For Release Sunday, October 13, 2013
© 2013 Washington Post Writers Group
For years, I’ve been writing about the mutuality of cities in America and across the world. I’ve been intrigued – not just by the sweep of challenges cities face, but by the exciting promise of sharing experience, learning from each other.
Now it’s time for me to do something about it. With this writing, I’m stopping the weekly column, syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group, that I launched 38 years – some 1,900 weekly dispatches – ago. Last week’s column summarized and bid adieu to that undertaking. To all the readers who sent heartwarming messages of farewell, my deepest thanks.
But I’m going on to an exciting new chapter. With colleagues Farley Peters and Curtis Johnson and others, I’m launching a new global news service – we’re calling it Citiscope Global News – dedicated to reporting on innovations already underway, proving their mettle in cities around the world.
Why this mission? We learned about the need the hard way. The Rockefeller Foundation asked us to attend, then write the report on a month long “Global Urban Summit” it held in 2007 with attendees from across the world. Repeatedly, participants mentioned interesting new experiments in their communities. But when we checked for press reports on those efforts, we found sparse pickings. Most news media coverage of cities remained focused on political maneuvering, crime, conflict and corruption. So as we finished our book reflecting on the summit – we titled it Century of the City – we started thinking of ways to help fill the gap.