Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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Archive for June, 2010

Cochabamba

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Cochabamba, at the heart of Bolivia, is a city founded in 1571 by the Spaniards, where a small Indian town -Kanata- hosted temporary migrants farming the surrounding lands. It is in a valley mountains all around reaching almost 5,000 meters above the sea level. Less than one million people live in Cochabamba, and almost half of them are migrants from other Bolivian areas. Its mild temperatures all year long make the city a cozy place to live. Plenty of sun in winter, scattered showers in summer, let people enjoy walking and biking in its busy streets and in the countryside, where small farmers cultivate a variety of legumes, potatoes, corn, fruits and raise cattle, chicken and guinea pigs. Thanks to such a variety, the food in Cochabamba is one of the real pleasures for its inhabitants and visitors. No matter where you go to eat, you can be sure that you will get flavor and abundance for you money.

Cochabamba is far to be free from problems. The biggest one: water. Less than half of the households have running water from the public company. All the rest have their own private or collective wells, or get water from trucks. This is the main source of urban injustice> the poor have bad access to bad water and pays for that the most, while the middle and upper classes have better acces to a beter water at a cheaper price. That may justify the so called “water war” of the year 2000, only that such a movement was lead and captured by demagogues more inte rested in building their own power and worsened the water situation. Still… Cochabamba attracts thousands of migrants every year because its location provides job opportunities for all sorts of traders and vendors, service providers and transportation companies. Particularly in La Cancha, the biggest market place in Latin America, where a customer can buy, any time, from one of the 200 varieties of potatoes cultivated in the area, to the latest electronic gadget imported from Taiwan, from silk ties Hong Kong made, to the Jabulani used in the World Cup. Cochabamba… a place where you are welcome with a beer and a salteña!

Sent by Roblaser from Cochabamba

Documentary of a Non-profit Art School

Monday, June 28th, 2010

The Academy of Payne is a non-profit art studio in Daytona Beach, FL. Our program is targeted to help young adults who have aged from foster care, lower income families, or Juvenile Justice Centers.

At the Academy we enhance their already existing artistic abilities and teach them the financial literacy to start their own successful business and become a prodominent member of the community.We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and are producing a reality show August of 2010 to document the rebirth of Daytona’s economy with our art program. For more information, please go to: www.castingforacademy.com and www.academyofpayne.org

Sent by Constance from Daytona Beach

Hoosier Heartland

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

No one has written about Indianapolis, the center of the Hoosier Heartland? Perhaps they are too busy bustling about the center of downtown, the ‘Circle’ or making their way to one of the NBA, NFL, or minor league baseball (done like a real big-leaguer!) venues. The city has become mine, albeit more of an adopted brother of my real suburban hometown just to the north of Carmel. I was born in Indy and the capital city has always been so accessible. Without a major transit system, I was still able to trek down historic Meridian Street in under 30 minutes to join in on any and all the festivities. It got even better when I gleefully turned 21.

So, while not truthfully residing within the bounds of Marion County, I experience the altruism of a city that has been a center of promise (the city is more-commonly-now called the ‘Little Chicago’ or ‘Chicago, Jr.’).

Once a mecca of amateur sports, the NCAA wised up and made it’s full-time home here in Indy where, thanks to a recent pact between the two, I am now guaranteed to see a major NCAA sports championship hosted every year until 2030-ish.

It’s a city that should have bigger cities on notice, is a center of activity, and swells hospitality of Hoosiers proud of their middle-American swagger.

Especially when it comes to basketball…

Sent by Nick from Indianapolis

CoOrpheum – collective knowledge bundled in an amazing ballroom

Monday, June 21st, 2010

…. things can happen out of nothing, and just over night. See for yourself http://CoOrpheum.de (there is also a Facebook group of same name).

Sent by Ralf from Dresden

Micro-urban Champaign-Urbana

Monday, June 21st, 2010

“Champaign-Urbana. smart. innovative. micro-urban.” This video, produced by Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at U Illinois, was inspired by Director Mike Ross’s notion of Champaign-Urbana as a micro-urban community: one energized by creative and intellectual synergies that cross between community and campus. A thriving CU Pecha Kucha is one example of our grassroots cultural vitality.

Sent by Kelly from Champaign-Urbana, IL