Obama's not so glorious legacy

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Like a child star who reached his peak at age 15, Barack Obama could never fulfill the inflated expectations that accompanied his election. After all not only was he heralded as the “smartest” president in history within months of assuming the White House, but he also secured the Nobel Peace Prize during his first year in office. Usually, it takes actually settling a conflict or two — like Richard Nixon or Jimmy Carter — to win such plaudits.  read more »

New Year, Same Old Streetcar Named Disaster

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On December 30 the city of Atlanta began Year 3 of operating its much-ballyhooed Atlanta Streetcar System, and so far, all that can be discerned is a lot of bally hooey.

This month, the Atlanta City Council approved the final payment to URS for the design-build of the 2.7-mile Atlanta Streetcar project, making the total payment $61,630,655. That was, according to Public Works Commissioner Richard Mendoza, “$6 million less than URS originally submitted.”  read more »

How Post-Familialism Will Shape the New Asia

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Surprisingly, the modern focal point for postfamilial urbanism comes from eastern Asia, where family traditionally exercised a powerful, even dominant influence over society. The shift toward post-familialism arose first in Japan, the region’s most economically and technologically advanced country. As early as the 1990s sociologist Muriel Jolivet unearthed a trend of growing hostility toward motherhood in her book Japan: The Childless Society? –a trend that stemmed in part from male reluctance to take responsibility for raising children.  read more »

Suburban Nations: Canada, Australia and the United States

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Professors David L. A. Gordon of Queens University (Canada) and Paul Maginn and Sharon Biermann of the University of Western Australia have now shown Australia to be a largely suburban nation. This follows on Professor Gordon’s work with colleagues in 2013 that came to the same conclusion on Canada based upon 2006 census data.  read more »

Looking Forward, With Better Cheer

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Among many urbanites, a certain bunker mentality has already surfaced at key locations within the geography of the city.  Here in Orlando, places like the Stardust Video and Coffee where once there was warmth, one feels coolness in the air, a little less eye contact, briefer conversations, a sharper tone. For many who practice tolerance and inclusiveness, and bend our lives towards mutual sustainability, this was a temporary setback.  But this is no time for recriminations or succumbing to the temptation to snip at one another.  read more »

Generation X's Moment Of Power Is Almost Here

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It certainly seems as if boomers are in charge in America now, with Donald Trump about to move into the White House and members of the generation in the majority in Congress. Meanwhile, huge attention has been paid over the past few years to the emergence of the boomers’ children, the millennials, on the national scene. But relatively little thought has been accorded to the group sandwiched between the two mega-generations: Generation X.  read more »

Carrier and the Commonwealth

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I was asked by Fortune to contribute a piece about Trump’s Carrier deal. They had gotten a lot of people criticizing it and were looking for someone who would give a different perspective. I think many of the criticisms are valid in a sense, but miss the larger context. So I wrote the piece which is now online. Here’s an excerpt:  read more »

Progressives Have Let Inner Cities Fail for Decades. President Trump Could Change That.

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When Donald Trump described the “devastating” conditions in America’s inner cities, emphasizing poor schools and lack of jobs, he was widely denounced for portraying our urban centers in a demeaning and inaccurate way, much as he had been denounced previously for his supposed appeal to “racial exclusion” when he asked black voters “what the hell do you have to lose” by backing him.  read more »

Edward Hopper’s Rockford

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I had dinner in Rockford, Illinois recently with Jennifer and Michael Smith of the City Smiths. You will never find a more charming, kind, and industrious couple. Any town would be lucky to have such passionate and engaged citizens.  read more »

Back to the Future: Moving Interstate Again, to the South and West

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New data from the Census indicates that population growth and domestic migration patterns have continued to move away from the East and the Midwest to the South and West, at accelerated rates. Equally important, pre-Great Recession interstate mobility rates have been restored.  read more »

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