Articles by

Carol Coletta

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    [[soundcloud 196402965]] Are neighbors vanishing in America? Marc Dunkelman thinks so.  Marc is a fellow in public policy with the Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions at Brown University and author of  “The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community.” Here are five things you should know from my conversation with Marc and from his book: 1. The General Social Survey reports that the percentage of Americans who say they have eaten a meal with their family and with people outside their neighborhood has risen. But the percentage of Americans who say they have eaten with someone in their neighborhood has plummeted.
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    [[soundcloud 195328628]]   Jim Lasko had a failure to ignite—literally—in front of thousands of people. As a Loeb Fellow and executive artistic director of Chicago-based Redmoon Theater, Jim conceived a major public festival to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire. Unfortunately, when the time came, there was no great fire – not even a good one. Jim shares his story of failure and redemption, and his determination to come back stronger than ever this week on “Knight Cities.”  Listen to my conversation with Jim here. And sign up for the “Knight Cities” newsletter to get alerts as soon as new conversations are posted.
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    [[soundcloud 194226392]] An estimated one third of adults can be called “soloists,” people who work in non-traditional relationships with their employers. And the rate is growing rapidly, 15 to 17 percent every year.   A soloist is, as George Gendron puts it, an extreme version of an entrepreneur and requires much of the same support and same capacities. George should know. He was editor-in-chief of Inc. Magazine for two decades, where he founded the Inc. 500 and worked with Michael Porter on the creation of the Inner City 100, a ranking of the fastest-growing companies in America’s inner cities. George’s latest venture is the exploration of the “Solo Economy.” Here are five things you should know about how to go solo:
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    Paul Grogan is one of the nation’s great civic innovators. Paul has had a 360-degree view of what makes cities tick—from his early service as aide to two Boston mayors, to the creation of the nation’s first national intermediary for community development, to the founding of CEOs for Cities, then to Harvard and now as president and CEO of the Boston Foundation. It’s been a tour de force of civic service, which is why Paul always has important new insights to share on cities. He talked with us this week on “Knight Cities” about the remarkable resurgence of Boston and how it was fueled by the most unlikely developments.
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    Each week, it seems someone publishes yet another list of essentials for city success. In fact, at Knight, we have our own list of these essentials: talent, opportunity and engagement. But Charles Leadbeater, a leading authority on innovation and creativity, believes empathy should be right at the top of these lists. Based in London, Charles advises companies, cities and governments around the world on innovation strategy. Among the books he has authored on the topic is “We-Think: The Power of Mass Creativity,” which charts the rise of mass, participative approaches to innovation.
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    Do you ever look at an abandoned building in your city and think, why doesn’t someone fix that up? Do you ever imagine that you might be the one to bring it back to life? Avra Jain is a Miami-based real estate investor and developer. Her latest project is the redevelopment of the famous Vagabond Motel in the up-and-coming MiMo Biscayne Boulevard Historic District, and she has advice for would-be developers. Here are five things you should know from Avra Jain on real estate revitalization:
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    Every week on our “Knight Cities” podcast, civic innovators join me to discuss ways we can create successful cities. Last week I spoke with Dennis Scholl, vice president for arts at Knight Foundation. Here are five things you should know from my conversation with Dennis: The arts can bind a community and bring it together. The only other ways that happens as powerfully in communities, generally, are during crises and through sports teams.
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    Making art general in cities across America is the charge of Dennis Scholl, vice president for arts at Knight Foundation.  Dennis and his colleagues are the brains behind the Knight Arts Challenge (which is currently open for ideas in South Florida), the enormously popular Random Acts of Culture, and Inside|Out, the project that takes replicas of famous works of art in museums and puts them in unexpected places. This week on “Knight Cities,” Dennis and I talk about his work and how art is bringing new vibrancy to cities.
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    How do you create a sense of community in a brand new development? It’s a question Sandra Kulli, a real estate marketing strategist, has been wrestling with for years. She is president of Kulli Marketing, and we had a chance to catch up recently in Todos Santos, Mexico, the site of one of her newest projects, Tres Santos. It’s a project that could have been a typical resort on the Pacific, but the developer chose instead to forego gates and golf courses to reach for an authentic connection to the people in this small Mexican town. This week on “Knight Cities,” Sandra and I talk about what people want out of community today and how to deliver it.