lisa Schweitzer and David Sloane In this special edition of the Bedrosian Book Club Podcast, we discuss the Italian classic novel Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. The ancient emperor, Kublai Khan is so busy running the empire that he needs merchants to describe his vast empire, the great explorer Marco Polo is the only one whose imaginative…

Podcast – If Mayors Ruled the World edition

Featuring Raphael Bostic, William G. Resh, and Ronald O. Loveridge In this edition of the Bedrosian Book Club Podcast, we discuss political theorist Benjamin Barber’s book If Mayors Ruled the World. The book outlines Barber’s hypothesis that cities are in better position to solve some global problems. Can cities provide the leadership that nations states used…