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From NYC: Behind the scenes of the Livable Streets Network

Posted by on January 30th, 2009 at 10:44 am

[Publisher’s note: This story was written by Managing Editor Elly Blue during her recently concluded East Coast Tour.]

Sarah Goodyear, Livable Streets
Network editor and community manager
(Photos: Elly Blue)

While I was in New York briefly, I met up with Sarah Goodyear, editor and community manager of the recently launched Livable Streets Blog Network. Billed as “the national blog network for sustainable transport, smart growth, and livable streets,” the network is the brainchild of Aaron Naparstek, editor-in-chief of (Both the network and StreetsBlog are part of umbrella organizaton The Open Planning Project.)

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As the network’s editor, Goodyear sifts through stories from hundreds of blogs from all over the country, twice a day. Every morning she chooses one story to reprint and several to feature, posts them on the network’s home page, and writes a StreetsBlog story about the day’s featured post.

The network currently has 202 member blogs, hailing from 34 states, “and it’s growing every day,” says Goodyear.

Of all the blogs in the network, some of Goodyear’s favorite reads include:

“I want people to feel like they are part of a growing movement that has political clout and that is going to get heard.”
— Sarah Goodyear

  • The Bus Bench: A public transit blog out of Los Angeles. Goodyear likes how publisher Browne Molyneux gets deep into the issues she covers. Also, Molyneux is one of the only women of color — or women, or people of color — in the network.
  • Fort Worthology: A really well done blog focusing on smart growth and sustainable transport issues in Texas.
  • Greater Greater Washington: Along with StreetsBlog and BikePortland, this is one of the few blogs doing extensive, in-depth reporting, Goodyear says.
  • Milwaukee Rising and Political Environment: two blogs doing good work and providing important perspectives in Wisconsin.

Goodyear is one of about a dozen members of the TOPP team who work from home. Her background is in journalism and freelance writing (and she recently published a novel). She is working on the Livable Streets Network as a freelancer, but is optimistic that the network will prove successful enough to turn into a regular part-time job. She sees the network, she told me, as a chance to connect and strengthen the many local livable streets movements in the country.

The best part of the job? Learning about what someone’s doing in a small town in Kansas, and being able to connect them with similar work in New York.

She hopes to see the network grow into an empowering tool in TOPP’s growing livable streets toolchest. Obama has shown us, she said, that we can mobilize people using the internet to have real power. “I want people to feel like they are part of a growing movement that has political clout and that is going to get heard.”

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One Comment
  • browne February 8, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    The best thing about the internet is it connects you to all of the people who do what you do in other states and even other countries.

    Browne Molyneux

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