jerryking + cities   157

How to funnel capital to the American heartland
April 15, 2019 | Financial Times | by Bruce Katz.
* The Innovation Blind Spot, by Ross Baird.
* Ways must be found to rewire money flows in order to reverse the export of wealth
* A federal tax incentive intended to entice coastal capital into the heartland may end up helping to keep local capital local.

Over the past year, economically distressed communities across the US have been engaged in an intense discussion about mobilising private capital. Why? As mayors, governors, real estate developers, entrepreneurs and investors have learnt, buried in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was a provision that created a significant tax incentive to invest in low-income “opportunity zones” across the country......the law’s greatest effect, ironically, has been to unveil a treasure trove of wealth in communities throughout the nation. Some of the country’s largest investors are high-net-worth families in Kansas City, Missouri, and Philadelphia; insurance companies in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Milwaukee; universities in Birmingham, Alabama, and South Bend, Indiana; philanthropists in Cleveland and Detroit; and community foundations and pension funds in every state.

These pillars of wealth mostly invest their market-oriented equity capital outside their own communities, even though their own locales often possess globally significant research institutions, advanced industry companies, grand historic city centres and distinctive ecosystems of entrepreneurs. The wealth-export industry is not a natural phenomenon; it has been led and facilitated by a sophisticated network of wealth management companies, private equity firms, family offices and financial institutions that have narrow definitions of where and in what to invest.

The US, in other words, doesn’t have a capital problem; it has an organisational problem. So how can capital flows be rewired to reverse the export of wealth?

Three things stand out:

(1) Information matters. The opportunity zones incentive has encouraged US cities to create investment prospectuses to promote the competitive assets of their low-income communities and highlight projects that are investor-ready and promise competitive returns.

(2) norms and networks matter. The opportunity zone market will be enhanced by the creation of “capital stacks” that enable the financing of community products such as workforce housing, commercial real estate, small businesses (and minority-owned businesses in particular) and clean energy, to name just a few. Initial opportunity zone projects are already showing creative blends of public, private and civic capital that mix debt, subsidy and equity.

(3) institutions matter. Opportunity zones require cities to create and capitalise new institutions that can deploy capital at scale in sustained ways. Some models already exist. The Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation, backed by patient capital from Procter & Gamble, has driven the regeneration of the Over-the-Rhine neighbourhood during the past 15 years.

More institutional innovation, however, is needed. As Ross Baird, author of The Innovation Blind Spot, has argued, the US must create a new generation of community quarterbacks to provide budding entrepreneurs with business planning and mentoring, matching them with risk-tolerant equity. These efforts will succeed if they unleash the synergies that flow naturally from urban density. New institutions will not have to work alone, but hand-in-glove with the trusted financial firms that manage this locally-generated wealth.
books  capital_flows  cities  coastal_elites  community  economic_development  economically_disadvantaged  economies_of_scale  high_net_worth  howto  industrial_policies  industrial_midwest  industrial_zones  institutions  investors  match-making  midwest  municipalities  networks  network_density  P&G  PPP  packaging  place-based  private_equity  property_development  prospectuses  Red_States  rescue_investing  rust_belt  tax_codes  venture_capital 
april 2019 by jerryking
This Thriving City—and Many Others—Could Soon Be Disrupted by Robots - WSJ
Feb. 9, 2019 | WSJ | By Christopher Mims.

In and around the city of Lakeland, Florida you’ll find operations from Amazon, DHL (for Ikea), Walmart , Rooms to Go, Medline and Publix, a huge Geico call center, the world’s largest wine-and-spirits distribution warehouse and local factories that produce natural and artificial flavors and, of all things, glitter.

Yet a recent report by the Brookings Institution, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and McKinsey & Co., argues that the economic good times for Lakeland could rapidly come to an end. Brookings placed it third on its list of metros that are most at risk of losing jobs because of the very same automation and artificial intelligence that make its factories, warehouses and offices so productive......As technology drives people out of the middle class, economists say, it’s pushing them in one of two directions. Those with the right skills or education graduate into a new technological elite. Everyone else falls into the ranks of the “precariat”—the precariously employed, a workforce in low-wage jobs with few benefits or protections, where roles change frequently as technology transforms the nature of work......One step in Southern Glazer’s warehouse still requires a significant number of low-skill workers: the final “pick” station where individual bottles are moved from bins to shipping containers. This machine-assisted, human-accomplished step is common to high-tech warehouses of every kind, whether they’re operated by Amazon or Alibaba. Which means that for millions of warehouse workers across the globe, the one thing standing between them and technological unemployment is their manual dexterity, not their minds.... “I think there will be a time when we have a ‘lights out’ warehouse, and cases will come in off trucks and nobody sees them again until they’re ready to be shipped to the customer,” says Mr. Flanary. “The technology is there. It’s just not quite cost-effective yet.”
artificial_intelligence  automation  Christopher_Mims  disruption  distribution_centres  Florida  manual_dexterity  precarious  productivity  robotics  warehouses  cities  clusters  geographic_concentration  hyper-concentrations 
february 2019 by jerryking
The Sewers of Paris and the Making of the Modern City | CBC Radio
Philip Coulter goes underground in the City of Light to visit the City of Smell. Part 1 of 2-part series.
CBC Radio · January 25
19th_century  CBC_Radio  cities  disease  herd_immunity  history  pandemics  Paris  plague  public_goods  public_health  sewage 
january 2019 by jerryking
The Rise of Global, Superstar Firms, Sectors and Cities - CIO Journal.
Jan 18, 2019 | WSJ | By Irving Wladawsky-Berger.

