I traveled several times to Brazil during the early 2000s and made good friends in Sâo Paulo. I became fascinated with Brazil’s great industrial powerhouse. I had never before seen a city so immense, so vast and densely spread out like a human hive. In 2004 the city celebrated its 450th anniversary, so I wrote a short blurb about that for Américas magazine. Later, after another trip, I wrote a feature article about Sâo Paulo. Finally in 2004 I went for four months, on a US State Dept. fellowship that supported my work for the regional planning agency Emplasa.
I visited Milan in early 2002 and, aided by friendly interpreter Chiara Pelizzoni, undertook to learn about the city’s place in Lombardia, its role in the North Italian and European economy and its gradual transformation. What little I could learn in a single trip is told in my story here.
I visited this estate several times while working in Sâo Paulo during the autumn of 2004, which was spring in Brazil. It’s a big coffee estate that Marcos Croce wants to return to the old organic ways and even improve them with new knowledge. I found the place and the people fascinating and wrote this story.
A guest essay in Illinois Issues, November 2006, appearing shortly after the consolidation of the two regional agencies for Chicago. I argued that the underlying divisions remained, and that regional planning would not become truly effective until internal unification of the whole agency under its board occurred. My opinion caused something of a stir, evoking a couple letters in response. The full essay is here.
A profile of a farmer that appeared in Illinois Issues, April 2003. It portrays a farmer who’s struggle with nature to conserve his soil is much easier than his struggle with commodity markets. The full article is here.