betacity


freedom to remake ourselves
November 22, 2015, 5:03 pm
Filed under: betaCITY, Cities | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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A multivalent definition of cities: the manifestation of who we are, our relationships, our attitude toward nature, our quotidian habits, how we use technology, what we find beautiful.

There is freedom in changing our built environments to change ourselves.

the question of what kind of city we want cannot be divorced from the question of what kind of people we want to be, what kinds of social relations we seek, what relations to nature we cherish, what style of daily life we desire, what kinds of technologies we deem appropriate, what aesthetic values we hold. The right to the city is, therefore, far more than a right of individual access to the resources that the city embodies: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city more after our heart’s desire. It is, moreover, a collective rather than an individual right since changing the city inevitably depends upon the exercise of a collective power over the processes of urbanization. The freedom to make and remake ourselves and our cities is, I want to argue, one of the most precious yet most neglected of our human rights.

David Harvey, The Right to the City



freedom indexed
June 13, 2011, 10:28 pm
Filed under: betaCITY, fear | Tags: , ,

The two least free states, according to the new Mercatus Freedom Study, are California and New York and the freest are New Hampshire and South Dakota.  So if you love freedom, pack up your things and head on up the road to anywhere on the map that is lighter blue.

Of course the Koch brothers funded study uses indicators like low taxes and low government regulation with a basis of ‘individual rights’ to make their determinations.

A reader on Yglesias’ blog – linked below – took a closer look at the study.  What he found was that the states that rated highest for freedom had low education attainment, lower GDP, higher infant and accident mortality, more suicide, more homicide and greater income inequality.  Welcome to freedom America style.

Here are the reader’s observations:

I wanted to see if their index of freedom was actually linked to any positive outcomes (e.g., life expectancy, per capita GDP, industry R&D) or negative outcomes (e.g., suicides per capita, income inequality) based on Census data.

In a nutshell, the results were not good for the libertarian cause. The Mercatus Institute’s freedom score was significantly linked to (by state)- lower educational attainment (measured by percent of Bachelor degrees or higher), lower population density, lower per capita GDP, increased infant mortality, increased accident mortality, increased incidence of suicide, increased firearm mortality, decreased industrial R&D, and increased income inequality.

A Followup on the Mercatus Freedom Study, a reader, Think Progress, Matthew Iglesias