Scale increases a platform’s value. The more products or services a platform offers, the more consumers it will attract, helping it then attract more offerings, which in turn brings in more consumers, which then makes the platform even more valuable. Moreover, the larger the network, the more data available to customize offerings and better match supply and demand, further increasing the platform’s value. The result is that a small number of companies have become category kings dominating the rest of their competitors in their particular markets.

Network dynamics also apply to metropolitan areas. For the past few decades, the demands for high-skill jobs have significantly expanded, with the earnings of the college educated workers needed to fill such jobs rising steadily. Talent has become the linchpin asset of the knowledge economy, making capital highly dependent on talented experts to navigate our increasingly complex business environment.

“Just as the economy confers disproportionate rewards to superstar talent, superstar cities… similarly tower above the rest,” wrote urban studies professor and author Richard Florida. “They are not just the places where the most ambitious and most talented people want to be - they are where such people feel they need to be.”
cities  clusters  geographic_concentration  hyper-concentrations  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger  knowledge_economy  network_effects  platforms  Richard_Florida  start_ups  superstars  talent  winner-take-all 
january 2019 by jerryking
Where You Should Move to Make the Most Money: America’s Superstar Cities - WSJ
By Christopher Mims
Dec. 15, 2018 12:00 a.m. ET
Technology is creating an economy in which superstar employees work for superstar firms that gather them into superstar cities, leading to a stark geographic concentration of wealth unlike any seen in the past century.

The latest example of this is Apple announcing this past week a billion-dollar investment in a new campus that could ultimately accommodate up to 15,000 employees in a city already red hot with talent (Austin, Texas).....When economists talk about “superstar” anything, they’re referencing a phenomenon first described in the early 1980s. It began as the product of mass media and was put into overdrive by the internet. In an age when the reach of everything we make is greater than ever, members of an elite class of bankers, chief executives, programmers, Instagram influencers and just about anyone with in-demand technical skills have seen their incomes grow far faster than those of the middle class.

In this winner-take-all economy, the superstar firms—think Apple, Google and Amazon, but also their increasingly high-tech equivalents in finance, health care and every other industry—appear to account for most of the divergence in productivity and profits between companies in the U.S.

As firms cluster around talent, and talent is in turn drawn to those firms, the result is a self-reinforcing trend toward ever-richer, ever-costlier metro areas that are economically dominant over the rest of the country.
Christopher_Mims  cities  clusters  geographic_concentration  geographic_inequality  hyper-concentrations  start_ups  superstars  winner-take-all  disproportionality  digitalization 
december 2018 by jerryking
PNC’s Bill Demchak hopes Pittsburgh’s old money will finance its tech-driven future
July 29, 2018 | Financial Times | Patti Waldmeir.

Pittsburgh native Bill Demchak, chief executive at PNC, to reflect on the rebirth of one of America’s great Rust Belt cities — and what lessons it may hold for other cities trying to recover from decades of decline.

Few American metropolises suffered the kind of economic conflagration that first hit Pittsburgh in the 1970s when its economic foundation, the steel industry, collapsed......one reason Pittsburgh has money today is because it had money yesterday: the fortunes earned by the city’s early industrial entrepreneurs — such as Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon — helped fund philanthropic institutions that were still in place to help bail the city out decades later.

The universities they funded were around too, generating the talent and the infrastructure for the innovation economy Pittsburgh is counting on for prosperity in the 21st century.

“What we had to our advantage, then and today, was a very strong university system, with University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. We had an extremely strong philanthropic community driven by the old money from the Mellon family, the Heinz endowments, Carnegie,” he says.

These foundations offered broad-based support as technology came to the fore in the mid-1990s, he adds, when CMU was a leader in robotics and autonomous vehicles, as it is today.
Andrew_Carnegie  Carnegie_Mellon  cities  Colleges_&_Universities  innovation  philanthropy  Pittsburgh  revitalization  CEOs  Rust_Belt  industrial_Midwest  midwest  Red_states 
july 2018 by jerryking
Start Spreading the News: Digital Fuels Superstar Cities - CIO Journal. WSJ
Dec 29, 2017 | WSJ | By Irving Wladawsky-Berger.

