Friday, February 26th, 2010
1. The Atlantic: How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America.
2. New York Observer: The Man Who Closed Times Square to Traffic – A great profile of Mark Gorton, who is the backer of Streetsblog.
4. Kansas City Star: Reorganization of school district would involve closing half of buildings. Kansas City schools enrollment has dropped from 75,000 to 17,000. This is a story probably relevant to many urban school districts.
State Pension Woes
One trillion dollars. That’s the cumulative gap in state pension funding according to a new study from the Pew Center on the States. It is scary stuff.
Here are the unfunded liabilities they have for Midwest states:
- Illinois – $54.4B
- Ohio – $19.5B
- Kentucky – $12.3B
- Michigan – $11.5B
- Minnesota – $10.7B
- Indiana – $9.8B
- Missouri – $9.0B
- Iowa – $2.7B
- Wisconsin – $0
Obviously this is total, not per capita, so caveat emptor.
JD Power just released their 2010 list of top airports for customer experience. When it opened, I called the new Indianapolis International Airport terminal the best airport in the United States. Apparently the public agreed with me, since it received the top score of any airport and also earned top honors in the small airport category.
Here’s a picture I took during a preview tour. The skylight in the background is over a Great Hall like civic plaza and is the same diameter as the dome at the West Baden Springs hotel.
This is arguably the most environmentally friendly airport terminal in the world as well.
The Midwest got a clean sweep in these ratings as Detroit took top honors the large airport category and Kansas city in the medium category. Congrats to the winners.
For those who are interested, I published a seven part in depth review of the Indianapolis airport terminal that was excerpted by the airport authority chairman at the dedication ceremony. It has over 50 photos covering every aspect of the terminal.
- Part One: Exterior
- Part Two: Interior
- Part Three: Finishes and Furnishings
- Part Four: Signage
- Part Five: Artwork
- Part Six: Miscellaneous, or Rethinking the Airport as Public Space
- Part Seven: Conclusion
World and National Roundup
Seed: Urban Resilience
TNR/Brookings: Amazon’s Kindle: A Symbol of American Decline?
John Austin: Enhancing Venture Capital to Drive Innovation.
BBC: Did immigration transform Britain by accident? (h/t Jim Russell)
So many bikes, so little space in the Netherlands. (h/t @gosner)
Human Transit: An independent inquiry on transit in Sydney.
New York is planning to keep Broadway in Times Square and Herald Square permanently closed to traffic. Coverage is available from Streetsblog and from New York Magazine (h/t @OtisWhite) and from the New York Times.
Joe Cortright: ‘Keep Portland Weird’ makes sense as a jobs strategy.
Transport Politic: Nashville considers light rail but the city’s unfit for it.
This is probably the topic of its own post at some point, but the Brookings Institution just released a report on restoring prosperity in Ohio that I wanted to make sure people saw (h/t RustWire).
Subrban sprawl, meet suburban tall (Blair Kamin @ Tribune)
Planning commission approves new bicycle parking requirements (Soapbox) – all new garages must include bike parking.
The Cleveland Model (The Nation)
Survey finds one third of Detroit lots vacant (Free Press)
Blueprint America: Moving Detroit Forward (Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space) – Richard Layman takes a skeptical view on transit by itself renewing Detroit’s fortunes.
Robert Bobb’s biggest challenge: Create a new Detroit Public Schools (Free Press)
Detroit auto suppliers branch out to other industries (NYT)
Budget woes put big road projects in jeopardy (Free Press)
Infrastructure is key to a successful City Market (A Place of Sense)
Clarian, IU plan $100M neurosciences center (IBJ)
Local convention activity warming up during winter months (IBJ)
Switch in federal policy could help plans for rail in KC (KC Star)
Wind turbine wake effects (via Treehugger)