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Beth works with cities looking for practical ways to navigate the complexity of city life — to hear each other and make better cities. Author of Nest City.

When busy rescuing others or looking for others to rescue us, we miss the opportunity to renew ourselves

I’ve been scratching an itch for many weeks now. It started with an “allergic reaction” last summer to some language people around me are using to compel climate action: “be a first responder.” I continue to write as a means to scratch this itch.

We are now handling several scales…

Rescue embodies resilience only when the rescuer takes action the rescued can’t do for themselves (and wants).

listen to this article here

We are experiencing emergency as we have never experienced it before: at many scales simultaneously. …

6 ideas and 8 suggestions to be response-ABLE at any scale of emergency

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As the scale of emergency grows, the ability of a community to be proactive, responsive and response-ABLE becomes imperative. As the scale of crisis grows from a sprint rescue event to an ultramarathon season, including sprint rescues, it is also imperative to differentiate…

As the scale of emergency grows, the ability of community to be proactive, responsive and response-ABLE becomes imperative (Itch #1)

I had an “allergic reaction” this summer to some language people around me are using to compel climate action: “be a first responder.” And so, I sit and write as a means to scratch the itch. (Listen to this episode here.)

Let’s start with a definition:

Emergency (Cambridge Dictionary):

noun

The new diagrams we use to describe our economic, social and ecological worlds reveal connections and understanding

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I play with bowls at writing retreats: cereal bowls, mixing bowls and whatever I can lay my hands on. It started over ten years ago when I had a compulsion to organize my thoughts in a non-linear way and draw instead of write…

6 questions to ask at any time in your career in an address delivered to the Master of City Planning graduates at the University of Manitoba, June 2021

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Two big A-Ha! moments happened right after I graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1995, with a Master’s degree in city planning. One A-Ha! was connected to landing my first job, the second to doing that job.

There were limited choices for…

In this space between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, I reflect on what it takes to support the growth of the younger generation — even when they outgrow and surpass me

— listen to this article here

At 51 years old, I ask myself: Who do I want to be as an older person, especially in relation to the generation behind me? …

Protection feeds my fear of other humans. Being neighbourly feeds my desire to connect with other humans.

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I had an allergic reaction to my neighbourhood newspaper. There was an article full of tips to prevent crime, and I noticed a particular flavour to the advice: lockdown. …

In my quest to figure out how planners and everyone else in the city can work better together, I’ve learned the magic of finding the minimal critical structure that enables new possibilities

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I can see the scaffolding all of a sudden, the connection between two aspects of my work that have always felt far apart and unrelated. I see now that the distance is only on the surface.

An unusual city planner

I am an unusual professional city planner…

Improving our cities requires us to be in a better relationship with ourselves: our intentions, actions and the consequences of our actions

You can listen to this article here.

Here’s something we could stand to make more clear: When we say we’d like our cities to be better, we are communicating a need to reorganize our efforts to change the outcomes of our action. But when we say we’d like something to…

Beth Sanders

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