Superstar companies are primarily driven by economies of scale, generally achieved through platforms and network effects. Whenever a product, service or process is captured in software and digitized, it becomes digital capital and the economics of abundance take over. The more products or services a platform offers, the more users it will attract, helping it then attract more offerings from ecosystem partners, which in turn brings in more users.....The result is that a small number of companies become category kings dominating the rest of their competitors in their particular market – the Facebooks, Googles, Twitters, Ubers and AirBnbs. Category kings generally take over 70 percent of the total market value in their category, leaving everyone else to split the remaining 30 percent.

“Cities have been caught up in this winner-take-all phenomenon, too,” noted Mr. Florida. “Just as the economy confers disproportionate rewards to superstar talent, superstar cities… similarly tower above the rest. They generate the greatest levels of innovation, control and attract the largest shares of global capital and investment.”

Network dynamics apply to cities just as they do for companies and talent. “They have unique kinds of economies that are based around the most innovative and highest value-added industries, particularly finance, media, entertainment and tech; businesses in superstar cities are formed and scaled up more quickly. All of this attracts still more industries and more talent. It’s a powerful, ongoing feedback loop that compounds the advantages of these cities over time.”

But, such a concentration of talent, wealth and economic activity in fewer and fewer places has led to what a recent Economist issue called the changing economies of geography, the rising inequalities between a relatively small number of superstar cities and the many towns and regions that have been left behind by technology and globalization.
Irving_Wladawsky-Berger  cities  winner-take-all  platforms  superstars  network_effects  disproportionality  geographic_concentration  geographic_inequality  feedback_loops  compounded  increasing_returns_to_scale  digitalization 
january 2018 by jerryking
Don't be daft, London is still a world-class city -
August 28, 2017 | The Globe and Mail| by Marcus Gee.

Are London's glory years coming to an end? Don't bet on it. In fact, its recent troubles may turn out to be no more than a blip in its dazzling rise......Despite the sixties upswing symbolized by Twiggy, Carnaby Street and the Beatles, London was a city in decline. Crime was on the rise. Many Londoners were fleeing to the suburbs or leaving the country altogether. The city's population fell by two million between 1939 and 1979, reports Tom Dyckhoff in his recent book The Age of Spectacle. From 1961 to 1971 alone, London lost 600,000 residents. Jobs fled, too, as the docks declined and manufacturers left for greener pastures......then something unexpected and quite wonderful began to happen. Middle-class people attracted to the charm of the old began to move into beat-up parts of the city. Boutiques started popping up in rundown districts such as Covent Garden. A wave of financial deregulation made London a hub for banking and other financial services, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and drawing people from Europe and around the world. Governments started investing in the city again. The Tube network was expanded and refurbished. The glorious St. Pancras Station, once threatened with demolition, was made over as a glistening portal for rail travellers. Foreign money flooded in.

The past 20 years have transformed London from the decaying capital of a clapped-out postimperial power to a humming world city where Land Rovers roam the avenues, tourists flock to ride the London Eye and Russian oligarchs build swimming pools under their Georgian townhouses......Prime Minister Theresa May [is attempting] to come up with a coherent plan to do the impossible: keep the advantages of belonging to the EU without actually being a member......The city still boasts many advantages. Not least of them is the fact that it is, well, London.

As its former mayor (now Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) Boris Johnson puts it in his book The Spirit of London, the city is a global brand. Its pull is magnetic, its resilience famous. "It is plainly a city that can come back from almost anything – massacre, fire, plague, blitz."

There are practical reasons to bet on London, too. As much as Londoners complain about it, the public transportation system in the birthplace of the subway is a wonder. Looking to the future, the city is bulking up with the huge Crossrail project, designed to link the city's east and west.
Marcus_Gee  world-class  London  Brexit  decline  '70s  deregulation  revitalization  cities  books  financial_services 
august 2017 by jerryking
How Nature Scales Up
June 23, 2017 | WSJ | By Charles C. Mann

Review of SCALE By Geoffrey West; Penguin Press, 479 pages, $30
books  book_reviews  physicists  scaling  growth  innovation  sustainability  cities  economics  business  linearity  efficiencies  economies_of_scale  sublinearity  massive_data_sets  natural_selection 
june 2017 by jerryking
Robert Bundy: Powerful bureaucrat helped shape Toronto - The Globe and Mail
OLIVER MOORE
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jun. 08, 2017

Robert Bundy, the powerful Toronto civil servant who oversaw the expansion of the city’s parking system and parks, eventually meeting his match in the stubborn residents of the harbour islands, died of heart failure on May 8 in Toronto. He was 94.

