Two Building to Code Columns

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.

Read the full essay at Real Life.

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.

Read the full essay at Real Life