Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Banning Dog Walking to 'Save' a Downtown?

Consumerist links to an article saying a small city is considering a ban on even leashed pets to help revitalize an ailing urban area. The town manager defends the potential ban, saying that he's witnessed elderly customers 'nearly falling over' because of the size of some of the dogs.

Of course, the article then shows two tiny dogs and their owners.

This is an interesting contrast to some of the Yappy Hour type activities that we see here in D.C. where businesses are specifically trying to attract dog owners, assuming that they are young professionals with money to spend. 

At the same time, there have been instances that come to mind where dogs and/or their owners get out of control and become a problem.

Without having more familiarity with the issues, this seems like the broken windows kind of approach to crime that may work, but obviously has consequences. It may also be pandering to the electorate, as the elderly were specifically cited. It might even help in the short term.

Some cities (Singapore comes to mind) have had success by banning things as mundane as chewing gum. 

But when you think of a vibrant district of a city, like a farmer's market or a park, responsible dog walking is the kind of activity that you generally want to encourage. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

USATODAY Ends 'Green House' Blog: Where Does 'Green' Content Fit In?

This popped up in my Google Reader, but I was not surprised to see that yet another in a series of 'green' blogs bites the dust.

At one point when I was at AOL, we had 'green' blogs for several different content verticals, whether they be home improvement, autos, careers, tech, finance ... the list went on and on. They often were chasing the same stories and never built much of a following.

In some ways, this was a reflection of the 'green washing' that has gone on at least for the past decade, where things like corn-based ethanol are touted as an environmentally-friendly solution to something that is inherently not green at all.

That is not to say that there isn't real progress being made in the 'greening' of America. But some of the concepts just didn't make a lot of sense as content categories.

Perhaps an exception to this would be something like the movie 'No Impact Man' where one writer takes some of these ideas to the extreme. But even something like this has a limited appeal to a broad audience.