A property developer who had served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War and was decorated twice by Russia for his role in the Murmansk Run supply convoys, Mr. Bundy moved into public service at a time when city bureaucrats enjoyed substantial clout......Early in their marriage, Mr. Bundy joined the city bureaucracy. His construction business had been successful and “he didn’t have to worry about finances,” his son Brock said. “He really truly believed he was doing something to make everyone’s life better, and you can see that all the way through.”

The elder Mr. Bundy became general manager of Toronto’s parking authority in 1958, a time when creating plentiful and cheap parking was seen as crucial to helping the city compete with the suburbs. A 1968 annual report for the agency shows that in his first 10 years in the role the number of municipal off-street parking spaces nearly doubled to 14,440.

In the late 1950s, he also chaired a committee trying to ensure that sufficient development followed the route of Toronto’s east-west subway line. And he pioneered the concept of a business improvement area, which recruits local merchants to help make their surroundings more attractive and marketable.

The importance of abundant parking, however, remained a passion for years. He was co-founder of what would become the International Parking Institute and travelled to learn from his peers across the continent. Decades later, when he was part of a pitch to redevelop Toronto’s Greenwood Raceway, the proposal was built around extensive new parking.

However, he was cognizant of the needs of non-drivers as well. As Metro’s parks commissioner, he oversaw great swaths of new green space. His family said he was particularly proud of Rosetta McClain Gardens in Scarborough, a park specifically designed around the needs of people with disabilities.

During his tenure, the city created bicycle trails in some of its green spaces, routes that proved so popular they led to friction between cyclists and other users
Toronto  cities  parking  WWII  bureaucrats  parks  obituaries  city_hall  property_development  veterans  leaders  Royal_Navy  BIAs  public_spaces  city_builders  civil_servants  redevelopments  green_spaces 
june 2017 by jerryking
Review: How Laws of Physics Govern Growth in Business and in Cities
MAY 26, 2017 | The New York Times | By JONATHAN A. KNEE

Book review of “Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies” (Penguin), by Geoffrey West, a theoretical physicist.....Mr. West’s core argument is that the basic mathematical laws of physics governing growth in the physical world apply equally to biological, political and corporate organisms.....The central observation of “Scale” is that a wide variety of complex systems respond similarly to increases in size. Mr. West demonstrates that these similarities reflect the structural nature of the networks that undergird these systems. The book identifies three core common characteristics of the hierarchal networks that deliver energy to these organisms — whether the diverse circulatory systems that power all forms of animal life or the water and electrical networks that power cities. First, the networks are “space filling” — that is, they service the entire organism. Second, the terminal units are largely identical, whether they are the capillaries in our bodies or the faucets and electrical outlets in our homes. Third, a kind of natural selection process operates within these networks so that they are optimized......These shared network qualities explain why when an organism doubles in size, an astonishing range of characteristics, from food consumption to general metabolic rate, grow something less than twice as fast — they scale “sublinearly.” What’s more, “Scale” shows why the precise mathematical factor by which these efficiencies manifest themselves almost always relate to “the magic No. 4.”

Mr. West also provides an elegant explanation of why living organisms have a natural limit to growth and life span following a predictable curve, as an increasing proportion of energy consumed is required for maintenance and less is available to fuel further expansion.

....Despite his reliance on the analysis of huge troves of data to develop and support his theories, in the concluding chapters, Mr. West makes a compelling argument against the “arrogance and narcissism” reflected in the growing fetishization of “big data” in itself. “Data for data’s sake,” he argues, “or the mindless gathering of big data, without any conceptual framework for organizing and understanding it, may actually be bad or even dangerous.”
books  book_reviews  physicists  scaling  growth  Jonathan_Knee  innovation  sustainability  cities  economics  business  linearity  efficiencies  economies_of_scale  sublinearity  massive_data_sets  natural_selection  physical_world  selection_processes 
may 2017 by jerryking
How Technology Will Solve Cities’ Parking Nightmare - The Experts - WSJ
By JASON BORDOFF
Apr 21, 2017

as Prof. Donald Shoup has explained in his book, The High Cost of Free Parking, city officials dramatically underprice public parking relative to its market value, leading people to drive when they might otherwise have taken mass transit, walked, cycled or carpooled. San Francisco in 2010 had nearly 450,000 parking spaces, over half of which were free street spots. Free or low-cost street parking, either metered or permitted for residents, effectively subsidizes driving.

Underpricing parking not only leads to more car use, but also to more driving as people cruise around looking for parking, contributing to pollution, traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. .....The coming revolution in autonomous cars can accelerate this trend. As Uber’s Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden recently explained at Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy, displacing the need for drivers will make it far more economical to move about with self-driving shared cars than to own a car—and that does not include the opportunity cost of driving, as riders will be able to use time en route to work, read or sleep.

