“What's your favorite podcast?” A rare question five years ago, it's now the icebreaker du jour. Admit it, you've eagerly posed (or dreaded) this question at your last happy hour.
A podcast is a music or talk program downloaded from the Internet, and according to Webster the word first entered our lexicon 13 years ago. In recent years there's been an upsurge in popularity in podcasts of all kinds, so we were curious about what GGWash contributors are listening to. Here’s the resulting list of the urbanism podcasts our contributors love:
Slate’s Placemakers spends each 30-minute episode going in-depth into a particular community or idea, and has discussed concepts such as New Urbanism or projects like the redevelopment of the East Lake housing complex in Atlanta. In its Warrior on the Hill episode, they talk about DC’s non-voting delegate, Eleanor Holmes-Norton.
Each week, the Talking Headways podcast tackles all things dear to an urbanist’s heart – transportation, economic development, planning and more. Its latest episode featured GGWash Editorial Board member Dan Reed discussing the Purple Line.
99% Invisible has 277 episodes uncovering the unnoticed architecture and design that shapes our lives. Recent episodes delve into shipping containers, baseball stadiums, and the design impact of the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. It's utterly fascinating.
GovLove discusses the people, policies, and the profession of local government. This includes issues facing local governments like driverless cars and managing a college town, all explored through interviews with managers, researchers, and elected officials.
Ever read an article and immediately want to discuss it with someone? Third Wave Urbanism has that feel to it. Its two female hosts (including GGWash contributor Kristen Jeffers) dissect recent urbanist news items from their warm and witty perspective.
Strong Towns’ episodes are all about, well, strong towns—their urban design features, transportation systems, local food opportunities, and more. Much of the information about why some towns succeed and why some fail is through an economic or fiscal lens.
The Urbanist from Monocle 24 has a new 30-minute episode each week with additional 3-4 minute stories every few days. It's more policy-oriented than the other podcasts on this list, and more international in flavor than others mentioned here.
Chicago NPR affiliate WBEZ hosts Curious City, which researches a wide range listener-submitted questions about the city. The result is a podcast featuring the story behind the White Sox logo, what local agriculture was like in the 1800's, and the best stargazing spots.
There’s more urbanism-themed podcasts, of course. Next City has a good roundup here, and there are urbanism episodes in other well-known podcasts. TED Radio Hour’s Building Better Cities is a favorite, as is Radiolab’s Cities.
What’s missing from our list? What’s your favorite urbanism or DC-focused podcast?