Forgot to announce my last two Building to Code column entries. In May I made the case for taking back scooters from Silicon Valley:
The act of renting scooters contains within it a bit of the radical tradition of democratic city governance — and if a city were built to more fully accommodate e-scooters it would be a serious, even radical, intervention in urban infrastructure. A city of scooters could show us what we’ve collectively ignored in our landscapes for the past century.
June’s installment asked why the right is so successful at YouTube. I suspect the suburbs have something to do with it:
While cities have always done a good job of helping numerical minorities achieve a density sufficiently big to sustain a business (for example, a gay bar) or even a movement (think organized labor in major industrial cities), politically conservative suburbs and rural places have always faced a paradox: the built environment is made to support the individual family structure and is deeply isolating by design, which makes it harder to organize socially or politically. But social media is a good-enough stand-in for urban density, providing a means to form the early connections necessary for starting longer-term relationships. Platforms like YouTube, and talk radio before it, let anti-social conservatives who don’t want to live next to other people connect online and later in person for marches, rallies, and meetings.