Notebook on Cities and Culture
(Formerly The Marketplace of Ideas.) Colin Marshall sits down for in-depth conversations with cultural creators, internationalists, and observers of the urban scene all around Los Angeles and beyond.

Colin Marshall sits down at Portland State University with Carl Abbott, professor there of urban studies and planning and author of Portland in Three Centuries: The Place and the People. They discuss the debate over Portland's status as a "small city" or a "big town"; the distinctive ease of making connections in the city; how modern-day Portland enthusiasts would look at the place before 1965 and see Akron, Ohio; the oft-made comparisons between Portland, Seattle, and Austin; the history and continued presence of agriculture and industry around the "cool Portland" of today; Microsoft and Boeing, the "accidental" companies that made Seattle the younger sibling that out-competed Portland, one with better booms but worse busts; Portland's "conservatively progressive"  politics, and how that sensibility shows up in its light rail system and central library (especially as compared to Seattle's); the relationship between the city's vaunted "livability" and its patterns of diversity; how he came to Portland and when, exactly, the city turned away from its former stodginess (and when its porno theaters started turning into revival houses); Portland entrepreneurship, which Portlanders prefer to call "D.I.Y."; how best to engage new immigrants and hip youngsters in "Portlandism," a civic-minded, participatory approach to incremental problem-solving; science fiction's visions of cities, which present recurring patterns related to urban theory; and whether Portland counts as a utopian project, if a practical one.

Direct download: NCC_S2E20_Carl_Abbott.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:17 PM