Saturday, January 2nd, 2010
Capacity for Pro Sports
BlogKC highlighted this Porfolio.com study of which cities have the regional income potential for pro sports expansion. They have a great interactive map by sport. Be sure to look for the link to download all the data in the PDF format at the bottom of the graphic.
One of the interesting things about the study is their conclusion that any number of cities already have more pro sports than they can realistically support. Here are the Midwest cities that are “over-sported” by a significant amount, with the personal income deficit in billion of dollars.
- Cleveland – ($77.20B)
- Pittsburgh – ($60.62B)
- Kansas City – ($57.07B)
- Milwaukee – ($56.46B)
- St. Louis – ($44.90B)
- Twin Cities – ($43.13B)
- Cincinnati – ($40.46B)
- Detroit – ($21.57B)
These are all cities that don’t have enough regional income to support their existing teams. Not all of the cities in this situation are in the Midwest – Denver has a stunning $93.5B deficit – but a lot of them are. One thing these cities have in common: baseball, the most difficult sport to support.
Small Business Survival Index
The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council published their 2009 Small Business Survival Index, which includes a ranking of the states. Here’s how states with my Midwest cities fared. The rank is national and the value is their proprietary index rating.
- #11 – Ohio (51.250)
- #15 – Indiana (52.602)
- #18 – Missouri (53.277)
- #23 – Michigan (55.383)
- #24 – Illinois (55.983)
- #27 – Pennsylvania (57.847)
- #30 – Wisconsin (58.800)
- #41 – Iowa (64.485)
- #43 – Minnesota (72.149)
- #29 – Wisconsin
- #31 – Iowa
- #35 – Kentucky
- #41 – Pennsylvania
- #44 – Ohio
- #45 – Illinois
- #47 – Indiana
- #48 – Michigan
This must be one bleak part of the world to live in.
Census and Reapportionment
Daily Kos has a great breakdown of the likely results of reapportionment after the 2010 Census. (Obviously as a left politics site, their interpretation of the data is open to debate). Here is a look at likely changes in some state’s Congressional count, using the 2000-2009 data series.
- Illinois (-1)
- Iowa (-1)
- Michigan (-1)
- Ohio (-2)
- Pennsylvania (-1)
Most Literate Cities
Central Connecticut State University issued their 2009 most literate cities list. Check their site for methodology information, but it looks like they are not using MSA, but city. YMMV (h/t BlogKC).
Here’s how Midwest cities stacked up in the league table:
- #3 – Minneapolis
- #4 – Pittsburgh
- #7 – St. Paul
- #9 – Cincinnati
- #11 – St. Louis
- #13 – Cleveland
- #14 – Kansas City
- #22 – Columbus
- #25 – Indianapolis
- #30 – Chicago
- #31 – Milwaukee
- #40 – Louisville
- #51 – Detroit
The Creative Economy
It’s no secret that I’ve got a crush on Carol Coletta, and the video below will show you why. UrbanCincy pointed it out. While it appears to be from 2007, it is still relevant today.
If you don’t see the video, click here.
World and National Roundup
World mayors tackle climate change on their own.
The Cleveland Fed publishes an interview with Matthew Khan.
Bruce Nussbaum: Is Green the “New Imperialism” or “New Communism”?
Slate ponders whether buying organic produce and natural shampoo can turn you into a heartless jerk in Buy Local, Act Evil.
NYT: In heart of Baghdad, plans to revive the pulse of a central artery
Governing: The Rise of the Megaregion (features commentary regrading my analysis of megaregions)
David Brooks proposes an innovation agenda.
Hector Tobar at the LA Times says recessions leave their mark on a city.
Architecture and Design
Christopher Hume: Good design sets a city up for success.
Flavorwire looks at the most beautiful airport terminals in the world.
Huffington Post: Best buildings of the decade
The New Yorker looks at the ten most positive architectural events of 2009 in that city (via @gosner).
Frank Gehry says don’t call me a starchitect.
Arts and Culture
NYT: In the arts, bigger buildings might not be better.
An interesting art event using vacant spaces in Minneapolis called Save Canvas (via @FTAC)
NYT: Is China’s economy speeding off the rails
Daily Mail: China’s 245MPH train service is the world’s fastest – And they built the whole thing start to finish in just four years.
Boston Globe: Rail stimulus funds to bypass Northeast – The ironic rationale is “environmental studies”.
Jarrett Walker takes on the transit isn’t green because of empty buses canard.
Next American City: Cities and cycling
Atlanta: ARC’s new leader a visionary thinker.
