One of the most enduring urban myths suggests that most jobs are in the core of metropolitan areas, making commuting from the far suburbs more difficult. Thus, as fuel prices have increased, many have expected that people will begin moving from farther out in the suburbs to locations closer to the cores. Indeed, in some countries, such as Australia, much of the urban planning regime of the last decade has been based upon the assumption that urban areas must not be constrained because the residents on the fringe won’t be able to get to work. read more »
Even in the best of times, Sacramento tends to be a prisoner to low self-esteem. The region's population and economic growth have been humming along nicely for the past decade, drawing ever more educated workers from overpriced coastal counties, but the region's leaders have often seemed defensive about their flourishing town. read more »
Sacramento is a city on the verge. Over the last 20 years, I have watched it emerge from a "cow town" lassitude. This has been viewed as a well earned epithet by newcomers from either coast and a fond trademark to many long time Sacramento traditionalists. Although there was evidence of hyperbole in both camps, the city's lack of cultural and intellectual activities, its dependence on an economy driven by agricultural and state government has contributed to creating an often torpid local environment. read more »
My father made the huge piece of art that sits proudly on display at the entrance of the Daley Center Plaza in Chicago. Pablo Picasso designed this particular sculpture—or conceived it…or bent it with artistic vision…or however you want to put it.
But my father made it.
I’ve believed that since I was a small child. It’s a belief based mostly in filial pride, but there is some truth to it. Picasso, as I understand it, ordered the material for his untitled sculpture from the steel mill where my father worked at the time. read more »
Ever since the 1930s, most urban areas have leaned Democratic. But in presidential elections, many remained stubbornly competitive between the two parties. As late as 1988, for example, Republican nominees won Dallas County and made strong showings in the core urban counties of Cook (Chicago), Los Angeles and King (Seattle). read more »
Starting with the first oil crisis in 1973, it’s become de rigueur for the press to accompany every spike in energy prices with a spate of stories explaining how the higher costs will inevitably lead to the revival of the long declining industrial cities of the Northeast and Midwest. But don’t count on a boom in Baltimore or Cleveland anytime soon. read more »
One of the most widely observed, yet least understood, attributes about the emerging Millennial generation is their ethnic and cultural heterogeneity. While they represent the most ethnically varied cohort in American history—far more than any previous U.S. generation—few social commentators actually agree on what this remarkable demographic detail really portends. Will Millennials usher in a new post-ethnic America—or simply reconfigure some different version of identity politics? read more »
“American history carefully examined,” argued political scientist Robert Putnam in his notable book Bowling Alone, “is a story of ups and downs in civic engagement . . . a story of collapse and of renewal.” According to Putnam, the passage of the civic-minded World War II generation from American society has led to deterioration in social capital. read more »
Perhaps nothing will shape the future of the country more than the emergence of the so-called Millennial generation. They have already put their stamp on the election, as Carl Cannon suggests in his insightful article in Reader’s Digest, becoming a key driver for Senator Barack Obama’s Presidential run. read more »
It’s interesting that the authors of an article about the youngest generation (Generation Y or Millennials) title their piece “A Return to 'Avalon,'” a cultural reference that people born between 1982 and 2003 surely know nothing about. “Avalon” is a movie from 1990 directed by Barry Levinson (born in 1942) which takes place at the turn of the last century. I’m not sure whom the authors are writing for, but I’ve never seen “Avalon” and had to look up the plot on IMDB -- and I’m almost 40 years old! read more »