Geography

Amazon’s HQ2 Is a Golden Opportunity for the Heartland

amazon.com-office.jpg

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon is seeking bids for a second headquarters location that will be equal in size to its current Seattle base. (You can read their RFP here). It would ultimately employ 50,000 people in eight million square feet of office space at an average salary of over $100,000.  read more »

The Changing World of Aviation

ohare.PNG

Perhaps nothing more illustrates the shifts in the global economy than the geography of the largest airports. In 2000, world air passenger statistics were dominated by high income world economies. Among the 25 busiest passenger airports, 14 were in the United States, five in Europe and five in Asia and one in Canada, according to data from the Airports Council International and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.  read more »

The ‘Not Good’, Bad & Ugly of Mapping

Esri_Headquarters,_Building_Q.jpg

Today, useful demographic, real estate, and economic information is instantly accessed from your bedroom laptop. A few decades ago you would have to make a trip to city hall and wait for someone to go through hundreds of files.

Information (data) is only as good as the source, hand entered from someone - subject to human error. Yet in reality, after 3 decades of use, mapping software --- used by virtually every city and county agency --- is actually getting worse not better.  read more »

Las Vegas Lessons, Part II

1024px-Las_Vegas_from_Frenchman_3.jpg

A couple weeks ago I wrote some thoughts after a recent visit to Las Vegas. Most of what I wrote about concerned the Strip and downtown areas of the city, without question the two most recognizable and most frequently visited parts of the region.  read more »

Las Vegas Lessons, Part 1

Night_aerial_view,_Las_Vegas,_Nevada,_04649u.jpg

I spent much of last week in Las Vegas for the International Council of Shopping Centers' RECON 2017, the world's largest real estate convention. It's a gathering for developers, brokers, property owners, retailers, architects, landscape designers, construction companies, municipalities and more to get together to discuss real estate possibilities, in the one city that owes its very existence to aggressive real estate ventures.  read more »

The Coming Democratic Civil War

16603911783_9f7ace766e_z.jpg

Even before the election of Donald Trump, and more so afterwards, the dysfunction of the GOP has been glaringly obvious. Yet, despite the miserable favorability ratings for both Trump and the Republicans, those of the Democrats, notes Gallup, also have been dropping, and are nearly identical to that of the Republicans.  read more »

The Evolving Urban Form: Prague

Národní_muzeum_(National_Museum).jpg

Prague is the capital of Czechia, a nation most readers have probably never heard of. Last year, the Czech Republic adopted a new name that does not reveal its governance structure (republic). The new name has not enjoyed widespread acclaim. The union of Czechoslovakia, which dates from the end of World War I, split peacefully in 1993, resulting in the creation of Czech Republic and Slovakia.  read more »

The Best Small and Medium-Size Cities For Jobs 2017

Overlook_of_Main_St._St._George.jpg

Much of the U.S. media tends to see smaller cities as backwaters, inevitably left behind as the “best and brightest” head to the country’s mega-regions. The new economy, insists the Washington Post, favors large cities for start-ups and new businesses. Richard Florida has posited the emergence of a “winner take all urbanism” that tends to favor the richest cities, such as New York and San Francisco.  read more »

Kevin Starr, chronicler of the California dream

Starr,_Kevin_(IMLS).jpg

“From the Beginning, California promised much. While yet barely a name on the map, it entered American awareness as a symbol of renewal. It was a final frontier: of geography and of expectation.”

— Kevin Starr, “Americans and the California Dream, 1850-1915” (1973)

 read more »

The Demographics of Poverty in Santa Clara County

Siliconvalley (1).JPG

Tucked away in the bottom corner of the San Francisco Bay, tech royalty make themselves at home in their silicon castles. Santa Clara County is the wealthiest county in California, and 14th in the nation, boasting an average median household income of $96,310. However, where there are kings, there must be subjects. Despite its affluence, Santa Clara remains one of the most unequal counties in the United States.  read more »