From the beginning of the mortgage crisis New York and other financial centers have acted as if they were immune to the suffering in the rest of country. As suburbs, exurbs and hard-scrabble out of the way urban neighborhoods suffered with foreclosures and endured predictions of their demise, the cognitive elites in places like Manhattan felt confident about their own prospects, property values and jobs. So what if the rubes in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Tampa and Riverside all teetered on the brink? read more »
In the heart of downtown Indianapolis lies a recently constructed monolith, the envy of other cities aspiring for new digs for their NFL football team. Lucas Oil Stadium has 63,000 seats and features a retractable roof allowing for comfort control during Indiana's fickle fall weather season. And for those urban enthusiasts in the crowd, when open, the roof provides a captivating view of an Indy skyline that in years past was barely visible to the naked eye. read more »
The takeover of Merrill Lynch by Charlotte-based Bank of America represents another step in the emergence of a true full-tilt competitor to New York as a financial capital. Already dominant in commercial banking, the acquisition places the North Carolina metropolis into the first ranks of cities in wealth management. read more »
Matthew Kiefer knows NIMBYs (Not-in-my-backyard). His essay on the social function of NIMBYism may be the best description of the phenomenon I’ve read. It is a dispassionate, clinical assessment by a physician who has seen this condition too many times. read more »
My eldest child tells me that when she arrived at an East Coast college her classmates—many of whom had never visited LA—would ask, “Does your family live in the city, or outside of it?” Her answer, she says, was always long — really long — and of eye-glazing complexity.
Anyone who has raised kids in the middle-class neighborhoods of multipolar LA might chuckle at the thought of trying to define urban or suburban. read more »
As children return to classes in Philadelphia this week, more than half of the kindergarteners attending three downtown public elementary schools will come from their immediate middle-income neighborhoods. Three private schools that also serve this area, drawing over 70 percent of their enrollment from downtown families, are bursting at the seams. Having doubled and tripled pre-school programs over the last half decade, each is now physically expanding to accommodate the 11,200 children, born to downtown parents between 2000 and 2005. read more »
“Suburbs,” the great urbanist Jane Jacobs once wrote, “must be a difficult place to raise children.” Yet, as one historian notes, had Jacobs turned as much attention to suburbs as she did to her beloved Greenwich Village, she would have discovered that suburbs possessed their own considerable appeal, particularly for those with children.
Although some still hold onto the idea that suburbs are bad places to raise children, in virtually every region of the country, families with children are far more likely to live in suburbs than in cities. read more »
The United States has experienced a revolutionary change in social structure over the last 25 years, and this in turn has led to a significant change in settlement, especially the geography of many metropolitan areas.
At the risk of over-generalization, our society has shifted from a structure based on economic class to one based more on education and social values. read more »
Phoenix may be one of the nation’s most misunderstood urban areas. The conventional wisdom is that Phoenix is one of the most suburbanized (or if the pejorative is preferred, “sprawling”) urban areas in the United States. Not so. According to 2000 U.S. Census data, Phoenix ranked number 10 in population density out of the 36 urban areas with more than one million in population. read more »
Fifty years ago, Phoenix was Tiny Town in the Desert, smaller than Oshkosh or Santa Fe today. Now, it is larger than Philadelphia and the metro area has the bulk of Arizona’s population. That does not mean it gets any respect; on the contrary, it is, to many, a joke, with all of Los Angeles’ traffic and smog but without the ocean, the celebrities or the Lakers. read more »