Friday, May 29th, 2009
Best Cities for a Fresh Start
Relocation Magazine recently released their rankings of “Best Cities for a Fresh Start“. The Midwest had several on the list:
- #5 – Columbus (tie)
- #5 – Indianapolis (tie)
- #13 – Minneapolis-St. Paul
- #17 – Cincinnati
- #18 – Cleveland
Richard Florida has been blogging a lot lately about Nashville, Tennessee. Check out this installment in the Nashville Effect as a sample. Which reminds me that Brendan Crain over at the Where blog recently had a great post on The New South.
Jim Russell’s Greater Youngstown 2.0 project has some interesting data on venture capital investments in the Midwest.
New York Magazine profiles transformational NYC transport commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. One of her projects? Closing Broadway in Times Square and Herald Square to traffic.
Joel Kotkin says don’t count California out just yet.
An article on what we should do about the “uncreative class” (via Richard Florida)
An interesting contrarian take on Web 2.0.
Here’s something you don’t see every day. Detroit is looking to build a 3.4 mile, 12 stop light rail line that is privately funded. All of the money is from foundations and corporations. There’s one hiccup. The city wants to be able to county that private investment as a local match towards a federally funded extension of the system, but can’t unless it conducts an environment impact statement. (Hat tip The Overhead Wire)
The Wall Street Journal decided to compare and contrast Ann Arbor and Warren, Michigan. Also in the Journal, an article on high tech startups in the heartland. (Hat tip Brewed Fresh Daily).
As a sort of follow-up to my posting on the Future of the American Newspaper, I should note that the Chicago Tribune launched the site I alluded to in it. It is called Chicago Now, and is a Huffington Post like platform for local bloggers. It’s currently in beta. The idea is that they are luring prominent local bloggers to start using their site, with the idea that there will be a win-win, as the bloggers deliver an existing community, the synergy effects of multiple blogs on the same platform, and the Tribune’s marketing muscle. It’s pretty innovative and I think a great example of the type of low cost news gathering operations papers ought to be looking at. Low cost is imperative in the online world, so why not outsource to bloggers on a sort of profit share basis? Sounds like a plan.
I’m sure there will be kinks to work out. I noticed that they switched to teaser-only RSS feeds, which to me is a huge no-no for blogs. It comes close to violating an affordance. (Many other types of sites do this, but most blogs give full feeds). Especially since you can embed ads in RSS. With over 150 blogs in my reader, there is no way I can click to read them. Plus, registration is required, so will the commenters really come across? Will the site get infected by the typical newspaper message board crowd? We’ll see, but I’m sure they will be adjusting the model going forward based on real world results. This is definitely the type of experiment newspapers need to be trying.
Work on a $29 billion capital bill is working its way through the Illinois legislature. This includes $3 billion for roads and $2 billion for transit, with the CTA getting $910 million and $810 million. Yet again, on a per rider basis, Metra receives the lion’s share of the subsidies. It is easy to run a good system when you get all the money.
And the Chicago RTA wants to pilot paying fares with cell phones instead of tickets.
Sound familiar? Kansas City wants to subsidize construction of a 1,000 room downtown hotel to boost its convention business.
People in Columbus might be willing to pay for parks, but their police department is facing cuts of about 300 officers.