The great economic reset we are in the midst of extends even to Americans’ choices of places to live. The popularity of sprawling auto-dependent suburbs is waning. A majority of Americans – six in 10 – say they would prefer to live in walkable neighborhoods, in both cities and suburbs, if they could. Writing in The Wall Street Journal a few months ago, I noted how changes in our economy and demography are altering “the texture of suburban life in favor of denser, more walkable, mixed-use communities.” Christopher Leinberger has shown the positive effects of walkability in cities, towns, and suburbs; the architects Ellen Dunham Jones and June Williamson have detailed ways that older car-oriented suburbs can be retrofitted into more people-friendly, mixed-use, walkable communities. And walkability pays. According to research by Joe Cortright, housing prices have held up better in more walkable communities. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Creative Economy’
Fiat is looking to follow Mini’s lead when it comes to customization for consumers. “The personalization is something that customers want.” The design centers inside the dealership will be a lot like the ones you’d find in a new subdivision, with lots of choices. “Those are all of the different 14 interiors, exteriors,” Soave said, “but you can mix and match, and that’s part of the deal.” … these design centers are not strictly up-sell areas. Depending on the shopper, though, they can be.
The full story is here.
On a hillside in a Rio slum, artists are working to transform the community – not just to beautify it – by tapping the incredible local creative energy. The video above (via CNN International’s Urban Planet series) shows how residents of the Santa Marta slum are transforming their community itself into a work of art. Led by two Dutch artists and the energy of local creatives, the main square has become an artwork itself. A CNN story provides more background on the project. (more…)
Research universities increasingly function as a key hub institution of the knowledge economy – from Stanford University’s role in Silicon Valley to MIT’s role in greater Boston’s Route 128 high-technology complex, from the University of Texas in Austin to the rise of the North Carolina Research Triangle, not to mention Carnegie Mellon’s role in Pittsburgh’s regeneration. But what are the world’s leading centers for university research?
To get at this, my MPI team and I used the recently released Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) to chart the locations of the world’s leading 500 research universities by the city and metro region where they are located. The map below, by the MPI’s Zara Matheson, shows the geography of academic research centers across the world.
This is the longer, unedited version of my column in today’s Wall Street Journal.
Remaking our sprawling suburbs, with their enormous footprints, shoddy construction, hastily put up infrastructure, and dying malls, is shaping up to be the biggest urban revitalization challenge of modern times—far larger in scale, scope and cost than the revitalization of our inner cities.
What a dramatic shift. Just a couple of decades ago, the suburbs were the locus of the American Dream. More than their sprawling, large-lot homes and big wide lawns, their shopping malls, industrial parks, and office campuses accounted for a growing percentage of the nation’s economic output. A good many of them formed into Edge Cities—satellite centers where people could live, work, and shop without ever having to set foot in the center city.
With millions of homes underwater or in foreclosure, our suburbs and exurbs have taken some of the most visible hits from the great recession. In a stunning reversal, big cities like New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle have become talent magnets at the same time, drawing ambitious people, empty-nesters, young-families, and even a growing number of offices back to their downtown cores. As inner city neighborhoods are being gentrified, blight and intransigent poverty are moving out to the suburbs, where one third of the nation’s poor now reside—1.5 million more than in cities, according to a Brookings study. And suburban poverty populations are growing at five times the rate of those in cities.
That’s the title of this Wall Street Journal story on a new Rockefeller Foundation Initiative to support the creative class.
To assure the city remains the cultural and creative leader of the world, the Rockefeller Foundation is giving more than $3 million to support local artists and arts organizations.
More than 400 applicants vied for a chance to receive two-year grants, ranging from $50,000 to $250,000. Eighteen winners were chosen, including Bowery Arts & Science, to project the works of poets onto walls and buildings in city neighborhoods and the City University of New York Institute for Sustainable Cities in partnership with Artist as Citizen, to create an online atlas that traces the city’s environmental transformation and maps out the future of the city’s environment …
“It’s a new business model that builds the financial resilience of the arts sector while maintaining the artistic capacity,” says Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation.
The Judgment Call section of today’s Financial Times asks:
Last week, Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piëch announced the company was interested in buying Alfa Romeo, the Italian brand. While at Fiat, chief executive Sergio Marchionne says the company is “Italian based but not an Italian company.” In the era of global business, does a company’s national identity matter?
Here’s my answer: (more…)
My article, “Talent, Technology and Tolerance in Canadian Regional Development,” with Kevin Stolarick and Charlotta Mellander is out in the fall issue of The Canadian Geographer.
Here’s the abstract:
This article examines the factors that shape economic development in Canadian regions. It employs path analysis and structural equation models to isolate the effects of technology, human capital and/or the creative class, universities, the diversity of service industries and openness to immigrants, minorities and gay and lesbian populations on regional income. It also examines the effects of several broad occupations groups—business and finance, management, science, arts and culture, education and health care—on regional income. The findings indicate that both human capital and the creative class have a direct effect on regional income. Openness and tolerance also have a significant effect on regional development in Canada. Openness towards the gay and lesbian population has a direct effect on both human capital and the creative class, while tolerance towards immigrants and visible minorities is directly associated with higher regional incomes. The university has a relatively weak effect on regional incomes and on technology as well. Management, business and finance and science occupations have a sizeable effect on regional income; arts and culture occupations have a significant effect on technology; health and education occupations have no effect on regional income.
The full study is here.
Have a gander at this mind-boggling chart put together by Mike Mandel.
It shows the share of real growth of private fixed assets – stuff like machinery, factories, technological equipment, and, yep, housing. Or, as Mandel puts it: “All the privately owned productive assets of the country – for the decade spanning 1999 to 2009.”