Friday, June 4th, 2010
As you know, I have been publishing this bi-weekly news roundup under the name “Midwest Miscellany”. As less than half the articles are Midwest themed, it’s a bit of a misnomer. So starting today I’m rebranding it as the “Urbanoscope”. Also, I’m dropping the city specific article roundups at the end due to lack of click throughs.
And here’s another reminder that you should click over and check out the Atlantic Monthly’s “Future of the City” project if you haven’t already. Among the articles from the archives they’ve linked is this 1992 gem called “How Portland Does It.”
The Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship was released a couple weeks ago. Among its findings are that US startup rates reached their highest level in 14 years. Here are their state level map:
They also have data for the 15 largest metro areas available.
Here’s a graphic of the change in housing prices over the last year, based on the Case-Schiller Index (h/t Richard Florida):
Jarrett Walker: Transit and the Hierarchy of Needs
Sydney Daily Telegraph: Fears for Crumbling Opera House – The famed Sydney Opera House is in a dangerous state of disrepair and might be forced to close with A$800M in repairs.
Investors Business Daily: Can Europe’s Economy Turn Around If Its Great Cities Continue to Wither?
US and Canada Roundup
Discussion here and elsewhere of the Brookings “State of Metropolitan America” report wondered what the implication was for the Great Lakes Economic Initiative. They put up a couple of posts on their blog addressing the matter: Who vs. Where and The Great Lakes are Dead, Long Live the Great Lakes. Jim Russell also had some further commentary. Clearly there is a conflict between Brookings’ two geographic conceptions, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I prefer to think of them as tools to address different matters. The notion of conflicting worldviews itself reminds us that there is no one true answer for cities.
Richard Florida: Best Cities for College Graduates
Richard Florida: Toronto’s Challenge in the Great Reset
Conor Friedersdorf: In Defense of Los Angeles
San Jose Mercury News: Web 2.0 companies settling in San Francisco
Business Insider: Who will be NYC’s first Chief Digital Officer? – The listed salary range isn’t actually that high, so I wonder what level of person they are hoping to recruit.
Washington Times: Amtrak misled Congress on finances – An inspector general’s report found that Amtrak’s management lied about its dire financial condition about a decade ago.
Randy Simes: Cincinnati Enquirer Abandoning City Interests
Fantastic Journal: Hipster and Non-Hipster Urbanism – an interesting take on the High Line from Charles Holland, a principal at the London design firm of Fashion Architecture Taste, whose work I admire.
Where the Smart People Live
Rob Pitingolo posted a very interesting analysis of the density of people with college degrees in various cities. Here’s a sample chart, which I recommend you click to enlarge:
The Variety of American Grids
Discovering Urbanism had an interesting post on the different sizes of American blocks (h/t Thomas Frank). Here’s the main graphic:
The People of Detroit
Rust Wire pointed me at a wonderful new site called “The People of Detroit“, dedicated to telling the story of its residents, because, as they put it, “not everyone in Detroit eats raccoons.”
As one brief example, meet Karen Brown, owner of the Savvy Chic boutique near Eastern Market.
Changing Perceptions of Transit
Randy Simes over at UrbanCincy had a great post showing some popular culture examples of non-auto transportation in a positive light. One of them is a 30 second TV spot for AT&T Wireless of a love story in reverse, made possible by an instant train ticket purchase on a mobile phone. (If the video doesn’t display, click here).
London’s Tower Bridge, under construction in 1892, via How to Be a Retronaut.