What’s the use of a blog about about public spaces?


The coming of December marks 3 years of almost daily, at one point twice daily, blog posts here on MyWHaT. The effort has been an attempt to weave seemingly random items of interest into a semi-coherent collection of intentional ideas for our public spaces. Mostly locally focused, but not always.

At times, MyWHaT posts have been introspective or reflective, other times exploratoryintroductory, matter-of-factwistful, or, perhaps for some, forward thinking. Sometimes freaky or tricky. Often posts have been upbeatpositivefunny, or arousing; more often, they have been a bit cranky (see also, here, here, here, here, here and, certainly, here…) and sometimes poignant and sharp, perhaps a bit academic or pedantic. Mostly, the goal was to be encouraging, if not usefulMyWHaT_logo

It is actually fun, interesting, and empowering. Many mornings I wake up without a clue as to what I will write about. The next thing I know, I’m typing. And, despite the vulnerability that washes over me when I put a strong view out-there, I’m eventually able to use that energy to build confidence.

I’m not confident that I have all the right answers, in fact I’m fully aware that I can be wrong; often, I am. Still, there’s confidence knowing that you can be wrong and learn from that point. Engaged readers, both those who comment and those who introduce themselves on the streets, are critical to that learning aspect.

For the rest of December I’ll be taking a step back from the blog. I’m less certain than ever of the blog’s future and need some time away from a daily blog to reflect on that. As well, I need to access my new postion on the city’s planning commission and explore how I can play a role in a more open public process in that position. It may indeed be by maintaining MyWHaT, another blog, a combination, or through an entire other means. I do know that open government is one of my priorities.

I may chime in during this month (it is hard not to) and from day to day I will post from the archive a “sticky” to the front page. Otherwise, catch me on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or on the street; I love hearing from you.

Parting question: How has a specific MyWHaT post, or type of post, been useful for you and/or your community?

Answer here or send a message.


The author can be reached at the “send  a message” page. 


  1. meikasuzanne
    December 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I’m in the very, very beginning stages of advocating for alternative transportation downstate of you, in Holland/Zeeland. I love seeing what’s going on elsewhere in the state, especially in a smaller community – much of what I see elsewhere is geared for larger cities and really isn’t applicable to us here. I’d have a hard time pointing to what specifically has been most valuable to me, but I do appreciate your perspective. It’s a challenge figuring out how much energy to put into a blog versus time on the ground – it can be a huge time suck – but selfishly, I do hope that you keep it up to whatever degree you can make work.

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