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Let's dispel two policy myths that hinder the public's safety

Along with legends, fairy tales and fables, myths are a great way to teach and learn values. But the other kind of myths – beliefs not grounded in fact – can be politically treacherous, especially when widely held by many or deeply felt by a vocal few. Yet dispelling myths that frustrate the public interest is a necessary aspect of political leadership, which is about to be tested by two proposals coming soon to City Hall.

The Future of Democracy is Urban

The tipping point for cities likely went unnoticed. It could have been a baby born in a large hospital in Lagos. It might have been a Chinese farmer moving to Shanghai. Or perhaps it was the quiet passing of a grandparent in the Amazon.

Whatever it was, the result was dramatic. In 2009 and for the first time in history, more people lived inside urban areas than outside of them. Where are we five years later? With the World Urban Forum taking place this week in Medellin, Columbia, it’s a good time to ask.

The Beechwood Avenue renaissance

When a fire broke out in the local hardware store in 2011, burning almost an entire block of cherished retail space to the ground, it is safe to say that Beechwood Avenue reached its nadir. To that point, a slow but steady decline had seen the exodus of numerous small businesses after the departure of the Mountain Equipment Co-op in 2000. Elsewhere, a strip of vacant and dilapidated buildings was left untended by its owners. The street seemed more deserted; infrastructure was aging; sidewalks were crumbling.


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