Friday, April 9th, 2010
1. Burgh Diaspora: Rust Belt Podunk
2. Human Transit: Portland – The Lure of the Unmeasurable
3. Human Transit: Los Angeles – The Next Great Transit Metropolis?
4. Urban Out: Regulating Urban Centers to Death
5. A Place of Sense: Adding value through better street design
Scariest Chart Ever
Job losses in various recessions:
(via Calculated Risk)
Here’s another interesting chart that shows job changes over a decade long span from August 1999 to August 2009. It’s from a blog called Pittsburgh’s Future:
The Tax Foundation recently issued a 2010 edition of their “facts and figures” booklet with all sort sorts of information comparing states. Here are their rankings for Midwest states in the 2010 State Business Tax Climate Index:
- #12 – Indiana
- #16 – Missouri
- #17 – Michigan
- #30 – Illinois
- #42 – Wisconsin
- #43 – Minnesota
- #46 – Iowa
- #47 – Ohio
The Wall Street Journal has an interesting post discussing how much of the US missed the housing bust (in terms of price declines at least). Some markets like upstate New York even saw price gains. Here’s their map:
World and National Roundup
Thomas Friedman: Good-paying jobs don’t come from bailouts – they come from start-ups
Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa shared the Pritzker Prize for architecture this year. Blair Kamin at the Chicago Tribune covers the story.
Allison Arieff @ NYT: Space: It is Still a Frontier
Brendan Crain @ Polis: The City in Abstract
Witold Rybczynski @ Slate: Beware the temptation of centralized city planning
The Indy Cog has an interesting post up on access to government buildings with cycling gear.
FT: Houston: Where Energy Is King – A very interesting portrait of Houston.
Google Fiber Cincinnati
The Detroit Free Press had a Sunday feature on the future of Detroit. This includes a lengthy rundown of all the projects in the pipeline. As one teaser, here’s a map of residential demolition orders:
The Free Press also had a major story called Who will save the arts in Detroit? about the financial crises threatening the existence of the city’s flagship arts organizations. “Detroit’s signature fine arts institutions are drowning in red ink, raising fundamental questions about whether they can retain their historic place among the country’s top 10 orchestras, opera companies and encyclopedic art museums.”
It’s worth a read, but I think misses the point. A shrinking, economically troubled city like Detroit needs to take a hard look at these organizations and materially downsize them to make them sustainable. Frankly, it was unconscionable to take on the huge capital programs that these organizations did when it should have been clear their operating budgets were heading off a cliff. Just as Detroit is finally facing up to the fact that it has to have shrinkage from an urban planning perspective, similarly all of its other infrastructure needs to face up to the reality of downsizing, including these organizations. Lest you think I’m picking on Detroit, every Rust Belt city needs to be asking the same hard questions.
Speaking of shrinking, the Economist weighs in on the subject in their piece thinking about shrinking.
Brendan Crain @ Next American City: A Vision for Detroit.
Cleveland Plain Dealer: Snail Rail criticism dogs supporters of 3C rail plan
First, grow employers (Tribune) – possibly the most scathing editorial I’ve seen in the Trib.
Unemployment costs Chicago $2 billion per year (Crain’s Chicago Business)
Startup support on the rise? (Crain’s Chicago Business)
A Mexican in the Midwest (Poder360 via Jim Russell) – An interesting piece that breaks through some of the stereotypes of smaller Midwest cities.
Zoo interchange shutdown inspires fear for the system (J-S)
Very cool “chain link lace” fence design from Dutch designers Demakersvan. (More info at Dornob