Shutterstock.com

An online project collects people's complaints about their burg in more than 80 locations.

San Franciscans are mightily cheesed off about many things in their hometown, to believe the peevish complaints people are leaving at Dear City.

"Dear San Francisco," reads one. "Why is it so damn hard and damn expensive for a student to find a place to live here?" Another public-transit rider is upset that BART is "so f---ing noisy," carping that "I cant even listen to music in this sardine box. :-/" Yet another individual has a more serious issue: "I don't feel safe walking in the streets at night."

Dear City is a beta project to get urban dwellers to share their opinions about what their burg is doing wrong, and less frequently what it's getting right: People of the Bay Area seem to enjoy the public libraries, for instance. The online service began in 2012 for just Copenhagen, and has since expanded to more than 80 cities with a repository of nearly 1,200-plus "thoughts" displayed as anonymous Post-it notes. Go here for the most active one-sided arguments against cities.

"This web-based framework creates a social cluster of opinions that express the thoughts of the man on the street," say the project's originators, Mikael Stœr and Philip Battin. "Dear City becomes a documentation of contemporary life and its ups and downs. We believe change is achieved through all levels of communication."

So what's the man on the street pondering in your city? Here's a geographic sampling:

Top image: BorisShevchuk / Shutterstock.com

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Environment

    Britain's Next Megaproject: A Coast-to-Coast Forest

    The plan is for 50 million new trees to repopulate one of the least wooded parts of the country—and offer a natural escape from several cities in the north.

  2. A small accessory dwelling unit—known as an ADU—is attached to an older single-family home in a Portland, Oregon, neighborhood.
    Design

    The Granny Flats Are Coming

    A new book argues that the U.S. is about to see more accessory dwelling units and guides homeowners on how to design and build them.

  3. U.S. Embassy in London
    Design

    America's Passive-Aggressive New Embassy Arrives in London

    Why can’t we let bunkers be bunkers?

  4. 1970s apartment complex in downtown Buffalo
    Equity

    The Last Man Standing in a Doomed Buffalo Housing Complex

    After a long fight between tenants and management, John Schmidt is waiting for U.S. Marshals to drag him out of Shoreline apartments, a Brutalist project designed by Paul Rudolph.

  5. People walk through a crosswalk.
    Equity

    Great Cities Enable You to Live Longer

    Dense, well-educated, immigrant-friendly cities boost longevity—especially for the low-income.