On the evening of Saturday, April 10, 2021, we lost Jim Pagels. To preserve his memory, I’d like to scribble down a fraction of the man that I remember, before time cruelly takes that away too. Maybe this isn’t the Jim you knew; to others, he was a son, a…


Urban legend has it that Isaac Newton invented calculus while working remotely from home as the black plague ripped through Cambridge. In a nod to this tradition, I have spent much of my downtime amid the COVID-19 quarantine thinking about Animal Crossing, a life simulation game released for the Gamecube…


Are you…

  • …a practicing city planner?
  • …a member of the American Planning Association?
  • …a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners?

Do you support SB 50?

If so, please consider signing our open letter to the California Chapter of the American Planning Association, which has wrongly decided to oppose…


An experiment in redividing the country

Credit: Nolan Gray

From ancient Greece to Renaissance Italy to the Four Asian Tigers, city-states have always punched above their weight. They’ve driven culture forward, facilitated global commerce, and charged ahead of their nation-bound peers.

Indeed, cities — and the metropolitan regions that orbit around them — make sense as a political and…


Video games are often characterized as a kind of interactive movie. This is superficially true of all video games and perhaps substantially true of many short, highly visual games like Ico and Journey. But in my estimation, video games are much more like books. Like books, video games are a…


It’s a social game, they said.

Many of Oldschool Runescape’s towns and cities, from Port Phasmatys to Lleyta, are dead. This wouldn’t necessarily be a problem in many other MMORPGs, where towns and cities merely act as hubs for adventures in the countryside. But in OSRS, towns and cities really matter to core gameplay. With its…


Guatemala City

Where in the world is the temperature perfect year round? Growing up in a place like Lexington, Kentucky, you get used to cold, icy winters and hot, humid summers. When those delicious few weeks of perfect weather arrive in the spring and fall, the city briefly bursts to life with…


“You’re wasting your vote!” If you’ve considered not supporting Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, you’ve probably heard this line. “Voting for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein is a wasted vote! They will never win,” the reasoning goes.

As a matter of fact, “wasted vote” actually has a technical definition that…

Nolan Gray

the once and future city planner // AICP // @UCLAluskin // kentuckian in california

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