The Oregonian: Portland not as white as figures show, coalition contends
FT on Baltimore: Home of ‘The Wire’ fears return of blight
San Francisco in the 1940’s
Instapundit pointed me at this interesting nine minute video about San Francisco, made in the 1940’s. If it doesn’t display for you, click here
On a related note, SF Weekly, in a lengthy story, calls San Francisco the worst run big city in the US, saying that in SF, intentions count for more than results.
New Cincinnati Streetcar Map
I dinged streetcar advocates in Cincinnati on the quality of their route maps, so let me recognize that they’ve rolled out a new one that is very good. Click to enlarge.
Bike Parking in Chicago
Tracy Swartz put together a great map of bike parking in various Chicago neighborhoods. Click to enlarge.
Airport Transit Service
Xing Columbus crunched some numbers to develop a list of transit trips per day to various airports in peer cities to Columbus, Ohio. Note, this is bus or rail. Here are how some cities fared, ranked by total number of daily trips:
- Indianapolis – 81
- Cleveland – 72
- Milwaukee – 53
- Cincinnati – 28
- Columbus – 28
- Louisville – 26
- Kansas City – 22
Indianapolis has service every 20 minutes to downtown via its Green Line express service. However, that is only funded under a temporary grant. The Indy Star recently ran a story on this service.
Cleveland Re-Imagines Public Square
The Plain Dealer reports on Cleveland’s plan to re-imagine its public square
Two centuries after it was conceived as a New England-style town commons, Public Square in downtown Cleveland is a dead zone flanked by skyscrapers and filled by bus stops….But James Corner, one of the nation’s leading landscape architects, sees a huge potential to turn the 10-acre space at the heart of downtown into an iconic destination on par with Chicago’s Millennium Park. He wants to see the square filled with people strolling, sunning, picnicking or relishing public art, concerts, gardens or outdoor markets.
This should be a good project for Cleveland. Brewed Fresh Daily has some must-read commentary on it.
I find a couple of things interesting. First is again the reference to Millennium Park. I christened the term Millennium Park Effect as an analog to the Bilbao effect, describing how cities are increasingly turning to signature works of landscape architecture in an attempt to transform underutilized public spaces.
I think upgrading quality of space is almost always good, but also think we’ve got to be careful about over-extrapolating from the Chicago example. Michigan Avenue already was home to hordes of people. Millennium Park is a key draw, but wasn’t chartered with bringing life to urban dead space in the same way as many of these other projects. Chicago already had the people.
My guess is that Cleveland’s Public Square wouldn’t be viewed so negatively if there were people in it. In a sense we blame the space when the real problem may be more existential. Regardless, Jane Jacobs rightly inveighed against the fetishization of open space. Open space is, in an urban context, too often dead space, even if it does happen to have grass growing on it. Energizing a space like Public Square is going to be a challenge in the best of cases. My guess is that extensive programming will be required. However, given the success St. Louis has had with City Garden, changing the landscape would appear to have a role to play in making the space more inviting and actually used.
The Washington Post has a slide show about the recession in the Rust Belt (via Rust Wire)
Casino groups spend $47 million to win passage of an initiative permitting casinos in that state.
BlogKC made me aware of an incredulous fact: St. Louis and Kansas City don’t control their own city police forces. Apparently in Missouri, these municipal departments are controlled by the state. Wow. St. Louis wants that to change and I would 100% agree. Cities need to control their own public safety forces.
GoIndyGo looks at Midwest regional unemployment
Burgh Diaspora: Shrinking Cities Heartland
Vindy.com in Youngstown chastises a business group for inviting unrepentant convicted felon James Trafficant to be a keynote speaker at their event.
High prices at McCormick costing Chicago (Tribune) – Another piece on Chicago’s struggling convention business
Chicago architecture 2000-2009 (Lee Bey @ WBEZ)
The Stately Ruins of a Methodist Church in Gary, Indiana (io9)
Detroit artists use city’s blight as their canvas (Yahoo/AP)
Repopulate Detroit with Urban Homesteading (Detroit News)
Investors see farms as a way to grow Detroit (LA Times)
Until Robert Bobb’s hands to fix Detroit schools (Free Press)
The Invisible Mayor (Indianapolis Monthly)
Profile of Barrett Crites from Atomic Indy (Indianapolis Monthly)
WANTED: People to roll up their sleeves and rebuild Martinsville – Jon Speer is looking for your help
St. Louis zoning needs to be change (St. Louis Urban Review) – True of many cities
MnDOT getting a line on Twin Cities-Duluth rail (Star Tribune)
Chicago Opera Theater General Director Brian Dickie posted some pictures from the Polar Bear Club of Chicago annual New Year’s Day dip.