Technology can also make carpooling far more efficient by better connecting riders going to and from the same place, further reducing cars on the road. Roughly 50% of Uber’s rides in San Francisco and 25% globally are now Uber Pool, according to Mr. Holden. Combining ride sharing with car sharing could cut the number of cars on the road—and that need to be parked—by 80% in major cities such as New York, according to MIT research.

With shared autonomous vehicles, there would be little need to park cars in downtown urban areas. Rather, autonomous vehicles could travel to garages on the outskirts of town to be recharged, cleaned and maintained.
parking  cities  Uber  UberPool  underpricing  ride_sharing  sharing_economy  opportunity_costs  autonomous_vehicles  high-cost 
april 2017 by jerryking
Why Robert Moses Keeps Rising From an Unquiet Grave - The New York Times
By DAVID W. DUNLAPMARCH 21, 2017
Robert Moses.

Builder of infrastructure. Ravager of neighborhoods. Maker of omelets. Breaker of eggs. Never mind civics texts. “The Power Broker,” Robert A. Caro’s biography of Mr. Moses, is the book that still must be read — 43 years after it was published — to understand how New York really works.

The reputation of Mr. Moses, good and bad, has outlived those of every governor and mayor he nominally served, with the possible exceptions of Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia, who had the sense to get an airport named after him, and Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller, whose name speaks for itself.....“Before him, there was no Triborough Bridge, Jones Beach State Park, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, West Side Highway or Long Island parkway system or Niagara and St. Lawrence power projects. He built all of these and more.”

“Before Mr. Moses, New York State had a modest amount of parkland; when he left his position as chief of the state park system, the state had 2,567,256 acres. He built 658 playgrounds in New York City, 416 miles of parkways and 13 bridges.”

“But he was more than just a builder. Although he disdained theories, he was a major theoretical influence on the shape of the American city, because the works he created in New York proved a model for the nation at large. His vision of a city of highways and towers — which in his later years came to be discredited by younger planners — influenced the planning of cities around the nation.”

“His guiding hand made New York, known as a city of mass transit, also the nation’s first city for the automobile age.”
Robert_Moses  New_York_City  urban  urban_planning  cities  political_biographies  power_brokers  city_builders 
march 2017 by jerryking
Why I’m Moving Home
MARCH 16, 2017 | The New York Times | By J. D. VANCE.

" The economist Matthew Kahn has shown that in Appalachia, for instance, the highly skilled are much likelier to leave not just their hometowns but also the region as a whole. This is the classic “brain drain” problem: Those who are able to leave very often do.

The brain drain also encourages a uniquely modern form of cultural detachment. Eventually, the young people who’ve moved out marry — typically to partners with similar economic prospects. They raise children in increasingly segregated neighborhoods, giving rise to something the conservative scholar Charles Murray calls “super ZIPs.” These super ZIPs are veritable bastions of opportunity and optimism, places where divorce and joblessness are rare." ......“The sociological role [colleges and universities] play is to suck talent out of small towns and redistribute it to big cities.” There have always been regional and class inequalities in our society, but the data tells us that we’re living through a unique period of segregation....This has consequences beyond the purely material. Jesse Sussell and James A. Thomson of the RAND Corporation argue that this geographic sorting has heightened the polarization that now animates politics. This polarization reflects itself not just in our voting patterns, but also in our political culture...JD Vance has decided to move [back] home-to Ohio....."we often frame civic responsibility in terms of government taxes and transfer payments, so that our society’s least fortunate families are able to provide basic necessities. But this focus can miss something important: that what many communities need most is not just financial support, but talent and energy and committed citizens to build viable businesses and other civic institutions."
sorting  segregation  compartmentalization  neighbourhoods  polarization  geographic_mobility  brain_drain  super_ZIPs  cultural_detachment  Rust_Belt  midwest  Red_states  whites  political_partisanship  political_polarization  working_class  J.D._Vance  industrial_Midwest  Appalachia  cities  engaged_citizenry  talent  Charles_Murray  civics  social_mobility  self-perpetuation  values  opportunity_gaps  college-educated  geographic_sorting  regional 
march 2017 by jerryking
Uber Extends an Olive Branch to Local Governments: Its Data
JAN. 8, 2017 | - The New York Times | By MIKE ISAAC.

unveiled Movement, a stand-alone website it hopes will persuade city planners to consider Uber as part of urban development and transit systems in the future.

