With the passage of the New York Marriage Equality Act, the number of gay couples in the US who are eligible to marry has now doubled, as my post yesterday noted. Approximately 9 million Americans are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) – slightly less than four percent of the population, according a recent study by Gary Gates of UCLA’s Williams Institute. Approximately half of lesbians and gay men are members of same-sex couples including an estimated 160,000 who are married, according to Gates’ research. Nearly one in five same-sex couple households are raising children, compared to about 45 percent of heterosexual couples, according to figures from the American Community Survey (ACS).
Archive for June, 2011
Riding a bike through a city, David Byrne wrote in his book Bicycle Diaries, “is like navigating the collective neural pathways of some vast global mind.” Biking, he adds, “facilitates a state of mind that allows some but not too much of the unconscious to bubble up. As someone who believes that much of the source of his work and creativity is to be gleaned from those bubbles, it’s a reliable place to find that connection.”
Cycling is one of my own great passions. I like nothing more than to get on my road bike and just go. My bike is not just a great way to get around, it’s a great way to get to know cities.
It’s also a good way to stay in shape, as witnessed by this post at the Living Streets Alliance blog, which noted the uncanny overlap between the places listed in my post on America’s Fittest Cities and the cities where the greatest percentages of people who bike to work live. That got me wondering what other characteristics of metropolitan areas might be associated with higher levels of cycling. With the help of my colleague Charlotta Mellander, I took a quick look at the numbers. We used data from the American Community Survey (ACS) on the share of people by metro area who commute to work by bike.
Le Méridien is proud to announce Richard and Rana Florida as its newest members to its creative community. This year, Le Méridien continues its creative journey in providing its guests with new cultural experiences by introducing the cultural ‘hub’; the hotels innovative lobby concept, as well as expanding upon its global creative community of LM100 members. This group of innovators will work to transform Le Méridien hotels into creative hubs that will deliver new perspectives to the creative guest.
The Creative Class Group will embark on a variety of initiatives influenced by the creative group they have identified. They will perform research to help Le Méridien identify new development opportunities by applying their exclusive ‘creativity index’, using the Creative Class Group’s one-of-a-kind framework; technology + talent + tolerance and territorial assets. CCG will help to connect Le Méridien hotels to key contacts in each city from the fields of tourism, culture, art, design and cuisine. They will work to acquire influential speakers to participate in “New Perspective Events” at Le Méridien hotels across the globe. CCG will also curate content for the ‘Hub’ libraries selected based on their research on the core attributes, values and preferences of the Creative Class. The books selected will comprise of a mix of contemporary and foundational books about creative culture in the arts, design, economy and society, as well as localized books reflecting each cities history and characteristics.
Read the full release here.
Photo © Ralph Gibson
Richard Florida named one of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Tweeters of 2011 alongside Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada; Boris Johnson, Mayor of London; Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda; and Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary-general of NATO just to name a few. See the whole list here.
The map below shows the price of land in the New York metropolitan area (via Matt Yglesias) from this fascinating New York Fed study. The premium for land in central Manhattan is nothing less than extraordinary. Land prices rise and fall logarithmically according to their distance from midtown, notes to the study: “A parcel located five miles from the Empire State Building commands a price that is about twice as high as the price of a parcel ten miles away.”
The overall level of world peace world fell for the third year in a row, according to the latest version of the Global Peace Index produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace. Most of this trend was driven by the increased “social and political turmoil in the Middle East and North African Nations during the early part of 2011,” the report notes.
But what are the factors that shape the relative peacefulness of nations? And, what is the connection between peace – or its opposite – on their economic growth, well-being, and prosperity?
This map charts the Global Peace Index (GPI) scores for 153 countries worldwide. The GPI is based on 25 separate indicators of internal and external conflict, including wars and external conflicts, deaths from external conflicts, militarization, weapons exports, homicides, access to weapons, violent political demonstrations, prison populations, and police presence.
Ever since Hannah Rosin’s Atlantic essay “The End of Men” there has been great speculation about the effects of the ongoing economic crisis – as well as the broader, longer running economic transformation that the recession is part and parcel of – on the relative economic positions of men and women. Some have even gone so far as to dub the current crisis the “mancession,” though male employment appears to have turned up sharply over the past year..
Alex Tabarrok’s insightful post at Marginal Revolution bears on this issue. Take look at the two charts below from his analysis. The first compares the rate of growth in real economic output (GDP) per capita to median male income for the period 1947 to 2010. The second does the same for women.
This has not been the best week for economic news. The housing market lapsed back into a double-dip. The May jobs report showed the slowest private sector employment growth this year, with the average length of unemployment hitting its highest level on record.
But on all these indicators and more, Greater Washington DC flies in the face of the national trend. I’m not exaggerating:
- Metro DC clocked the highest level of housing appreciation on the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, 4 plus percent, while every other metro is tanking.
- Greater Washington posted the second lowest rate of unemployment according to the latest BLS figures, 5.4 percent, as many metros remain above 10 percent.
- And DC households boast the nation’s second highest real household income, $61,449, when cost of living is taken into account, considerably more than Greater New York’s $34,931, which is the nation’s second lowest. Only McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas fares worse.
As anyone who has ever paid Manhattan rents swiftly learns, New York City’s relatively high salaries don’t go very far. In fact, when cost of living is taken into account, the New York metro posts the second lowest “real income” of any region with more than 500,000 people, according to an analysis commissioned by US News and World Report. New York’s median household income of $62,887 falls to an adjusted real income of just $35,370 when cost of living is taken into account. Only the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission metro in Texas, one of the very poorest in the nation with an actual income of just $30,460, fares worse with a real income of $34,931.
Des Moines takes the top spot on this real income measure: Its median income of $56,576 translates into $62,446 in spending power. Greater Washington DC takes second place: Its median income of $85,168, one of the highest in the nation, equals $61,449 when adjusted for cost of living. Two Texas metros – Houston and Dallas – also stand out, as well as leading college towns.
This year’s NBA finals pitting the Dallas Mavericks against the Miami Heat is a rematch of 2006 championship, still it’s just the second time that each team has appeared in the finals. Miami came away victorious in that first matchup; Dallas has yet to claim a title. Will the “Heatles” – Lebron, Wade, Bosh – win the championship they banded together for? Will Mark Cuban, the Mavericks billionaire owner and former Dancing with the Stars contestant, finally get a crown after years of falling short? Which city will get its parade?
But might this budding rivalry signal something bigger at play? Are we witnessing a shift in the geography of the NBA’s dominant teams?