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Citytank is Alive

2011 March 12
by dan bertolet

< The City: 11th between Pike and Pine is one of my favorite parts of it - click image to enlarge >

Now what?

When I launched hugeasscity with that two word question nearly three and a half years ago I had no idea what the answer would be. Another blog? Yawn.

Turns out I created a monster. Then that monster went to play with with PubliCola. And now the monster wants to grow up. Into Citytank, apparently.


Citytank will address the need for rational and pointed dialogue on the immense potential for cities to both address our most pressing environmental challenges, and provide an equitable, high quality of life. Citytank is all about undoing a century of anti-city cultural bias, and thereby facilitating the bold leadership and policy moves that will be necessary to catalyze transformational change for the better in our cities.

The internets are thick with sustainability web sites, but few are focused on cities as the solution. Fewer still dig deep into the nuts and bolts of how urban design and land use policy can reshape our built environment to create cities that will thrive in the face of the massive challenges of the 21st century.  Citytank will fill that niche, providing a unique source of ideas and dialogue for Seattle and beyond.


Cities, like their creators, can never be understood precisely. Cities are nonlinear, self-organizing, unpredictable, emergent. In other words, cities are organic. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn how to make them better. And that’s what Citytank is all about.

In recognition of the infinite complexity of cities, Citytank will debut with a series of short essays by a gaggle of authors about cities: why they matter, what they mean, what’s wrong with them, what’s right with them, how they can be improved, and so on.

With the intent of keeping the ideas focused, authors were asked to limit their pieces to 200 words, hence the series name: C200. Never mind that most authors couldn’t keep below that word limit—people, like cities, tend to be rule breakers, and that’s a good thing.


Beyond the C200 series, readers can expect the sort of thing that I’ve become known for on Hugeasscity and PubliCola, along with more and varied content from other authors and sources. If you are interested in contributing something, or have a tip or story idea, please send email to

A humble request to would be commenters: Please let it rip. Got an opinion? Do you care about this stuff? Life’s too short to hold back. (And, I might add, life’s too short to hide behind an alias, but I know I’ll never get my way on that one…)

My ultimate vision for Citytank is a credible think tank with a dynamic and unpredictable blog for a front door. Now where did I put that glass of wine…

< start: citytank >