“There Can’t Be a Successful Indianapolis Without a Successful Indiana”

Indiana_State_Capitol_Market_St.jpg

Back in 2008 or 2009 I gave a Pecha Kucha presentation in Indianapolis in which I said:

"Cities can’t survive on gentrification alone. The broad community has to be a participant in its success. That’s why I’m somewhat down on the notion of the creative class. It’s good as far as it goes, but it’s a self-consciously elitist vision. Where’s the working class in that?  read more »

The Evolving Urban Form: Houston

tmc.jpg

Houston is a city (metropolitan area) of superlatives. The most recent Brookings Institution data shows that Houston has the seventh strongest per capita economy (gross domestic product) in the world (Figure 1). This places Houston above New York and more surprisingly, perhaps, other cities perceived to have strong economies are far below Houston and outside of the top 10, such as London, Tokyo and Chicago.  read more »

How Silicon Valley’s Oligarchs Are Learning to Stop Worrying and Love Trump

31530266372_ee9766fa7e_b.jpg

The oligarchs’ ball at Trump Tower revealed one not-so-well-kept secret about the tech moguls: They are more like the new president than they are like you or me.

In what devolved into something of a love fest, Trump embraced the tech elite for their “incredible innovation” and pledged to help them achieve their goals—one of which, of course, is to become even richer. And for all their proud talk about “disruption,” they also know that they will have to accommodate, to some extent, our newly elected disrupter in chief for at least the next four years.  read more »

Everyday Encounters: Antagonism in the Sharing Economy

640px-Uber_Sidecar_Lyft.jpg

Much has been written about the growth of the sharing economy where information technology, such as mobile apps and automated software facilitate interactions between businesses, individual workers, and customers. Proponents argue that the system provides greater access to goods and services at lower prices while reducing costs for employers and independent contractors.  read more »

Subjects:

Advancing the Texan City-Building Model

1024px-Old_map-Houston-1873.jpg

Reading the recent report “The Texas Way of Urbanism” promptly reminded me of my status – twice a migrant; from small town to big city (Athens) and from big city to another country. These moves were propelled by a singular motivation: seeking opportunity to better my lot. I knew next to nothing about the cities I moved to: their shape and history, their culture, their social divisions and even language were absent from my viewfinder. All that mattered was the chance for a new start.  read more »

Sydney Lurches to Housing Affordability Disaster

1024px-Sydney_gnangarra_0305-10.jpg

Now and again Australia erupts in controversy about housing affordability. Each time it follows the same course. Some new statistic or media story confirms that prices are out of control. A senior politician is prompted to call for deregulation and more supply, and is backed-up by the property industry. Then come progressive policy wonks saying no, the issue is high investor demand stimulated by tax concessions. Next emerge the welfare lobby, calling for tax reform as well as more social housing and “inclusionary zoning”.  read more »

TruMpISSION Impossible: Deportation

Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore_5.jpg

This is the first in an occasional series of articles that will look at some of the campaign promises made by Donald Trump in his run-up to November 8, 2016. I will be taking a “by the numbers” look at ideas ranging from immigration and border security to trade and infrastructure. I will not be taking a position on whether these are good ideas or bad ideas – this is not a normative analysis. Instead, I will be outlining the feasibility and the economic consequences of several potential policies.  read more »

Subjects:

Are We Going fascist?

Donald_Trump_skidmore_0_0.jpg

The rise, and then the improbable election, of Donald Trump have reawakened progressive fears of a mounting authoritarian tide. With his hyperbole and jutting chin, he strikes some progressives as a new Benito Mussolini who will threaten free speech and other basic human rights.  read more »

Subjects:

The End of Eyes on the Street

NYC.JPG

Jane Jacobs talked about the “sidewalk ballet” of her neighborhood and the importance of eyes on the street. But her conception of that, one where shopkeepers policed the sidewalks in front of their stores and kept an eye out for neighborhood kids, is far away from what we have today.

My latest post looking at this is over at City Journal and is called “The End of Eyes on the Street“:  read more »

The Future of Racial Politics

140107597_84f3f6782f_z.jpg

From its inception, the American experiment has been dogged by racial issues. Sadly, this was even truer this year. Eight years after electing the first African-American president, not only are race relations getting worse, according to surveys, but the electorate remains as ethnically divided as in any time of recent history.     read more »