Hawks and doves disagree on whether World War II ended the Great Depression. Depending on which species of bird squawks louder, military spending may be the only way out of our current financial malaise. In many ways it is already happening, although it is a surreptitious and quiet influence felt mostly in the high-tech economic sector. Defense growth in one of the most unlikely places – Orlando, Florida – has already begun to diversify the region’s income stream, create a new urban c read more »
In this most insipid of recoveries, perhaps the most hopeful story comes from New Orleans. Today, its comeback story could serve as a model of regional recovery for other parts of the country — and even the world.
You could call it the Katrina effect. A lovely city, rich in history, all too comfortable with its fading elegance and marred by huge pockets of third-world style poverty, suffers a catastrophic natural disaster; in the end the disaster turns into an opportunity for the area’s salvation. read more »
Lincoln University in New Zealand did a great job of assembling some leaders in the principles and practice of disaster recovery for its Resilient Futures workshop recently in support of recovery in Christchurch after the February earthquake. And in keeping with one of the themes – the importance of quality and timely communications – the papers and summary are already posted on the web. read more »
For more than 15 years, New York State has led the country in domestic outmigration: for every American who comes to New York, roughly two depart for other states. This outmigration slowed briefly following the onset of the Great Recession. But a new Marist poll released last week suggests that the rate is likely to increase: 36 percent of New Yorkers under 30 are planning to leave over the next five years. read more »
It's been more than three years since the Great Recession began, and it's no longer debatable that the federal spending in its wake did not provoke inflation. Years of forecasts by fiscal conservatives about the result of government expenditures have proved to be wrong. After three fiscal stimulus packages, core inflation — which excludes the volatile prices of oil and commodities— remains very much in check. The core rate is the most reliable guide to future inflation, and it has not trended upward.
Headline inflation, however, the rate that does include these two, has increased. Is the recent uptick in gas and food prices a game-changer on inflation? read more »
The “global city” is one of the dominant themes related to urban success today. In this model, cities serve both as huge agglomerations of top specialized talent and also as “control nodes” of the global economy serving as key sites for the production of financial and producer services demanded by the new globalized economy. In her seminal book on the subject, Saskia Sassen noted New York, London, and Tokyo as the paradigmatic examples of the global city. read more »
Are compact cities healthy cities? One argument for compact cities is that they are good for our health. The New Zealand Public Health Advisory Committee in 2008, for example, cited four principles for healthy urban planning based on the density of development: urban regeneration, compact growth, focused decentralisation, and linear concentration. The aim is less time in cars and more use of active transport. read more »
When I was young and my brother was a little older, we would be in bed before dark on mid-summer evenings. (The times were different then.) We would lay in our separate beds, but only an arm’s length apart as shadows lengthened up the far wall of our room, until the dial of the Zenith radio on top of the dresser was the only light left. The Dodgers’ game would be on. Vin Scully was calling the plays. read more »
An undated--- and possibly still unvetted by OMB---draft of US DOT’s legislative proposal for surface transportation reauthorization, the "Transportation Opportunities Act," has been making the rounds in Washington for the past week. Its publication, however, has been largely ignored by the inside-the-Beltway transportation community. What would ordinarily be an eagerly awaited event and an occasion to compliment the Department , has passed virtually unnoticed. read more »
We live in an era of the heady drumbeat of urban triumphalism. In a world that is now, by some measures, predominately urban, observers like historian Peter Hall envision a “coming golden age” of great cities. It is time to look at such claims more closely, replacing celebratory urban legends with careful analysis. Although the percentage of people living in cities is certain to grow, much of this growth will be in smaller cities, suburbs and towns. read more »