The promise of networked suburbs and shuttering college dropout factories.

Urban Legends:

The hipper the city, the mantra goes, the richer and more successful it will be — and a number of declining American industrial hubs have tried to rebrand themselves as “creative class” hot spots accordingly.

But this argument, or at least many applications of it, gets things backward. Arts and culture generally do not fuel economic growth by themselves; rather, economic growth tends to create the preconditions for their development


“We’re expecting maybe about 100 new cities, with over 100 million people. New cities, that would be created over the next 10-15 years or so. So the challenge that we all face is how do we enable this urbanization to happen in a different way than we have done in the past. What role can technology play in building smarter cities, cities that are more sustainable, that are greener, that are more efficient?”

Also related:

College Dropout Factories:

On the surface, a peaceful university campus can seem like a vital asset to the community. But a university with an 87 percent dropout rate is a service to no one. And chronically dysfunctional organizations can be very difficult to change. There is no reason that states can’t quickly build newer, better, more cost-effective public universities to educate people who are currently stuck in college dropout factories.

Three excellent essays on rocks that need to be turned over via yet another* smart aggregator, Give Me Something to Read.

*e.g., The Browser