Sprawl is ubiquitous, even in my beloved Copenhagen

iStock_000007255195XSmall.jpg

The year I attended the University of Copenhagen as an undergraduate, I lived in a suburb north of the city and commuted to the central city via bus and rail (the famous S-trains). What a great system, I remember thinking as an impressionable ingénue (you could go anywhere, and trains were on time to the second!). When I returned as a graduate student I lived right in the city center and discovered that great public transit did not obviate the need for extensive walking (I must have worn out five pairs of shoes that year).  read more »

The American Dream: Alive and Well (Some Places)

iStock_000002936389XSmall.jpg

Even after the burst of the housing bubble, the American Dream of home ownership has remained alive in some places. As it turns out the “bubble” was far from pervasive, and as Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman indicated in The New York Times, the housing price increases were largely limited to the areas of the nation with stronger land use regulation.

In all, at the peak of the housing bubble, 46 of 129 US markets had house prices at or below the historic ceiling of three times household incomes (see 4th International Demographia Housing Affordability Survey. Before the bubble, nearly all markets were at or below that norm, but many have risen to double, triple or even more than three times the standard.  read more »

California Disconnect: Don’t Get Out the Vote for Congress, State Legislature

iStock_000006385807XSmall.jpg

Have you heard about the current election season in Los Angeles?

Sure, we’ve all gotten word about the presidential campaign. But how much have you heard about races for the U.S. Congress or State Legislature?

The member of the U.S. House of Representatives who represents my neighborhood is up for re-election, along with his 434 colleagues. So is the fellow who represents me in the California State Assembly—and his 79 colleagues.  read more »

Neither fish nor fowl: Emerging urban enclaves in inner-ring suburbia

fallschurchrt7.jpg

By Peter Smirniotopoulos

As I was walking my dog the other morning I was struck by the fact that the City of Falls Church, Virginia, the quaintly bucolic suburban “village” to which our family moved in mid-2001, was no longer suburban. It isn’t a city in the proper sense, like Washington, DC or even Alexandria, Virginia, but it is reflective of the trend towards quasi-urban places in the close-in rings – the original turn-of-the-century and pre-Levittown suburbs – enveloping our city cores.  read more »

Resources and Resourcefulness – Welcome to The Real Economy

IMG_0341.JPG

By Delore Zimmerman

The orchard-laden foothills of North Central Washington’s Wenatchee Valley are resplendent at this time of year. The apple and pear harvest is in full swing. The warm golden hues, the crisp mountain air and the bustle of trucks carrying produce to markets near and far provide a stark and welcome contrast to the daily barrage of bad news about the downward spiral of the nation’s financial markets.  read more »

Why Omaha?

iStock_000004232156XSmall.jpg

I lived in or near cities for 30 years because that’s where the jobs are. I left southwestern Pennsylvania in 1977 as the closing of coal mines and steel mills wrecked the local economy. It cost almost $1,000 per semester to attend the state college, many times that for the state university. There were no opportunities for a young person. I moved to California where residents received free tuition at state universities. I earned 2 college degrees in California and advanced my career from Prudential Insurance through the Federal Reserve Bank and to the Pacific Stock Exchange.  read more »

The Financial Crisis: Bubbles Deflating Worldwide

iStock_000001532384XSmall.jpg

The mortgage meltdown is much more than an American affair. Real estate bubbles have developed in all major English speaking countries - US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

Over the past year, house prices have dropped 12 percent in the United Kingdom. The annual decline is approaching 10 percent in Ireland, while median house prices have dropped six percent in New Zealand. In each of these countries, the price declines started after the United States.  read more »

Obama: A Campaign Model for the Information Age

NYCWashSq9-27-07ObamaRally(2)cDeborahHarse2007.jpg

Senator Barack Obama has run the first campaign of the information age, and win or lose he has set the standard for how campaigns will be run from this point forward.

He has parlayed his inspirational speeches and personal appeal to the millennial generation into a base of small donors likely unequaled in modern election history. His campaign understood the power of the Internet and social networking and successfully used it as a resource to create political buzz about him and build a fundraising juggernaut.  read more »

Restless Americans: Migration and Population Change, 2000-2007

iStock_000006816473XSmall.jpg

Americans may be less mobile than in the past, but millions since 2000 have continued to be on the move, reshaping the landscape and economy of the nation. Three maps will be briefly discussed: one of population change by county, 2000-2007, one of net internal migration by county, and one of net immigration from abroad. We will then focus on the “extremes”, unusually large levels or intensities of net internal migration and of immigration.

Overall population growth  read more »

Florida: The Music Has Stopped

iStock_000001193144XSmall.jpg

And those without chairs will be standing for an awfully long time

By Richard Reep

Florida real estate, which boasts a notorious tradition that dates back to Ponce de Leon’s search for the Fountain of Youth in 1513, has recently exceeded even its own flaky reputation. Quality of life here will suffer in the near term. In the long term, Florida’s economy will recover its viability, but in a new form.  read more »