Cities Point the Way in Promoting Opportunity and Reducing Poverty

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American cities are laboratories of democracy. Their differences in policies and economic patterns shed considerable light on the challenge of promoting upward mobility and alleviating poverty. 

As we have studied America’s top 60 metropolitan areas over the last several months, five – Minneapolis-St. Paul, Salt Lake City, Denver, Portland (Oregon), and Omaha – stand out for their success in delivering broad-based prosperity.  read more »

Twilight of the Oligarchs?

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Amazon’s decision to abandon New York City—leaving a $3 billion goodie bag of incentives on the table—represents a break in the progressive alliance between an increasingly radicalized Left and the new technocratic elite.  read more »

She’s No Alexander Hamilton

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The Antiplanner might be behind the times, but has anyone else noticed that it is the Democrats who are playing the role of Alexander Hamilton — the conservative who wanted to centralize government and concentrate power in New York banks — while the Republicans are playing the role of Thomas Jefferson — the civil libertarian who wanted to keep economic and political power decentralized?  read more »

This Train Won’t Leave the Station

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Governor Gavin Newsom has canceled the bulk of the state’s long-proposed high-speed line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, leaving only a tail of the once-grand project—a connection between the Central Valley’s Merced and Bakersfield, not exactly major metropolitan areas. “Let’s be real,” Newsom said in his first State of the State address. “The project, as currently planned, would cost too much and take too long. There’s been too little oversight and not enough transparency.”  read more »

Pulling the Plug on HS2 (London-Birmingham High Speed Rail)?

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High speed rail may be proposed as a climate change panacea here and elsewhere, but the results on the ground are less than promising. California Governor Gavin Newsom announced this week that the California high speed rail project would be scaled back to the route between Bakersfield and Merced, in the San Joaquin Valley (which the state has enough money for). In his “state of the state” speech the Governor said “…let’s be real. The project, as currently planned, would cost too much and take too long. There’s been too little oversight and not enough transparency.”  read more »

Restoring The California Dream, Not Nailing Its Coffin

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Virtually everyone, including Gov. Gavin Newsom, is aware of the severity of California’s housing crisis. The bad news is that most proposals floating in Sacramento are likely to do very little to address our housing shortage.

Newsom has promised to have 3.5 million homes built over the next seven years to solve the problem. That is, conservatively stated, more than 2.6 million that would be built at the current rate of construction.  read more »

The Hardening of Chicago's Inequality

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Last week I was fortunate to be a part of a fantastic symposium, called Policies to Promote Inclusive Urban Growth. It was held in Dallas at the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the campus of Southern Methodist University, and the event also served as the public release of a report which I worked on, Beyond Gentrification: Towards More Equitable Urban Growth, published by the Center for Opportunity Urbanism (If you get a chance I encourage you to check out the video of the event, found at the first link above). The report took a look at recent development activity and their impacts in three very different cities: Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas.  read more »

Technological Progress and The Global Sex Recession

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We may live amidst what seems a libidinous culture, but oddly also an increasingly sexless time. Of course, the drop in early teen sex - and even more so, teen pregnancies - represents positive developments, but when lack of social interaction leads to celibacy in the twenties, thirties and beyond, the implications are less than wholesome.  read more »

Getting-Off-Fossil Fuels: A Medieval Method For Reducing Unfunded Pension Liabilities

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Looking back just a few short centuries, we’ve come a long way since the horse and buggy days, before medications, doctors, cosmetics, plastics fertilizers, and transportation from jet engines, diesel trucks, and automobiles that has been the primary cause of globalization, as well as the thousands of products that we get from fossil fuels that are the basis of every infrastructure in our daily lives.  read more »

Beyond Beer, Bread and Bicycles: The Industrial Return To the City

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In San Francisco, the former site of the Hunters Point shipyard is now being developed with over 10,000 units of housing, 2.6 million square feet of office and R&D space, and about a half million square feet of retail. The project will also include about 75,000 square feet of maker space, or less than 1% of the total building area, most of which will probably go to artisanal firms making food, fashion and furnishing, things like beer, bread and bicycles, sold to the upscale consumers of the region.  read more »