Some reading to help the shift to a slower time of year.

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Photo by Tereza Hošková on Unsplash

The calendar page has turned to October.

Here in the Great Lakes region, overnight temperatures are dipping into the 40s (or even the 30s in some places), leaves are beginning to change colors, and the sun is setting earlier and earlier. Sweaters and jackets are being unpacked, pumpkin patches are springing up along the sides of roads, and rakes are being brought out of the recesses of garages.

I point this all out as a way of mentioning the undeniable fact that another summer has waned and autumn has arrived to take its place.

This time every year, I find it helpful to prepare for a more deliberate pace of life after the more wild, carefree days of summer, and I have a few pieces of writing I like to return to. I think of them as touchstones, reminders of how to approach the shift to a slower season. …

What might help the places we live, work, and play rebound in these uncertain times?

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It’s been a little while since I published anything here on Medium dot com. A whole lot of tragedy, confusion, and, quite frankly, callous behavior has been on display across America these past few months (not to mention heroics, selflessness, and a little bit of hope), and I’ve been doing my best to process everything.

If you’ll allow me to get slightly personal for a moment, I can tell you that the COVID-19 pandemic has worn on my mental health. …

The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear the folly of four decades of disinvestment in shared resources.

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Photo by Alex Simpson on Unsplash

I didn’t write last week, and I was barely able to write this week. The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has become so all-pervasive, it’s tough to think about anything else.

It’s especially tough to think about the future of cities when we have no idea what sort of future we will emerge into when the worst of this is over. It’s certain that our cities will endure, though, I’m reminded, as Richard Florida noted on Twitter, “Our cities have been reshaped and re-designed by previous health crises.”

What that reshaping and redesigning will look like, however, is not a question I’m going to tackle today. I want to write about something much more basic, and do so briefly so as not to take up too much of your time when you have bigger things to worry about. …


Benno Martens

Urban planner by trade, writer by passion.

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