The site, which Uber will invite planning agencies and researchers to visit in the coming weeks, will allow outsiders to study traffic patterns and speeds across cities using data collected by tens of thousands of Uber vehicles. Users can use Movement to compare average trip times across certain points in cities and see what effect something like a baseball game might have on traffic patterns. Eventually, the company plans to make Movement available to the general public.
municipalities  urban  urban_planning  cities  Boston  partnerships  traffic_patterns  Uber  Movement  data  data_driven 
january 2017 by jerryking
There’s an Antidote to America’s Long Economic Malaise: College Towns - WSJ
The Great Unraveling | There’s an Antidote to America’s Long Economic Malaise: College Towns
By BOB DAVIS | PHOTOS BY BOB MILLER FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Updated Dec. 12, 2016
economic_downturn  Colleges_&_Universities  cities  China  downward_mobility  America_in_Decline? 
december 2016 by jerryking
Leaving for the city | The Economist
Sep 3rd 2016 |

Bill Bishop: The Big Sort

The best book to read if you want to understand corporate America’s migration patterns is not Mr Florida’s but a more recent study, Bill Bishop’s “The Big Sort”. It argues that Americans are increasingly clustering in distinct areas on the basis of their jobs and social values. The headquarters revolution is yet another iteration of the sorting process that the book describes, as companies allocate elite jobs to the cities and routine jobs to the provinces. Corporate disaggregation is no doubt a sensible use of resources. But it will also add to the tensions that are tearing America apart as many bosses choose to work in very different worlds from the vast majority of Americans, including their own employees.
workplaces  Flybits  urban  cities  creative_class  trends  books  geographic_sorting  geographic_mobility 
november 2016 by jerryking
Actually, Many ‘Inner Cities’ Are Doing Great - The New York Times
Emily Badger OCT. 11, 2016
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African-Americans  urban  cities  gentrification  poverty  Donald_Trump  Campaign_2016 
october 2016 by jerryking
Venture Communism: How China Is Building a Start-Up Boom - The New York Times
By MICHAEL SCHUMANSEPT. 3, 2016
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subsidies  China  start_ups  industrial_policies  entrepreneurship  incubators  cities 
september 2016 by jerryking
Those who focus on police reform are asking the wrong questions - The Globe and Mail
AMANDA ALEXANDER
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jul. 29, 2016

The deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile underscore two truths about the United States: We make it difficult for people to get by and harder yet to care for each other. After decades of slashing welfare budgets and increasing investments in prisons, federal and state governments have charted a path for the country’s poorest: aggressive policing and incarceration. We’ve locked people out of the formal job market and criminalized their survival.

It is not coincidental that officers in New York and Baton Rouge killed Eric Garner and Alton Sterling, respectively, in the course of policing informal economies (selling loose cigarettes and CDs). We simply make life hard for people – until we extinguish it entirely....Each day, we require black people to risk their lives to be cafeteria workers, teachers, therapists. The United States demands impossible sacrifices from black people to sustain its economy, and has since slavery.

What does this have to do with police reform?

Very little. Reformers are asking the wrong questions. They have turned to increased police training and altered use-of-force protocols to end this nightmare. Fortunately, some among us demand another way. Young black activists are not just asking, “How do we make cops stop shooting us?” but instead, “What do our communities need to thrive? How do we get free?” They’re not begging for scraps; they’re demanding the world they deserve. If there’s a future for any of us, it’s in asking these questions, demanding fundamental shifts in resources and organizing like hell.....Meanwhile, cash-strapped cities continue to raise revenue from policing and fining the poor. And because of insufficient social service investment, Americans rely on police to be first responders to crises of mental health, addiction and homelessness.
policing  African-Americans  reform  informal_economy  mental_health  addictions  existential  foundational  homelessness  community_organizing  incarceration  institutional_path_dependency  structural_change  questions  Black_Lives_Matter  cash-strapped  cities  reframing  political_organizing 
july 2016 by jerryking
City of holes
23 April/24 April 2016 | Financial Times | by Edwin Heathcote
architecture  construction  London  cities  design 
april 2016 by jerryking
It’s time for a ‘ministry of cities’ - The Globe and Mail
RICHARD FLORIDA
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Nov. 09, 2015

“What is required is much more strategic investment in denser, transit-served, more connected cities and suburbs.”
Richard_Florida  cities  Justin_Trudeau  transit 
november 2015 by jerryking
Shelters from the storm: Preparing cities for a changing climate – before it’s too late - The Globe and Mail
ALEX BOZIKOVIC
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jul. 17, 2015

