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More Work at Home than Take Transit, Transit Retreats into Niche Markets

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The new American Community Survey data indicates at least two significant narratives with respect to work access trends (commuting and working at home). One is transit work is becoming even more concentrated in only six of the nation’s 20,000 municipalities, the six transit legacy cities. The second is that working at home has passed transit in access to jobs, it now trails only driving alone and car pools.  read more »

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Urban Divergence in Ohio

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One trend we’ve seen in many domains is the bifurcation of society into two tiers, the successful and unsuccessful. One way we see this divergence playing out is between cities in the same state. This NBC article looks at divergence in Ohio between Dayton and Columbus.  read more »

Welcome to Park Forest

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Recently a follower sent me an interesting e-mail. He said he recently re-read The Organization Man by William Whyte, originally published in 1956. The suburban Chicago village of Park Forest, IL, about 30 miles directly south of the Loop, figured prominently in the book, as an example of the kind of Levittown-style suburban development that was taking America by storm at the time. In checking in about Park Forest today, he found that yesterday’s model of white middle class and middle management homogeneity is now a black-majority community.  read more »

The Value of All Things Crazily Rich and Asian

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Neither Kevin Kwan’s novel “Crazy Rich Asians” nor the movie based on it should win any prizes as literature or film. Yet the “Crazy” phenomena — both the best-selling book, its sequels and the smash movie — represent a critical moment not only in Asian, and Asian-American, history, but in how we look at race.  read more »

Ten Years After Lehman Collapsed, We’re Still Screwed

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The collapse of Lehman Brothers 10 years ago today began the financial crisis that crippled and even killed for some the American dream as we had known it. Donald Trump might be starting to change that, at least for Americans who aren’t determined to remain in our bluest and priciest cities.  read more »

“Middle America” in America’s Urban Century

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In the late 1990s and the early Aughts, when the last Gen Xers and the first Millennials were launching into their adult lives, “Urban America” was a very different place. On many fronts, the choices young ambitious graduates had were fast becoming limitless, save on one key front: the cities where they could reasonably want to live.  read more »

Streetcar Roundup

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Milwaukee and Oklahoma City are both planning to open new streetcar lines later this year, so it is worth taking a look at how the dumbest form of transit is working in other cities. The table below shows all of the streetcar lines reported in the July, 2018 National Transit Database spreadsheet. Ridership numbers are shown for January and July and annual growth compares the last full year (August 2017-July 2018) with the year before that.  read more »

A Walk Around Chicago’s Loop

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Chicago has a storied history in skyscraper development, so much so that it has been called the birthplace of the skyscraper. Nearly all of that history occurred in and around the “Loop,” which is the historic downtown, or central business district (CBD). Recently, I took the opportunity to walk around the Loop, to photograph buildings, old and new.  read more »

Cleveland and the Fight for Talent

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Mark Rantala recently wrote an op-ed for Crain’s Cleveland Business that talks about Cleveland’s need for talent:  read more »

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