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→ The Atlantic Cities: Zen and the Art of Snow Plow Maintenance

One of the realities of municipal snow removal is that what residents want during a freak event (a plow for every person!) is not what they’d be willing to pay for – or should pay for – when everything thaws.


→ Urbanophile: Providence and the Virtues of Scale

But they are small enough to have some structural advantages from that as well. First, as a small state and city, it’s easier to turn the ship. As I’ve observed about Detroit and Michigan, part of the challenge for them is that they are big. It’s always harder to turn a large ship than a small one. That’s Rhode Island’s advantage. You could almost literally turn the entire state into a civic laboratory in a way that can’t be done elsewhere.

In a related vein, things that wouldn’t make much of a difference in New York can make a huge difference in Providence. The presence of Brown University and RISD make a palpable difference in a smaller city that they wouldn’t in a much bigger one. Successful civic initiatives can have a bigger impact here.

I was at the cocktail gathering Aaron discusses later in his post. It was very nice to meet him and gather his impressions on Providence.


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