The Cost of Chicago Jobs

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In Chicago’s recent history, when you think of beers, Jesse Jackson and his sons Yusaf and Jonathan come to mind. Yusaf and Jonathan Jackson were fortunate enough to receive a coveted Anheuser-Busch distributorship on the north side of Chicago. Just the other day, MillerCoors announced it would move its corporate headquarters to downtown Chicago by the summer or fall of 2009. The cost was high.  read more »

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The South Rises Again! (In Automobile Manufacturing, that is)

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Volkswagen’s announcement last week that it will build a new assembly plant in Chattanooga, TN is the latest sign of triumph for the South’s growing auto industry. The new plant will sit within close proximity to one Toyota is building north of Tupelo, MS (where the popular Prius will be manufactured), and another that Kia broke ground for last year in West Point, GA on the Alabama border. This joins existing plants such as those operated by Nissan in Nashville and Smyrna, GA, BMW’s plant in Spartanburg, SC and three assembly plants in Alabama.  read more »

Guzzling BTUs: Problems with Public Transit in an Age of Expensive Gas

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As gas prices inch up toward $5 per gallon, many environmentalists and elected officials are looking to public transit as a solution to higher transportation costs and rising fuel consumption. A closer look at the numbers, however, warrants more than a little skepticism that public transit can fulfill the nation’s energy conservation goals.  read more »

Sprinting Blindfolded to a New Equilibrium

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Everyone except the fabulously wealthy and the truly disconnected knows energy has become much more expensive in recent years, but it's worth taking a step back and examining just how much it has jumped and what we should (and should not) conclude about the impact on nearly all aspects of modern life.  read more »

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Which Cities Will the High Cost of Energy Hurt (and Help) the Most?

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A high cost energy future will profoundly impact the cost of doing business and create new opportunities, but not necessarily in the way most people expect.

By Joel Kotkin and Michael Shires

The New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly and the rest of the establishment press have their answer: big cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco will win out. Our assessment is: not so fast. There’s a lot about the unfolding energy economy that is more complex than commonly believed, and could have consequences that are somewhat unanticipated.  read more »

Suburbs Will Adapt to High Gas Prices

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Will high gas prices doom the suburbs? The short answer is no. America’s investment in suburbia is too broad and deep and these will drive all kinds of technological and other adaptations. But the continued outward growth of new suburban housing tracts and power centers is unsustainable.  read more »

Jerry Brown's War on California Suburbs

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In the 1960s, California Gov. Edmund Gerald "Pat" Brown laid the foundation for building modern, suburban California with massive new highway projects and one of the most significant public water projects in history. The resulting infrastructure gave us broad, low-density developments with room for millions of Californians to have a home with a backyard and two cars in the driveway.

Those were the good old days. Today, Pat Brown's son Jerry is waging war on the very communities his father helped make possible. Why? Global warming.  read more »

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Energy Makes a Super-city

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Superlatives can no longer describe Dubai – there are simply too many. It is now the fastest growing city in the world with $300 billion of construction underway. Once Dubai was a sleepy Arab port nestled between its larger and more famous oil rich neighbors: Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Now tiny Dubai is home to the “world’s tallest building,” and more construction cranes than China and its 1.4 billion people. What is more amazing is that Dubai has a population of just 200,000 native Emirates within a land area one-half the size of Orange County, California.  read more »

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Houston, New York Has a Problem

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The Southern city welcomes the middle class; heavily regulated and expensive Gotham drives it away.

New Yorkers are rightly proud of their city's renaissance over the last two decades, but when it comes to growth, Gotham pales beside Houston.  read more »

Suburbs Thriving, Cities Stagnating in Keystone State

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The headline in the Philadelphia Inquirer said it all, “Philadelphia’s population shrinking, though region’s is growing.” This in the midst of what is purported to be a condominium boom in its thriving center city.

But facts are facts: Philadelphia’s population has dropped 4.5 percent. This ranks it first among the top-25 U.S. cities in population loss from 2000-2007. This data causes you to pause and rethink the real impact of major public investments in the city spurred on by a governor who is the city’s former two-term mayor.  read more »