Future City | WYPR

Future City

Art puts the Charm in Charm City. But with federal budget cuts that threaten the Arts, what does the future look like for arts education and cultural initiatives? 

The Trump Administration’s budget for 2019 calls for eliminating four federal cultural agencies in a move that would save almost $1 billion from a $4.4 trillion spending plan – these cultural agencies include National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

These funding cuts are indicative of a disturbing trend in both federal and state budgets that place little emphasis on the arts. Arts education in schools is particularly vulnerable – with more quote ‘employable’ disciplines lines math and science being emphasized – many educators are worried subjects like music, art, and literature will be poorly funded, or in some cases, cut altogether.

On this episode, Wes learns about the power of arts education on students long-term and talks with local arts educators, activisists, and non-profit leaders. 

AP Photo/John Minchillo

A new study by the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that between 400 million and 800 million of today’s jobs will be automated by 2030. The road toward total automation has some people exhilarated… and some people very, very concerned. With robots taking so many jobs, what will the future of work look like here in the United States? 

This is where the idea of “universal basic income” comes in. We’re going to be exploring the idea that everyone, no matter what, gets a certain amount of money from the government in depth on this month's episode. Some say UBI will address the inevitable lack of jobs in an automated age, while others say this is apocalyptic thinking that could bankrupt the nation. 

All trends point to the number of independent voters only increasing as the divide between the two major parties grows wider and wider… So what will our future cities look like in terms of party politics? Is this the end of the party system altogether or is the time ripe for a new party to gain national traction? On this episode, Wes explores the history of the two-party system and asks if it's possible for a third party to gain any traction in our current political landscape. 

In this encore edition of Future City, Wes explores how Baltimore is working to keep pace with the burgeoning Maker Movement, a lifestyle and philosophy based on the idea that a do-it-yourself attitude changes lives for the better. Is the movement really all its proponents say it’s cracked up to be?  Or is it leaving women and the disadvantaged on the sidelines? 

Smart Cities

Sep 20, 2017

What do you think of when you think of a Smart City? Wi-fi hubs, self-driving vehicles, maybe…  but what about data analysis and research institutions? In this hour, Wes explores the idea of Smart Cities – connectivity hubs that use big data to change the way we interact in urban environments. We’ll be learning from the example of Seattle, Washington – a city that just hired a Smart City Coordinator and has been leading the way when it comes to urban innovation – we’ll then speak with two leaders at Johns Hopkins devoted to making city government more efficient and effective.

Green Cities

Jun 19, 2017

Wes looks to Boston, where a clean harbor and a growing urban agriculture initiative are turning the city into a prime example of what a Green City can look like. The first half of the show focuses on urban agriculture; Wes talks with Green City Growers, the company responsible for implementing a vegetable garden on top of Fenway Park. Back in Baltimore, Wes talks with the Farm Alliance of Baltimore and The Baltimore Orchard Project. Wes addresses some of the dark sides of urban agriculture, speaking with the International Research Center on Sustainability in Paris. Finally, Wes looks to our city’s harbors – speaking with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, and then with Blue Water Baltimore. Urban agriculture is not without challenges – so when it comes to sustainability, what can we learn from the other city by the bay? 

In this episode, Wes explores how Baltimore is working to keep pace with the burgeoning Maker Movement, a lifestyle and philosophy based on the idea that a do-it-yourself attitude changes lives for the better. Is the movement really all its proponents say it’s cracked up to be?  Or is it leaving women and the disadvantaged on the sidelines? 

Sanctuary Cities

Feb 15, 2017

Wes explores nationwide struggles over sanctuary city status and the relationship between local police agencies and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.  What can Baltimore learn from San Francisco, a city that is suing the Trump administration over the issue?

Guests on this episode include:

Bail Reform

Jan 17, 2017

In this episode, Wes looks into the issue of pretrial justice in Baltimore and the problem of money bail. Wes looks to the examples of bail-reform models in Washington, DC, and Louisville, Kentucky, two cities that have radically changed how they deal with people awaiting trial.


Policing and Mental Health

Dec 15, 2016

In this episode, Wes explores initiatives that are helping to improve how police respond to people in mental distress. Across the country, a growing number of cities are investing in ‘Crisis Intervention Team’ training for law enforcement officers and other first responders. This month, Wes looks to San Antonio, Texas, which grew that idea into an innovative collaboration that's made a huge difference over the past decade.

Legalizing Marijuana

Oct 10, 2016

   

America's relationship with pot today is a lot like it was with alcohol at the end of Prohibition: Awkward, and enshrined in a patchwork of changing laws that contradict each other. At the federal level, pot is illegal and a major focus of the War on Drugs. At the same time, states and cities across the U.S. are making it legal for medical use, and increasingly, for recreational use as well. Denver did that two years ago, and much has changed in that city as a result. Wes looks at what Baltimore (where the drug is still mostly illegal) can learn from Denver's path to marijuana legalization.