As all the Californians who celebrated the deluge of rain that fell the week before last know, it did not do much to ameliorate the state’s deep drought. We are likely to enter our traditionally dry spring, summer and fall in a crisis likely to exacerbate the ever greater estrangement between the state’s squabbling regions and classes. read more »
London’s goal — admirable for any city of medieval invention — is to drive the private car underground and replace it with a web of mass transit, suburban trains, bike lanes, taxi stands, and walkways. All of those are well calibrated to an urban grid that consists of mews, squares, and quirky side streets with names like Shoulder of Mutton Alley. read more »
Is New York City ready to contest in high-tech against Silicon Valley? Fuggedaboutit.
Gotham is so far behind in every conceivable measurement — from engineering prowess to employment and venture funding — that even the idea is somewhat ludicrous.
While Madison Alley has marketed the city’s tech prowess before, going back to when owners of lower Manhattan real estate promoted “Silicon Alley,” the action has been elsewhere. read more »
Former World Bank principal planner Alain Bertaud has performed an important service that should provide a much needed midcourse correction to urban planning around the world. Bertaud returns to the fundamentals in his "Cities as Labor Markets." read more »
David Jarman of Daily Kos Elections provides an excellent analysis of the absolute change in the Democratic and Republican vote for president from the 1988 through the 2012 elections, together with valuable tables and maps. read more »
The recent decision by Occidental Petroleum to move its headquarters to Houston from Los Angeles, where it was founded over a half-century ago, confirms the futility and delusion embodied in California's ultragreen energy policies. By embracing solar and wind as preferred sources of generating power, the state promotes an ever-widening gap between its declining middle- and working-class populations and a smaller, self-satisfied group of environmental campaigners and their corporate backers. read more »
Ever since the Great Recession ripped through the economies of the Sunbelt, America’s coastal pundit class has been giddily predicting its demise. Strangled by high-energy prices, cooked by global warming, rejected by a new generation of urban-centric millennials, this vast southern region was doomed to become, in the words of the Atlantic, where the “American dream” has gone to die. If the doomsayers are right, Americans must be the ultimate masochists. After a brief hiatus, people seem to, once again, be streaming towards the expanse of warm-weather states extending from the southeastern seaboard to Phoenix. read more »
The only time the Swiss make US headlines, other than with the occasional Olympic biathlon medal, is when a majority of the voters exercise their franchise by voting down minarets or, as happened this month, banning free immigration from the European Union.
As the most democratic country on earth — major political questions are submitted to a popular vote — Switzerland allows what are called popular initiatives on any issue that can muster 100,000 signatures on a petition. It’s the only country in Europe that operates like "The Gong Show". read more »
In an era of high unemployment and limited opportunity, more Americans are taking matters into their own hands and going to work for themselves out of their homes. read more »
Midland and Odessa in West Texas. Pascagoula, a port town on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Fargo and Bismarck, the two largest cities in North Dakota. These were among the USA’s 10 fastest-growing metro economies in 2013, as ranked by growth in real gross metropolitan product (GMP), and they have a few things in common. read more »