Find yourself, find yourself a city to live in…


It’s been a long, long time since I was able to use a line from a Phish song as the title to a blog post, but this critique by Ryan Avent of Obama’s energy proposal which I continue to write about because I think energy/environment is issue number one (go ahead, disagree in the comments), brought the song “Cities” right to mind.

Avent takes issue with the lack of prominence given to our nation’s urban areas in a plan that proposes to move us towards energy independence and a sustainable future:

Now maybe, having just faced down the buffoons in the Republican Party over the tire pressure thing, he’s unwilling to focus too heavily on something the GOP loves to ridicule. Or maybe he’s content to let the Congress take leadership on this issue, which they’ve certainly done. Whatever the cause, it’s incredibly frustrating to see this little dedication to a bottom line change in the way we build our cities. The more so because it seems to demonstrate that the Obama campaign has not yet grasped the connection between our urban structure and policies and a host of other priorities — crime and education, economic vitality and environmental responsibility, energy security and insurance against fuel price shocks. I don’t understand it. I’d wager that better urban planning and transit poll way better than clean coal, even among many of the fence-sitting voters now in Obama’s sights.

I’m just a little biased, considering that I’ve already pledged to spend my life in a city, whichever city that may be, for as long as I can and make all of the sacrifices necessary to do that.  But greater attention to cities and to making them a more attractive place – i.e. making those sacrifices just a little easier to bear – would go a long way in moving the “fence-sitting” suburbanites into the ranks of dedicated urbanites.  The payoff for the environment and our nation’s collective ability to conserve energy would be immense.

For you Phish fans:


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