Urban Issues

Urban Reform Institute Releases Report on Upward Mobility

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In a new report, Upward Mobility, Charles Blain, Wendell Cox and Joel Kotkin examine examine housing costs, patterns of domestic migration and how they affect upward mobility for middle and working-class citizens, especially historically disadvantage minorities. An excerpt from the report follows below:  read more »

The Riot Ideology, Reborn — excerpted from 'The Crisis of Liberalism: Prelude to Trump

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In the summer of 1966, Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach warned that there would be riots by angry, poor minority residents in “30 or 40” American cities if Congress didn’t pass President Lyndon Johnson’s Model Cities antipoverty legislation.  read more »

Subjects:

Poor City, Rich Suburb: A Defining Characteristic of the Rust Belt

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We all know that for decades the suburbia narrative was one of homogenized, sprawled and insulated wealth separated from diverse, dense and isolated poverty. We also know that's changed dramatically over the last 30-40 years. But that distinction really first became codified in the development patterns of cities that boomed in the late 19th/early 20th century: coincidentally, when Rust Belt cities boomed.  read more »

Congress Extends Pork Another Year

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In a move that will surprise no one at all, Congress has extended federal funding for highways and public transit until September 30, 2021. Such federal funding was set to end on September 30, 2020, and rather than revise the law to take into account the latest trends and events, Congress simply extended the existing law for another year.  read more »

The Coronavirus Reopened America's Wounds — and Poured Salt in Them

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Yes, the coronavirus hit the president and his White House hard, likely because of the irresponsible choices this president has made, but let’s not kid ourselves: The virus has devastated with alarming efficiency minorities and the impoverished, particularly in cities, while accelerating our return to a more hierarchical and far le  read more »

Blade Runner Meets Old Testament

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I took these photos at midday as I went about my usual chores. The forest fires that have been burning across California sent ash over San Francisco turning the sky a freakish shade of orange.  read more »

Missing Middle Housing — Book Review

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Missing Middle Housing – Thinking Big and Building Small to Respond to Today’s Housing Crisis” by Daniel Parolek

Book Review by Adam Mayer

California State Senate Bill 1120 (SB 1120), a bill that would’ve permitted duplexes on land zoned for single-family residences across the state, died abruptly at the 11th hour back in August  read more »

Americans Won't Live in the Pod

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“No Bourgeois, No Democracy”
Barrington Moore

Protecting and fighting for the middle class regularly dominates rhetoric on the Right and Left. Yet activists on both sides now often seek to undermine single-family home ownership, the linchpin of middle-class aspiration.  read more »

A Law and Order Platform to Unite Working-Class Voters

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Donald Trump has positioned himself as the “law and order” president, because the term provides a positive framing for the racially-tinged rhetoric he uses to divide members of the white working and middle classes from people of color.  read more »

The Pre-Pandemic Rise of Working from Home (Telework) and Beyond

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The 2019 market share data has just been released by the American Community Survey. Looking at driving alone and transit market shares, there has been virtually no change since 2010, with driving alone accounting for about three-quarters of commuting, while transit remains steady at 5%. The big news before Covid: the increase in people usually working from home (also referred to as telework or telecommuting)  read more »