Blogs

It's Not About The Climate: How the Left Lost Sight of Social Justice

Over the last few decades, humans achieved one of the most remarkable victories for social justice in the history of the species. The percentage of people who live in extreme poverty — under $1.25 per day — was halved between 1990 and 2010. Average life expectancy globally rose from 56 to 68 years since 1970.  read more »

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A Lasting Solution to the Transportation Funding Dilemma

President Obama's FY 2014 budget request includes $77 billion for the Department of Transportation and an additional $50 billion  "for immediate transportation investments." His next transportation bill to follow the current MAP-21, calls for a 25 percent increase in funding over current levels and assumes a transfer of $214 billion to the trust fund over six years "to maintain trust fund solvency and pay for increased outlays." To offset this spending, the Administration proposes using the "savings" or "peace dividend&quot  read more »

Chinese Cancel Treasure Island Investment as Brown Seeks High Speed Rail Funds

California's Governor Jerry Brown and an entourage of public officials and corporate executives has spent much of the last week traveling around China trying to drum up business for the state. One of his principal objectives is to entice Chinese investors to take a stake in the California high-speed rail project. From the Governor's perspective, this makes all sense in the world.  read more »

States Seek to Become More Self-Reliant for Infrastructure

During his March 29 visit to the privately built and financed PortMiami tunnel project, President Obama unveiled a new infrastructure plan. His latest proposal---costing $21 billion--- includes a renewed call for a National Infrastructure Bank capitalized at $10 billion,  a  $7 billion  "America Fast Forward Bonds" program modeled after the former Build America Bonds;  and a sum of $4 billion in direct loans and loan guarantees.  read more »

Seeking Community in Vancouver's High Rise Ghost Towns

The Province in Vancouver reports (in "15% of downtown Vancouver condos sit empty, turning areas into ghost towns: Study") that "much of the downtown core is starting to look like B.C.’s ghost towns — with apartments languishing empty, businesses closing down and residents not feeling the sense of community they bought into." The study, by University of British Columbia (UBC) planning professor Andy Yan, indicate  read more »

Children Falling from High Rises in New South Wales

Frustrated young children confined in the small apartments proliferating in New South Wales are naturally inquisitive and incapable of judging risks.  They climb onto window sills or balustrades to fall onto concrete many metres below.

The results have been appalling. In Sydney during the period 1998 to 2008 169 children have fallen to serious injury or death, and, as the proportion of apartments increase, so do these tragic incidents, of which there is now one a week.  read more »

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Portland's Slothful Creative Class?

In an article entitled "Portland area's college-educated workers depress metro earning power by choosing low-paying fields, shorter hours," The Oregonian's Betsy Hammond reports on a new study decrying the less than robust economic impact of Portland's younger college graduates, especially males.  read more »

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New Metropolitan Area Definition Winners: New York, Charlotte, Grand Rapids, and Indianapolis

Metropolitan America continues to expand. The new Office of Management and Budget metropolitan area definitions, based upon the 2010 census indicate that the counties composing the 52 metropolitan areas with more than 1 million population increased by 1.65 million from the previous definition. This includes more than 1.4 million new residents in the previous 51 major metropolitan areas and more than 200,000 in Grand Rapids, which has become the nation's 52nd metropolitan area with more than 1 million population.  read more »

Sydney to Abandon Radical Urban Containment Policy

The New South Wales government has proposed a new Metropolitan Strategy for the Sydney area which would significantly weaken the urban containment policy (also called urban consolidation, smart growth, livability, growth management, densification, etc.) that has driven if house prices to among the highest in the affluent New World (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States) relative to household incomes.  read more »