Special Feature! Best of “Best Thing, Worst Thing”

This past year, I had an AMAZING experience. I visited 12 cities and towns across North America for the “Best Thing, Worst Thing” project. The idea was simple: see as much of the city as I could, talk to as many people as I could, and ask them all the same two questions.

What is the best thing about this place?

What is the worst thing about this place?

Answering those questions can be surprisingly difficult, but it was important for me to hear about individuals’ values and experiences with their communities. I learned that a small city in conservative western Kansas thinks of itself as “progressive.” I learned that diversity in Toronto is much heralded, but also has a dark side. And I was present for a medical emergency in the desert outside Las Cruces, New Mexico.

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Butter tart bake-off in Toronto, ON

The goal was to find out what cities are doing well to make their communities livable for residents. Then, to find out what people want that their cities aren’t providing now.

You can listen to all 12 episodes on the project page. And this week, I bring you the highlights in a special audio episode about the best of the “Best Thing, Worst Thing.” This “best of” is available on iTunesStitcherPlayer FM and right here:

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Robotics camp in Pittsburgh, PA

If you liked what you heard, please give the podcast a five-star rating on iTunes and like our Facebook page. There are other big projects in the works, so keep checking back!

Special Feature! “Best Thing, Worst Thing”

Hey, City Councilheads! Today we debut a special, semi-regular feature called “Best Thing, Worst Thing.” (No, it’s not about the election.) For an explanation of the project, check out the page here. If you like storytelling and municipal lore, I think you’ll dig what the chef cooked up.

To dive right in, head over to the City Council Chronicles podcast and download the latest episode. Or you can play it below.

Episode 1: Castle Rock, Colorado

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Source: Town of Castle Rock

Castle Rock is a town of 56,000 people located in Douglas County, 30 miles south of Denver. It is named after a distinct rock formation at the north end of the historic downtown. Outside of downtown, there are also several office parks, subdivisions, and the Outlets retail area. Castle Rock’s population is largely wealthy and white. Historically, Douglas County has been rural–home to ranchers. In the last several decades, it has grown dramatically as a Denver suburb. In this episode, we hear from a businesswoman, a pastor, a former Navy SEAL, and the town’s mayor.