Rising sea levels, epic droughts, massive flooding: the effects of climate change are already here. How do we adapt? From the Netherlands to Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Alex Bozikovic explores the cutting-edge engineering – and cultural shifts – that could help
New_York_City  climate_change  cities  Hurricane_Sandy  floods  future-proofing  insurance  public_policy  disasters  Dutch  relief_recovery_reconstruction  FEMA  sustainability  natural_calamities  sea-level_rise 
july 2015 by jerryking
Canadian cities caught between crumbling infrastructure and growing calls for transit - The Globe and Mail
OLIVER MOORE, OLIVER SACHGAU LES PERREAUX AND GARY MASON
TORONTO and MONTREAL and VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jun. 09, 2015
Toronto  Montreal  Vancouver  infrastructure  Gardiner_Expressway  transit  cities 
june 2015 by jerryking
A fighter for immigration, inclusion and diversity - The Globe and Mail
RICHARD BLACKWELL
TORONTO — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Apr. 17 2015,

After years of running the poverty-fighting Maytree Foundation, last fall Ratna Omidvar was named head of the new Global Diversity Exchange housed at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Toronto’s Ryerson University. The GDX, as she calls it, will do research and exchange information about diversity and the inclusion of immigrants and visible minorities – not just in Canada but all over the world.

It is essentially a “think-and-do tank,”...the GDX will tap into the great minds who have studied immigration and settlement, while sharing concrete strategies and experiences that have worked effectively.

While national governments function as the gatekeepers for immigration – letting people in or keeping them out – it is local efforts, usually at the city level, that make the difference in getting immigrants to prosper, she said.
immigration  women  diversity  Ryerson  leaders  immigrants  leadership  networking  boards_&_directors_&_governance  Maytree  talent_pipelines  under-representation  Ratna_Omidvar  Toronto  cities  think_tanks 
april 2015 by jerryking
Hidden language of the streets - FT.com
March 6, 2015 | FT| Edwin Heathcote.

Each city has its own visual and filmic shorthand for its streetscape (should read "cityscape"). There are the monuments — the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, the Empire State Building and so on, but at street level there are markers of urban identity as potent as the great monuments and which, in fact, have a far more meaningful impact on everyday life, as the fragments that form the backdrop against which we live our public lives.
...Street furniture and the in-between architecture that populates the pavements defines the experience of walking through the city. ...Streets and their furniture are designed for an ideal public but they can also be vehicles of control....The question is, what kind of meaning does our contemporary streetscape communicate? Throughout the history of public space, urban markers have been used to convey a sense of place, of centre, connection and of context. ....Then there is a rich layer of what we might call in-between architecture, the market stalls, newsstands, food carts and hot-dog stands, caramelised-nut vendors and seafood stalls. To a large extent these are among the elements that make up the experience of the city yet they are rarely regarded as architecture. Instead they represent an ad-hoc series of developments that have evolved to an optimum efficiency....This layer expresses the story of the desires, the fears, the entrepreneurialism and the attitude to privacy of a city. But the most intriguing thing is that it is simultaneously an expression of the top-down and the bottom-up city.
cities  design  identity  architecture  public_spaces  furniture  cityscapes  iconic  top-down  bottom-up  street_furniture  streetscapes  overlay_networks  streets  landmarks  shorthand 
march 2015 by jerryking
Expert advice on building the city of the 21st century - The Globe and Mail
ALEX BOZIKOVIC
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Feb. 13 2015

Anthony Townsend, researcher at NYU’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management; author of Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for A New Utopia...density bonusing works==> When more density is proposed by developers, if it is considered reasonable, cities then negotiate additional public benefits as well. In value capture, if a city invests in something like public transit, it can apply a charge on development around that transit, reflecting how public investment has increased nearby land value....Jan Gehl, founding Partner of Gehl Architects; former professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts; author, most recently, of How to Study Public Life
cities  Toronto  mayoral  urban  21st._century  smart_cities  public_transit  inner_suburbs  books  densification  urban_intensification  Michael_Thompson 
february 2015 by jerryking
Rust Belt revival: Lessons for southwest Ontario from America’s industrial heartland - The Globe and Mail
ADAM RADWANSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 16 2015

Not all the start-ups and emerging businesses in Grand Rapids are as sexy. Some are tied to auto parts and office furniture, the traditional manufacturing around which Grand Rapids was built. Others are in communications technology or health sciences. Notwithstanding some growing financial-services companies, they tend to fit into the region’s proud history of making things.

As the Brookings Institute’s Vey notes, that tradition – and the accompanying institutional knowledge and infrastructure – can help Rust Belt cities take advantage of the current “maker’s movement,” in which a DIY culture makes the manufacturing market accessible to small enterprises.
revitalization  rust_belt  Southwestern_Ontario  industrial_Midwest  economic_development  institutional_knowledge  Pittsburgh  urban  urban_decline  philanthropy  cities  DIY  entrepreneurship  start_ups  manufacturers  Makerspace  Colleges_&_Universities 
january 2015 by jerryking
Why competent city government matters - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Oct. 29 2014

Everywhere, “densification” of downtowns is the order of the day, which makes eminent sense, provided the increasing density is done properly from planning, lifestyle, transportation, and carbon emissions reductions perspectives (which hasn’t been the case in central Toronto’s condo-land, as one example).

