Modern Cities

is creating Original web content focused on urbanism and culture



About Modern Cities

Who we are

We’re five people from Jacksonville, Florida with a variety of professional backgrounds, including urban planning, English studies, web development, and tactical urbanism. We all have a passion for urbanism and exploring what works - and what doesn’t - as cities across North America revitalize and reinvent. Our team has decades of collective experience in writing and promoting urban issues in print and on the web.

In 2016, we founded as a new online venue to discuss urbanism, planning and culture in the cities of North America and beyond. Every week we publish new articles that combine in-depth analysis, unique storytelling, and original reporting to explore the big issues facing cities in the 21st century. So far we’ve published over 400 articles on topics covering everything from the rise and fall of shopping malls, to transit breakthroughs, to new businesses and districts popping up in cities of all sizes, often covering stories that no one else does.

In 2018, Modern Cities and WJCT Public Broadcasting partnered to create The Jaxson, a new multi-media project dedicated to urbanism and culture on the street level here in our hometown of Jacksonville. The project includes a website (, weekly segments on 89.9 WJCT-FM, and co-hosting live events.

What we need

We plan on Modern Cities and the Jaxson to be here for a long time, and have poured hundreds of hours of passion and knowledge into keeping them alive. We’ve written for a variety of publications and publishers, but it’s liberating knowing we have our own site where we can write the things no one else would. It’s exhilarating, and rewarding!

But to keep going, we need the sites to be sustainable. This is a side hustle for all of us; we all have our day jobs to worry about. Underwriting through our partnership with WJCT certainly helps, but it doesn’t cover the full costs of writing and running the site. Ad revenue has helped a bit, but it’s declining across the web, and honestly, we hate ads as much as you do. They take away from our readers’ experience, and we’re confident we can make it work without them.

This is where our readers come in. Some readers have told us that Patreon would be a good way for readers to support our sites, so we’re giving it a try. It’s pretty simple: a reader can make a donation that recurs each month, in whatever amount they chose. So anything, from $1 a month up, helps keep Modern Cities online.

What we’ll use the money for

Our initial goal is $1000 a month. This will keep the site going for the future, and allow us to expand our coverage organically.

  • Hosting: Our hosting plan needs to be strong enough to cover our current and future traffic. We need to cover our hosting fees, SSL certificate, and server costs.
  • Ongoing web development: Our capable web developer needs the resources to keep the sites running and glitch-free, both now and in the future.
  • Photo gallery hosting: Our extensive photo library is one of our sites’ main draws.
  • Freelance writers and creators: We plan to recruit freelance writers, photographers, and other content creators to expand our coverage and perspectives. We will offer $50-100 for accepted article and photo series submissions.
  • Social media and email marketing: Social media is a key way our articles are seen and shared. Boosting posts makes sure our posts are seen by more of our followers. Email is also a favored way for readers to get our content.
  • Other expenses: Our team routinely goes out on assignment to cover stories, and we plan to expand this in the future. We need enough revenue to cover modest travel expenses, as well as the equipment and photo editing software we need to keep the site looking as awesome as possible.

Those are the basics. With that covered, Modern Cities and the Jaxson can support themselves and grow for the future.
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