UR Here: Rethinking the comfort zone

We often live by notions and aphorisms, sometimes perhaps more than we should. The greatest danger comes when guiding concepts become clichés, yet we still depend on them for understanding and direction. A number of times recently, I have run across the old saw that we should “get out of our comfort zone,” which has […]

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UR Here: Top-down management of Black Hawk Mini Park at odds with park’s original vision

UR Here

In my previous column, I discussed “place-led governance,” in which urban development considers history, cultural meaning and an inclusive understanding of community members’ use. At the core of place-led governance lies the idea of the commons. For most people, the commons means natural resources such as air, water and soils. Absolutely true—but not sufficient. Current […]

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UR Here: Cottages, conflict and control

Iowa City debates historic preservation

Let’s be clear, this column isn’t about the debate over Iowa City’s Dubuque Street Civil War-era workers’ cottages that are being torn down. This is a column about how we talk about it. Acrimony on both sides of the debate has filled our local media, online venues, Planning and Zoning Commission meetings, and City Council […]

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UR Here: Defining Success

I recently came across an article by “writer, entrepreneur, and video game designer” Jonathan Chee called “5 Key Traits Super Successful People Share.” Chee draws examples from four individuals of extraordinary achievement: a professional bodybuilder, a self-made multimillionaire, an orchestral clarinet player and a polyglot who is developing a new language-learning system. What struck me […]

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UR Here: Winter’s journey

Here in Iowa City, we haven’t had the historic cold and snow this winter as we’ve had in recent years. But the early January snowstorm and cold snap brought out the predictable grumblings and the inevitable question: “Why, again, do we live here?” I embrace winter fundamentally because it is part of the nature and […]

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