Indianapolis

Coronavirus and the Future of Work

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The long-term effects of the coronavirus outbreak on our society and business landscape are yet to be determined. But one thing we know is that a big swath of American businesses is conducting a large-scale experiment with remote work (aka work from home). Many of them have also made large investments in infrastructure to support it; one company bought 20,000 laptops for their employees, for example. The coronavirus shutdown will create new capabilities for remote work within firms large and small, and produce a treasure trove of findings about what works well and what doesn’t.  read more »

The Vital Midwest

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John Austin at the Michigan Economic Center is a long time commentator on Midwest economic issues, going back to at least his 2006 Brookings Institute report “The Vital Center.”  read more »

Heartland Intelligence

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There have been some big changes for me. We relocated from New York to Indianapolis, where I’m doing consulting work for the Indy Chamber. I’m no longer full time with the Manhattan Institute but am still a contributing editor at City Journal and still have multiple projects in the works there. I’ll continue to write for other publications too, as with my recent Atlantic piece on J. Irwin Miller and Columbus, Indiana. More on my move below.  read more »

Of Niche Markets and Broad Markets: Commuting in the US

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The six transit legacy cities - mostly urban cores that grew largely before the advent of the automobile - increased their concentration of transit work trips to 57.9% of the national transit commuting, according to the 2018 American Community Survey. At the same time, working at home strengthened its position as the nation’s third leading mode of work access, with transit falling to fourth. The transit commuting market share dropped from 5.0% in 2017 to 4.9% in 2018.  read more »

If You Improve It, They Will Come

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My latest piece is now online at City Journal. It’s a recap of the Indianapolis BRT and Columbus free downtown transit success, as well as a look at Kansas City’s contemplation of free transit citywide. Thanks to a commenter here who originally alerted me to KC’s plans. Here’s an excerpt:  read more »

Indy’s Cost Effective Transit Improvement Plan Is a Model for Low Density Cities

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My latest piece is online at CityLab. It’s a look at the transit improvement plans in Indianapolis as the city’s first Bus Rapid Transit line on September 1st. Indy’s system is a model for how lower density cities with auto-centric cultures can start making major improvements in their transit offerings in a capital efficient way.  read more »

High Performing Midwest Cities Need to Learn How to Attract National Talent

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My latest column is online in the Indianapolis Business Journal. Obviously it’s about Indianapolis, but similar arguments apply to basically every other basically well-performing Midwest city. They are completely parochial talent sheds and need to attract from further afield. Here’s an excerpt:  read more »

Midwest Cities Are Not on the Radar for Migrants

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The Midwest is simply not in the picture when it comes to migration nationally. Even its best performing regions are often migration losers with the rest of the country.

Columbus, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis-St. Paul all have growing populations, and basically healthy economies. Yet all of them are have net migration losses with the country when you look only at migration from out of state.  read more »

Nashville Hot Chicken and the Pork Tenderloin: A Tale of Two Sandwiches

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One of the things you’re sure to hear about if you read up on Nashville is a local dish called “Nashville hot chicken,” a local culinary specialty.

To listen to people talk about it, you’d think eating Nashville hot chicken was some kind of ancient local religious rite. In fact, Nashville hot chicken appears to be a dish of fairly recent provenance. According to the Wikipedia entry for it:  read more »

New Localism and Old Institutions

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Last week I posted an article talking about the maturity curve, or the lifecycle arc from incubation to growth to maturity to decline that applies to so many things. And this weekend my review of Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak’s book The New Localism was published in the New York Times Book Review. These two items are related.  read more »