Tuesday, July 29th, 2008
Someone over at SSC took a four day trip to Cleveland and posted a pretty great series of dozens of photos about that city. You can see them here:
If you have time to peruse these, you’ll see another city with a sparkling urban history and built environment. But as with Cincinnati, these haven’t translated into a positive demographic or economic climate. Included are pictures of Cleveland’s transit system, which includes high quality rapid rail transit lines. If transit will revitalize our decaying cities, how does one explain away the Cleveland example?
Here is an interesting study. Called the Measure of America, it applies UN standards for human development to US states and congressional districts. I haven’t digested it in full detail, but here are some money maps of the nation at a glance by congressional district. As you’ll see, it is typically big city suburban districts that are doing ok in the Midwest. The rest of the place is suffering.
The mayor of Louisville was in Tampa, Florida last week trying to lure expats back home to Kentucky. I’m sure the free Maker’s helped attract them to that meeting at least. The city even has its own MySpace page. The concept isn’t a bad one, but I think overly focusing on trying to lure former residents back misses the broader opportunity for engaging them as an alumni network.
Houston is the cities urbanites love to hate. The NYT attacks them for not recycling. Ed Glaeser of Harvard defends them versus New York. Someone else takes offense at that notion. I’ve written about Houston before. That city, along with other sun belt boomtowns like Atlanta and Dallas, have to somehow be explained away by the sophisticates who say that the ultimate successful city has to look something like San Francisco.
USA Today writes about a new book called Traffic, by a guy named Tom Vanderbilt. It is all about driving in America today, and appears to have all sorts of interesting facts, including a discussion of roundabouts. It may be worth checking out.
Indianapolis has its own streetcar web page now. Welcome to the club. If the experience of other cities is any guide, it is probably $100-150 million for a downtown circulator line. I wonder how much of this would overlap the Cultural Trail? Oh, and Columbus just approved a streetcar study.
Kansas City is planning to put light rail on the ballot in November.
A Republican state senator in Indiana advocates privatizing the lottery.
Jam Productions buys the historic but decrepit Uptown Theater in Chicago for $3.23 million. I took a tour of this some years back when it was open for a rare visit from the public. It’s a magnificent building, but has suffered a lot of damage. Incredible as it might seem, almost all of the interior damage was caused during a single winter when the heat wasn’t turned on and the pipes burst – that was within the last 15 years.
Thanks to Jeff over at Daytonology for pointing out this NYT Magazine article about desegregation by class instead of race in the wake of recent Supreme Court rulings. Louisville, Kentucky is a big case study.
Apparently the Swedes are coming – to Columbus, Ohio.
An article about I-469 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. “After 20 years, Interstate 469 remains a lightly traveled loop”