Indianapolis

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 »

High Performing Midwest Cities Need to Learn How to Attract National Talent

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My latest column is online in the Indianapolis Business Journal. Obviously it’s about Indianapolis, but similar arguments apply to basically every other basically well-performing Midwest city. They are completely parochial talent sheds and need to attract from further afield. Here’s an excerpt:  read more »

Midwest Cities Are Not on the Radar for Migrants

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The Midwest is simply not in the picture when it comes to migration nationally. Even its best performing regions are often migration losers with the rest of the country.

Columbus, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis-St. Paul all have growing populations, and basically healthy economies. Yet all of them are have net migration losses with the country when you look only at migration from out of state.  read more »

Nashville Hot Chicken and the Pork Tenderloin: A Tale of Two Sandwiches

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One of the things you’re sure to hear about if you read up on Nashville is a local dish called “Nashville hot chicken,” a local culinary specialty.

To listen to people talk about it, you’d think eating Nashville hot chicken was some kind of ancient local religious rite. In fact, Nashville hot chicken appears to be a dish of fairly recent provenance. According to the Wikipedia entry for it:  read more »

New Localism and Old Institutions

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Last week I posted an article talking about the maturity curve, or the lifecycle arc from incubation to growth to maturity to decline that applies to so many things. And this weekend my review of Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak’s book The New Localism was published in the New York Times Book Review. These two items are related.  read more »

Indianapolis Gets Another Amazon HQ2 Win

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After just writing about how cities like Indianapolis, Columbus, and Raleigh had already won the HQ2 competition just by making the first cut, the New York Times adds further evidence in the form of a lengthy profile on Indianapolis.  read more »

Ten Things You Need to Know About Indianapolis City Culture

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What makes one city different from another? Some of it is the geography, the economy, or the buildings. But a big chunk of it is culture.

Every city has its own culture. A journalist recently interviewed me about Indianapolis and asked about some of the things that make that city’s culture distinct. I’m reposting ten of my observations here. Keep in mind that many of these points are relative, not absolute. They are comparisons versus what I see in other cities.  read more »

“There Can’t Be a Successful Indianapolis Without a Successful Indiana”

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Back in 2008 or 2009 I gave a Pecha Kucha presentation in Indianapolis in which I said:

"Cities can’t survive on gentrification alone. The broad community has to be a participant in its success. That’s why I’m somewhat down on the notion of the creative class. It’s good as far as it goes, but it’s a self-consciously elitist vision. Where’s the working class in that?  read more »