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 »
Yuri Gagarin was my hero. For a child just nine years old on 12 April 1961, the day he flew into space, he appeared intrepid, unassuming, and cool. Above all, he appeared in black and white. This was not the glossy, sunlit, bright blue Florida-sky ethic of American efforts in space, all NASA aluminium foil and silver crewcuts in magazines such as Life. No, with Gagarin there was something grittier, more documentary, something altogether scarier than Cape Canaveral. read more »
Those who run the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority evidently believe that, since the Consent Decree that forced it to improve service to its bus riders has expired, they are free to rewrite history to justify Metro's elimination of nine bus lines, its reductions in service on eleven more, and its overall elimination of four percent of its bus service hours by attempting to show that MTA bus service is little utilized and not cost-effective. read more »
On March 25th, the Bureau of Labor statistics released a report that showed that California jobs had increased by 96,000 in February. The state’s cheerleaders jumped into action. Never mind that the state still has a 12.2 percent unemployment rate, and part of the decline from 12.4 percent is because just under 32,000 discouraged workers left California’s labor force in February. read more »
To my pleasure, there is now a United States Bicycle Route System that goes more places than Amtrak and Greyhound do. Have a look at the proposed map of the national corridor plan.
The goal is to create clearly marked north-south and east-west routes, as romantic as the Oregon Trail or as functional as the Erie Canal. The trail of Lewis and Clark is on one of the routes. read more »
“The prosperity of our economy and communities is dependent on the political structures and mechanisms used to manage and coordinate our economic systems.”
No politician expecting to be taken seriously would say that today. read more »
The two largest crises today — the Japanese nuclear disaster and the widening unrest in the Middle East — prove it’s time to de-fetishize energy policy. These serious problems also demonstrate why we must expand the nation’s ample oil and gas supplies — urgently.
The worsening Japanese nuclear crisis means, for all intents and purposes, that atomic power is, if not dead, certainly on a respirator.
Some experts may still make the case that nuclear power remains relatively safe. Some green advocates still tout its virtues for emitting virtually no greenhouse gases. read more »
There’s been a lot of talk lately about the shift in the US economy away from production and increasingly into services. Consider the employment data from the US: In 1950, 30% of all US jobs were in manufacturing while 63% were in services. In 2011, 9% of total employment remains in manufacturing, 86% in services. read more »
Living on the harsh, wind-swept northern Great Plains, North Dakotans lean towards the practical in economic development. Finding themselves sitting on prodigious pools of oil—estimated by the state's Department of Mineral Resources at least 4.3 billion barrels—they are out drilling like mad. And the state is booming. read more »
A critical issue from the dreadful earthquake that has severely damaged so much of central Christchurch, taken so many lives, and terrified so many residents of the whole urban area, lies in whether the Central Area should be rebuilt. Some believe it should be abandoned for some other location; others see an opportunity to set new standards in sustainability, urban design, energy efficiency, or whatever ideal urban form takes your fancy. read more »