Ear to the Pavement is a podcast about radical urban social movements. We feature interviews with people who are thinking, writing, working, and organizing on the front lines of transformative urban planning and policy.


Ear to the Pavement is produced by Allison Lirish Dean, in association with Progressive City.

APRIL 23, 2018

Living on 90 Percent Less Energy: Can We Do It for Climate Justice?

Of all of the things there are to worry about in the Trump era, climate change is at the top of the list. But the failure to act effectively on climate long predates Trump. In Episode Seven of Ear to the Pavement, Anne Peterman of Global Justice Ecology Project argues that by promoting market-based solutions such as carbon trading, a series of American presidential administrations have not only failed to address climate change, but have also helped enrich corporations at the expense of poor and indigenous communities worldwide. What we really need in order to solve the climate crisis is a collective effort to transform society. But how might this happen, and what would a truly sustainable world look like?


NOVEMBER 16, 2017

Everyday Radicals: What #TheResistance Can Learn From the League of Revolutionary Black Workers

In too much American political discourse, race and class are treated as separate issues, when they’re really integrated. But what does a politics that truly deals with both look like? The League of Revolutionary Black Workers has an answer. Formed in 1969 and lasting only a few years, the League was one of the most politically sophisticated movements in American history. In Episode Six of Ear to the Pavement, Dan Georgakas, author of Detroit, I do mind dying, explains why the League is so relevant to our current political moment.


SEPTEMBER 15, 2017

Take Back the Land beat Bank of America. Here's how they did it.

In Episode Five of Ear to the Pavement, housing organizer Rob Robinson recounts his journey from homelessness to the housing movement, and explains how Take Back the Land, an organization he co-founded, used radical organizing to successfully fight the corporate forces that helped create the foreclosure crisis. Robinson is currently a volunteer organizer with the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI), and is connected to housing and land movements in Europe, South Africa, and Brazil.


APRIL 5, 2017

The Urgency of Community Media in an Era of Noise

In Episode Four of Ear to the Pavement, documentary filmmaker and teacher Louis Massiah talks about the importance of using media to focus attention on the concerns and experiences of ordinary people. One of the country’s most important and celebrated pioneers in the field of community media, Massiah is Founder and Executive Director of the Scribe Video Center in Philadelphia, a media arts center which has been around since 1982. The center’s mission is to help communities in the Philadelphia area learn to make media both as a means of artistic expression, and as a tool for progressive social activism.


FEBRUARY 22, 2017

Revisiting Root Shock in an Age of Mass Displacement

As more and more people are displaced by gentrification, war, deportation, economic instability, and other forces, the concept of "Root Shock" is as relevant as ever. In Episode Three of Ear to the Pavement, psychiatrist, author, and scholar Mindy Thompson Fullilove revisits her classic book, Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America and What We Can Do About It. Well before it was an accepted idea, Fullilove documented how people's ability — or lack thereof — to put down roots and shape their communities influences not only individual mental health, but society as a whole.


JANUARY 23, 2017

Inauguration Special, Unpacking Trump
In Episode Two of Ear to the Pavement, we present an extended interview with planning scholar, author, and activist Tom Angotti about his personal reaction to the rise of Donald Trump, how we got here, his biggest concerns, and how progressives might respond. This interview delves further into themes Tom covered in his November piece in Progressive City, Trump: What Can Progressive Planners Do?


NOVEMBER 13, 2016

The Brooklyn Wars with Neil DeMause

In Episode One of Ear to the Pavement, Allison Lirish Dean speaks with New York City-based journalist and author Neil DeMause about gentrification and development in Brooklyn, and his new book, The Brooklyn Wars: The Stories Behind the Making of New York's Most Celebrated Borough