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Rail in Legacy Cities vs. Federal Funds to Poorer Markets

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Someone asked me to reconcile my recent paper on rail funding with my stance on Cal-Train electrification that the feds should prioritize funding towards poorer cities. Very good question because there is an apparent conflict there.  read more »

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Cincinnati Streetcars’ “Catastrophic Failures”

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The Cincinnati streetcar–now known as the Cincinnati Bell Connector since Cincinnati Bell paid $3.4 million for naming rights–is barely six months old, and already is having problems. Four streetcars broke down in one day a few months ago.  read more »

What Trump has wrought

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Just a few short months ago, we seemed on the brink of a new political era. Donald Trump improbably was headed to the White House, while the Democratic Party, at near historic lows in statehouse power and without control of either house of Congress, seemed to be facing a lengthy period in political purgatory.  read more »

The Evolving Urban Form: Budapest

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The Budapest area has lost population overall since 1980, having fallen from 3.03 million to 2.99 million in 2016, according to Hungarian Central Statistical Office data as reported by citypopulation.de (Graphic 1). This 1.3 percent loss is smaller than the national population loss over the same period of 8.2 percent. Moreover, during the last five years, the Budapest area is estimated to have gained 1.7 percent, even as Hungary lost 1.1 percent.  read more »

MaX Lanes: A Next Generation Strategy for Affordable Proximity

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This is the introduction to a new report written by Tory Gattis of the Center for Opportunity Urbanism. Download the full report here.

The core urban challenge of our time is ‘affordable proximity’: how can ever larger numbers of people live and interact economically with each other while keeping the cost of living – especially housing – affordable? In decentralized, post-WW2 Sunbelt cities built around the car, commuter rail solutions don’t work and an alternative is needed, especially as we see autonomous vehicles on the horizon.  read more »

America's Heartland is Critical to Our Future

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The results of the 2016 presidential election have been ascribed -- by the winner’s critics -- to racism, hysteria, stupidity, or nostalgia. But what the results most reflected was a looming economic divide. Essentially, Donald Trump won in the parts of the country that grow most of the food, drill for oil and gas, and produce palpable things. The places that went for Hillary Clinton are where intangibles such as media, software, and financial transactions drive the economy.  read more »

Move Over, San Francisco: Dallas Tops Our List Of The Best Cities For Jobs 2017

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Dallas is called the Big D for a reason. Bigger, better, best: that’s the Dallas mindset. From the gigantic Cowboys stadium in Arlington to the burgeoning northern suburbs to the posh arts district downtown, Dallasites are reinventing their metropolis almost daily. The proposed urban park along the Trinity River, my Dallas friends remind me, will be 11 times bigger than New York’s Central Park.  read more »

The New American Heartland: Renewing the Middle Class by Revitalizing the Heartland

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This is the introduction to a new report written by Joel Kotkin and Michael Lind with a team of contributors. Download the full report (pdf) here.

The greatest test America faces is whether it can foster the kind of growth that benefits and expands the middle class. To do so, the United States will need to meet three challenges: recover from the Great Recession, rebalance the American and international economies, and gain access to the global middle class for the future of American goods and services.  read more »

The globalization debate is just beginning

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The decisive victory of Emmanuel Macron for president of France over Marine Le Pen is being widely hailed as a victory of good over evil, and an affirmation of open migration flows and globalization. Certainly, the defeat of the odious National Front should be considered good news, but the global conflict over trade and immigration has barely begun.  read more »

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