Indianapolis

Reshoring America: Can the Heartland Lead the Way?

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The COVID-19 pandemic has had overwhelming impacts on our economy, not to mention the impact on lives and personal wellness.

The critical lack of medical equipment to treat and protect those affected highlights the over-reliance of United States manufacturing sector on overseas production. The offshoring issue extends beyond current pandemic concerns, however, reaching far larger and more permanent concerns over industrial supply chains, worker training and even national security.  read more »

The Heartland's Revival

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For roughly the past half century, the middle swath of America has been widely written off as reactionary, backward, and des­tined for unceasing decline.  read more »

Storied Cities

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Athens is the birthplace of Western culture, with the physical ruins of its classical age still visibly present as a perpetual reminder. Virgil composed his epic poem, The Aeneid, recounting the mythic flight of Aeneas from defeated Troy to Italy, becoming the forbear of Rome. New York sees itself as unique center of commerce, founded when the Dutch (not the English) bought Manhattan for beads in the city’s first hustle. Nashville needs no reminder that it’s the center of country music, nor Detroit that it is the Motor City.  read more »

Why This New Yorker Returned to the Midwest

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New Urbanism Editor Lewis McCrary's Note: Before the pandemic changed the urban landscape of American life, the last two decades have seen a familiar dynamic: the coastal cities have recorded dramatic increases of wealth as highly-educated workers concentrate in a few major metro areas, including New York, San Francisco, and Washington.  read more »

Coronavirus and the Future of Work

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The long-term effects of the coronavirus outbreak on our society and business landscape are yet to be determined. But one thing we know is that a big swath of American businesses is conducting a large-scale experiment with remote work (aka work from home). Many of them have also made large investments in infrastructure to support it; one company bought 20,000 laptops for their employees, for example. The coronavirus shutdown will create new capabilities for remote work within firms large and small, and produce a treasure trove of findings about what works well and what doesn’t.  read more »

The Vital Midwest

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John Austin at the Michigan Economic Center is a long time commentator on Midwest economic issues, going back to at least his 2006 Brookings Institute report “The Vital Center.”  read more »

Heartland Intelligence

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There have been some big changes for me. We relocated from New York to Indianapolis, where I’m doing consulting work for the Indy Chamber. I’m no longer full time with the Manhattan Institute but am still a contributing editor at City Journal and still have multiple projects in the works there. I’ll continue to write for other publications too, as with my recent Atlantic piece on J. Irwin Miller and Columbus, Indiana. More on my move below.  read more »

Of Niche Markets and Broad Markets: Commuting in the US

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The six transit legacy cities - mostly urban cores that grew largely before the advent of the automobile - increased their concentration of transit work trips to 57.9% of the national transit commuting, according to the 2018 American Community Survey. At the same time, working at home strengthened its position as the nation’s third leading mode of work access, with transit falling to fourth. The transit commuting market share dropped from 5.0% in 2017 to 4.9% in 2018.  read more »

If You Improve It, They Will Come

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My latest piece is now online at City Journal. It’s a recap of the Indianapolis BRT and Columbus free downtown transit success, as well as a look at Kansas City’s contemplation of free transit citywide. Thanks to a commenter here who originally alerted me to KC’s plans. Here’s an excerpt:  read more »

Indy’s Cost Effective Transit Improvement Plan Is a Model for Low Density Cities

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My latest piece is online at CityLab. It’s a look at the transit improvement plans in Indianapolis as the city’s first Bus Rapid Transit line on September 1st. Indy’s system is a model for how lower density cities with auto-centric cultures can start making major improvements in their transit offerings in a capital efficient way.  read more »