In the months following the 'Great Recession' in 2008, Colorado Springs faced an immense budget shortage. The city cut public parks maintenance (including trash and mowing services), turned off streetlights, and stopped watering medians. The severity of the situation brought national attention, which quickly reshaped the debate into a polarizing discussion on the merits of big vs small government, conservative vs liberal values, social safety nets, etc., etc.
This American Life, a decorated weekly public radio show, tackled the underlying question behind polarized political fights and asked "what kind of country do we want?" in their earlier March broadcast. The show featured a thirty-minute long segment on Colorado Springs, focusing in on the city's unique solutions to the crisis.
Listen to the Colorado Springs piece above, or the full hour-long segment on This American Life.