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Pete Saunders


Pete Saunders is a writer and researcher whose work focuses on urbanism and public policy. He has been the editor and publisher of the Corner Side Yard, an urbanist blog, since 2012. A practicing urban planner, he serves as the community and economic development director for the Chicago suburb of Richton Park, Ill., and is the principal for PDS Consulting, an urban-planning consulting and research firm.

Outside of blogging, Saunders' writing has been published in traditional outlets such as Planning Magazine, the Chicago Reader, Crain's Chicago Business, the Detroit Free Press, The Guardian and Encyclopedia Britannica, and in internet outlets such as the Urbanophile, New Geography, Rust Wire, Planetizen and Huffington Post. He holds a bachelor's degree in urban planning from Indiana University and a master's from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

When urbanists gather, too often the bias is to the issues faced by coastal cities and the Sun Belt. The sense of Midwest irrelevance has always been a part of the American psyche.
It can take decades for slowly changing circumstances to alter the understanding of a region's strengths or weaknesses. That can have an impact on everything from revitalization to political discourse.
We think we know it when we see it, but no one's come up with a perfect way to describe it in our complex metro landscape. A look at population data is a helpful place to begin.
It's not enough to be grateful to those who are helping us get through a tough time. We need policies that value the work they do and give them the opportunity to move up economically.
They face a growing list of challenges as they diversify.
Older metros don’t grow the same way younger ones do. Why don’t we acknowledge that?
Climate change discussions must not ignore the impacts that local governments and extreme weather have on one another.
America's housing crisis is about more than high prices.
It’s a massive shift in the dynamic between outlying communities and urban cores.
There's a lot to learn from the Windy City.