Okay, after that downer (below), here’s something upbeat: the boldest, most imaginative ideas for American cities in the coming year, as assembled by Will Doig for Salon.

It really is a great collection of transformative ideas that will, if pursued, provide inspiration for us too.  Here are the two I really like:


New York is making up for being late to the bike-share table by serving itself a portion bigger than any other U.S. city. How big? Ten thousand bicycles at 600 stations clustered throughout Manhattan and northern Brooklyn — and that’s just in the first phase.

Will Vancouver be able to get a bike share up in time for the VeloCity conference in June?  Hell, will it even get a proper seawall connection between the convention centre and Coal Harbour through the never-departing floatplane terminal?


Seventy years ago, as the city around it grew, the Los Angeles Riverwas lined with concrete to prevent urban flooding. Much of it was completely enclosed, and efforts were even made to build a freeway over it. But the tide appears to be turning: … the city council approved a waterfront development plan for the river …

… but local river lovers aren’t waiting. This year, the city got permission from the Army Corps of Engineers to allow a limited number of kayakers onto the river, and the 280 available spots (at $50 bucks each) sold out in less than 10 minutes.

As a one-time whitewater kayaker, I can only imagine how thrilling it would be to find warm-water rapids right in the heart of a dense metro area.  And what Hollywood would do with that.