Homesteading Detroit

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I was in Detroit recently for the Congress for New Urbanism, the Strong Towns gathering, and a Small Developers Workshop. I used Airbnb instead of the corporate hotel option while in town.  read more »

European GDP: What Went Wrong

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First the two world wars, then a decline in the birth rate.

Newspapers these days are full of stories on World War I which started 100 years ago. They are also full of stories on today’s anemic European economy, as for example with Italy’s negative growth rate in the second quarter and France’s struggle to reach 1% GDP growth this year. At first blush, these two sets of stories are unrelated. But on closer look, it is apparent that the economy today is a distant echo of the war a century ago. And it all comes down to Europe’s demographics.  read more »

Trump's Racial Firebombs Weaken U.S.

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The issue of race has scarred the entirety of U.S. history. Although sometimes overshadowed by the arguably more deep-seated issue of class, the racial divide is a festering wound that decent Americans, including politicians, genuinely want to heal.  read more »

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Outer California: Sacramento Sends Jobs (and People) to Nashville

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A reader comment on a feature by John Sanphillipo (“Finally! Great New Affordable Bay Area Housing! Caught my eye.”). The comment ("You shouldn't have to go to Nashville") expressed an understandable frustration about the sad reality that firms leaving coastal California often skip right over the Central Valley “where the housing costs are reasonable, there are some lovely old homes on tree lined streets, the humidity is less, the mountains are nearby, and you can drive there in 2-3 hours rather than fly.”  read more »

Orlando: Shrines in the Urban Space

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Orlando is now a place where suffering may finally catalyze a response to social violence. The spontaneous outpouring of grief and reconciliation by its people shows that public space lives, and has a useful function in our digital age. In multiple places around the city remembrances of the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting, and of musician and Voice contestant Christina Grimmie who was shot the previous day, are poignant, tangible evidence of the human spirit that one cannot ignore.  read more »

Brits Opt Out

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The famous shot heard “’round the world” this time came from the other side of the Atlantic, but its longtime impact could be equally profound. By voting to leave the European Union and its intrusive bureaucracy, the British people have also risen up against a regime of crony capitalism that has encumbered and perverted democracy across the entire Western world.

The implications, of course, are greatest for Britain and Europe, but they will affect politics here in North America. The Brexit raises to first priority the more general debate about the trajectory of global capitalism which, for all its many accomplishments, has grown to resemble, in its haughtiness and inbreeding, the very statist despotisms that it was supposed to overturn.  read more »

Vote For Brexit Explodes the Myth of the Global City-State

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The UK has voted to leave the European Union.

The Brexit campaign was revealing because it was based on the exact opposite of the urban triumphalist vision that so often dominates the discourse.  read more »

Working Class British Voters Led the European Union Rejection

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On Thursday night the first results from Britain’s referendum on pulling out of the European Union came in.

A small clue to the way things were going last night was the vote in the North East.  read more »

Downtowns Dominate New Zealand Transit Commuting

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The statistical authorities of various nations survey commuting behavior of their citizens in periodic population censuses and related surveys. Most of this data relates to the residential location of workers, but not to the work location. Both sets of data are important for understanding the dynamics of mobility within urban areas. However, in some countries, like Canada and the United States work location is not readily available.  read more »

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Brexit Will Be Britain’s Fourth of July

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The campaign to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union, widely known as “Brexit,” is potentially on the verge of a huge victory Thursday despite overwhelming opposition in the media and among the corporate and political establishment. The outcome matters not just as an expression of arcane British insularity, but as evidence of a growing rebellion against the ever greater consolidation and concentration of power now occurring across all of Europe, as well as here in the United States.  read more »