Look For The Funny

Take the work seriously, but not too seriously.

image via Twitter

Happy Friday,

I’m on a grant application deadline this week, so I didn’t have quite as much time to devote to writing and reading as usual.

This particular grant has been a process that started back in February, and should deliver some good projects that make people’s lives a little bit better.

That’s why I love what I do.

Working in community development and city planning can often be a thankless proposition. There’s no way to make everyone happy. Priorities are established (often not your own), policies are developed, choices are made, and you do the best you can.

So I always try to “look for the funny.”

It’s been about 13 years since I set out on this career path. If I couldn’t find a whole lot of humor in it, I never would’ve made it this long.


Every Friday I send this newsletter out with:

  • Something I wrote, and;

  • A few things I read, watched, or learned that I found value in and think are worth sharing.

I hope you find this email to be in some way informative, thought-provoking, and valuable. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments.

And if this is your first time reading Rust Belt Future, I hope you will consider subscribing by clicking the button below.


Something I wrote

Humor is essential in any career, but particularly so when you work in a public service position. Some days feel like an episode of Parks and Recreation. I try to find the light side of things as often as possible, and in that spirit, made a few urbanist memes over on my blog.

Representative line from the piece: “Bugs Bunny, it turns out, has some pretty good ideas about city planning.”


Some Things Worth Checking Out

  • I’ve written a lot recently about active transportation. I think cycling, in particular, is an area where the United States has a ton of room to grow and get better. A lot of others believe that, too. So much so that groups are lobbying Congress for $10 billion to be allocated for greenway construction and expansion throughout the country.

  • Speaking of which, the Tremont portion of the Towpath Trail opened this week in Cleveland. The Towpath Trail is a 100-mile trail connecting Cleveland and Akron along the historic Ohio & Erie Canalway. It’s another big win for active transportation in the region that has been years in the making.

  • Over on Medium, Kyle Gulau looked into an underutilized economic development tool: the mobile food strategy.

  • Fred Kent, one of the godfathers of placemaking, has a four-point plan for small towns to bring more vibrancy and vitality back to their Main Streets. Come for the placemaking principles, stay for the gorgeous photo examples from towns all over New England.


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