Phew! It’s finally here. After spending a good chunk of my summer researching podcasting, reaching out to potential guests, and recording my first few episodes, I am excited to announce the launch of the Market Urbanism Podcast.
You can currently find the podcast on Soundcloud and PlayerFM. It will be available within the next few days on iTunes, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If there are other podcasting services you would like me to plug the RSS feed into, please let me know in the comment section below.
Below, you can find a transcript. Given the amount of extra time it takes to transcribe the typical 30 minute episode, this probably won’t be a regular occurrence. That said, if anyone is interested in taking up this job, and getting some credit as an official member of the Market Urbanism Podcast team, message me on Twitter at @mnolangray.
Stay tuned next week for a discussion with Emily Hamilton on the relationship between land-use regulation and housing affordability.
Enjoy the show!
Welcome to the Market Urbanism podcast, where we’re liberalizing cities from the bottom up. I’m your host Nolan Gray, a writer for Market Urbanism and a graduate student in urban planning. In this first episode I’d like to welcome you to the podcast by answering three questions you’re probably already asking yourself: First, what market urbanism? To give you the short answer, market urbanism is the synthesis of classical liberal thought with urban planning and policy. On the market side of the term, we place a lot of value on empowering individuals, recognizing the importance of economic liberty, and celebrating the complex spontaneous orders that organize human life. On the urbanism side of the term, to put it simply, we love cities. We’re interested in understanding what makes for bustling streets, healthy neighborhoods, and prosperous cities.
So, on to our second question: what is it us market urbanists are trying to do? We’re interested in liberalizing cities from the bottom up. Many cities unfortunately remain subject to the kind of top-down, centralized management that has been thoroughly debunked in economic policy. Expert planners, under pressure from politicians, continue to hand down comprehensive planning documents that regulate and restrain the minutiae of urban life. Urban economic development still often comes in the form of targeted subsidies to businesses with political connections—otherwise known as crony capitalism—while urban entrepreneurs face more and more burdensome regulation. Transportation planners continue to prefer road and transit boondoggles, elbowing out the density needed for urban life and placing a tighter strain on city budgets. Predictably, in many cities, development restrictions have increased rents to unsustainable levels, economic growth remains uneven, and traffic continues to get worse.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. In cities across the world, people are rediscovering the wisdom of Jane Jacobs. Cities are too important for us to leave urban planning and policy as it is. By following Jane Jacobs in recognizing the importance of local knowledge, the power of decentralized planning, and the magic of spontaneous orders, we can build cities that offer freedom, opportunity, and choice for all residents. From trailer parks to transit projects, from food trucks to zoning, we’re interested in the policies that move our cities closer to this ideal.
Right, so what about the podcast? Over the next year, I’ll be talking to the scholars, writers, activists, and policymakers who are changing the conversation about cities. In biweekly conversations, a guest and I will explore the past, present, and future of cities and the policies that shape them. If you’re totally new to the subject, fear not. I’ll start conversations by starting with the basics and clarifying jargon as we move into a variety of fascinating, if complex, subjects. If you listen to the popular podcast Econtalk, you might have a general idea of what I’m going for. Of course, this won’t just be a one-way conversation. Each week, I’ll post links and articles related to our conversation on marketurbanism.com, where you can share your thoughts and give feedback on the show. As I’m sure you’ll be motivated to do, you can also tell me how great a job I’m doing on Twitter at @mnolangray. I’ll also make an effort to share my guest’s Twitter handle.
And with that, welcome to the Market Urbanism Podcast! Go ahead and click subscribe, and I’ll be back next week with guest Emily Hamilton to discuss the relationship between land-use regulation and rising rents.