I recently discovered a really cool podcast called Placemakers. It’s put on by Slate.com, and has a very NPR feel to it. The focus of the series is about the places we live. It’s about the spaces we inhabit, and how we inhabit them. The very first episode that I listened to was about the concept of New Urbanism, and how some communities are trying to create a very walkable and livable place for people to live. A space that deemphasizes cars, and encourages people to spend time in their front yards, instead of their back.
Needless to say, that particular episode piqued my attention, considering some of the issues I struggle with in suburbanism. However, the series isn’t just about the urban/suburban divide. It’s about all the different places that we inhabit, and how we inhabit them. Recently, I listened to an episode that talked about the idea of squatters, and how there is an entire subculture of people who have adopted a squatting lifestyle.
The episode I listened to today talked about the successful bike sharing program in Philadelphia. In particular, how they’ve been trying to get people who normally wouldn’t ride bikes, on two wheels. In particular this is an issue with poorer communities, and communities where people don’t have the money to own or rent bikes. They also talked about the stigma that sometimes goes along with using a bike for transportation in these communities, which I found fascinating.
I would encourage folks to check out this podcast series on whatever streaming service you use. It’s really fascinating, and I guarantee that there’s at least one episode that will get you thinking.