Florida

Can the South Escape its Demons?

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Out on the dusty prairie west of Houston, the construction crews have been busy. Gone are the rice fields, cattle ranches and pine forests that once dominated this part of the South. In their place sit new homes and communities. But they are not an eyesore; the homes are affordable and close to attractive town centres, large parks and lakes. These are communities rooted in the individual, the family and a belief in self-governance.  read more »

Florida Downtown Commutes Fall the Least from COVID, Recover the Most

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Mass transit may have taken the biggest hit from Covid-19, declining by 55% in the New York urban area, 43% in Los Angeles and 57% in Chicago, but car commutes also suffered. The latest INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard finds that US vehicle traffic to downtowns (central business districts) also declined by a substantial 44% in the pandemic year of 2020. According to Bob Pishue, an INRIX traffic analyst: “COVID-19 has completely transformed when, where and how people move.  read more »

The Age of Space Reconnaissance

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Wherever profit leads us,
to every sea and shore

For love of gain the wide
world’s harbors we explore.
  — Dutch poet Joost van den Vondel (1587–1679)  read more »

The Big Moves: Where People Are Moving

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For decades, New York has been the leading exporter of people to other states, though has been severely challenged since 2000 by California. During five years around the housing bust, more net domestic migrants left California than New York. Then, for a time, California’s annual losses were not quite as severe  read more »

Florida in the Election

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Former mayor Mike Bloomberg has announced that he would spend as much as $100 million of his own money to help Vice-President Biden prevail in Florida on Election Day. This underscores once again the importance of Florida in this and every presidential contest.  read more »

Subjects:

Two Decades of Interstate Migration

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America is still a mobile nation. Back in the 2000-2010 decade, 12.9 million people moved interstate, nearly five percent of the total population. In the 2010s the population has been a bit less mobile, with net domestic migration of 11.7 million residents, slightly under four percent. Nonetheless, 11.7 million is a large number. This is nearly equal to the population of Ohio, with only five states being larger  read more »

The Next Economy: Following the Trail of U.S. Job Growth

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A decade ago, in the wake of the Great Recession, Lee County, Florida was dubbed “the foreclosure capital of the country” by the national media, the poster child for all that had gone wrong with the American economy.  read more »

How Art Critics Create Community

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Orlando has taken on a new “web city” form. Its dispersal over a wide geographical area allows distinct and unique pockets of culture to arise within it, a kind of archipelago of art and design. It is a microcosm of the archipelago of many Florida cities. The overall effect is marvelous, if somewhat diluted by distance, and the broad metropolitan area has come to be a proving ground for artists, architects, and urban designers. As an artist and designer commenting on these topics, the single biggest trend I have seen in the last fifteen or so years is a growing sense of maturation.  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 »

Florida's Interstate-Adjacent Fantasy

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As 2015 wanes, many swimming in Florida’s new wave of growth are still being carried by a swift current. Everywhere one gazes, new apartments can be seen that accommodate some of the million-plus new residents who have moved here in the last five years. With over 140,000 people migrating to Florida from other states during 2014, and over 100,000 people moving to Florida from other countries, Florida’s GDP is predicted to have grown 3.2% in 2015, the highest in the country and well ahead of the national average. The tide has definitely come in.

For natives and long-term residents, it feels like everyone up north woke up one Tuesday morning and said, “Hey honey, let’s quit our jobs, move to Florida, and get an apartment overlooking the interstate.” From Tampa to Daytona, mid-rise wood frame structures loom over semi-trucks and cars that whizz by, a new voyeur culture in the making.  read more »