Last week, Patty Hannon’s post “Birth and Rebirth” introduced us to one city’s quest for change in the face of destitution and devastation. In many ways, Detroit’s rebirth is generated through re-use and re-purposing. “Urban prairies” bring sun, soil, and plants to steel and asphalt-encrusted city structures, while innovative contractors rely on harvest maps to help them locate reusable building materials close to their construction site.

This week, in a moment of synchronicity, my ears tuned into NPR’s Special Series “Cities in Transition.” Like Patty’s exploration of Detroit’s growing pains, the series focuses on other major US cities who have experienced a significant degree of change in economics or demographics as a result of the Great Recession. Some significant examples are Portland’s magnet-like attraction for young twenty-somethings despite a lack of available jobs and Phoenix’s job economy’s ability to sustain foreign-born workers easier than U.S. natives. Today the series closed out with an insightful meditation on racial segregation in the U.S. housing market. If you missed the series or are curious about any of the transition trends mentioned, click here to access it.

Cast from the IFC series "Portlandia";a new dramedy that features the quirky absurdities of youth counter-culture and city trends.