Cities are on the front line of many issues that transcend their boundaries, climate change being one. Municipal governments have a host of powers – garbage, building codes, development, transit – that directly affect carbon emissions. What they do, or don’t, is consequential for the country’s overall record.

Similarly, how cities integrate newcomers to Canada affects the entire country’s civic life and economic prospects. Thus far, the melding of so many immigrants into the Canadian mainstream has been one of the country’s most significant accomplishments. It happens, overwhelmingly, in neighbourhoods, schools and other urban public places.
cities  mayoral  densification  Toronto  government  Jeffrey_Simpson  urban  urban_intensification  arrival_cities  neighbourhoods  competence  Michael_Thompson  social_integration 
october 2014 by jerryking
They’re Tracking When You Turn Off the Lights - WSJ - WSJ
By ELIZABETH DWOSKIN
Oct. 20, 2014

Tech companies have used the technologies and techniques collectively known as big data to make business decisions and shape their customers’ experience. Now researchers are bringing big data into the public sphere, aiming to improve quality of life, save money, and understand cities in ways that weren’t possible only a few years ago....Municipal sensor networks offer big opportunities, but they also carry risks. In turning personal habits into digital contrails, the technology may tempt authorities to misuse it. While academics aim to promote privacy and transparency, some worry that the benefits of big data could be lost if the public grows wary of being monitored... Anthony Townsend, author of the book “Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia.”...The goal isn’t to sell products or spy on people, the academics say, but to bolster quality of life and knowledge of how cities function
cities  massive_data_sets  sensors  urban  privacy  smart_cities  predictive_analytics  books  quality_of_life  customer_experience  open_data  community_collaboration  white_hats 
october 2014 by jerryking
How the big-data revolution can help design ideal cities - The Globe and Mail
DAVE MCGINN
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Sep. 24 2014

The big-data revolution faces two key challenges, both concerning the collection of information.

First, as is always the case when it comes to monitoring individuals and collecting details about their lives, is privacy. Second, there is the issue of using that data responsibly....Once municipalities have that consent, there is then the issue of harmonizing data sets in order to gain a fuller picture of issues. For instance, if a municipality wants to understand water-consumption levels, it helps to know how they track weather patterns.

Many cities are still struggling to understand how to use big data, but it promises to be a hugely important urban-planning tool.
algorithms  IBM  real-time  urban  sensors  municipalities  massive_data_sets  cities  data  decision_making  privacy  urban_planning  open_data 
september 2014 by jerryking
Five things all Canadian cities should stop ignoring
Aug. 20 2014 |The Globe and Mail | JEFF LEHMAN.
1. Don’s World
2. Resiliency.
3. Affordable housing.
4. Slaying the infrastructure deficit.
5. A new federalism.

Don's world = that Ontario governments need to adjust to revenues growing more slowly by reforming services and changing the way they do business. Cities must listen to this advice. This goes beyond controlling costs; services must be delivered differently if they are to be sustainable.
affordability  Canadian  cities  municipalities  mayoral  infrastructure  urban  strategic_thinking  Don_Drummond  public_sector  P3  public_housing  federalism  resilience  slow_growth 
august 2014 by jerryking
Cities need tax value, not tax cuts - The Globe and Mail
JACK DIAMOND
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Aug. 15 2014
cities  taxes 
august 2014 by jerryking
A Start-Up Helps Towns Market Their Property - NYTimes.com
By LISA PREVOSTAUG. 5, 2014

Two public policy graduates at the Kennedy School at Harvard University are trying to build a business of helping municipalities with a task at which they are notoriously deficient: managing and marketing their real estate portfolios.

Called OpportunitySpace, the start-up works with municipal governments to put their publicly owned real estate holdings in a public online database. Specifics about each property, such as square footage, assessed value and delinquent taxes, are linked to its address. The parcels are mapped geographically.
KSG  start_ups  cities  commercial_real_estate  entrepreneur  municipalities 
august 2014 by jerryking
Q: What is the difference between analytics and microtargeting and can I afford either in a city council race?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

A: According to Tom Bonier of Clarity Campaign Labs, the nomenclature of analytics vs. microtargeting is not settled, reflecting the relative newness of the field. "Analy...
analytics  political_campaigns  microtargeting  cities  local  municipalities  elections  from notes
january 2014 by jerryking
The messy reality of open data and politics | Public Leaders Network
8 April 2013 | | Guardian Professional | Tim Davies, Guardian Professional.

In practice, datasets themselves are political objects, and policies to open up datasets are the product of politics. If you look beyond the binary fight over whether government data should be open or not, then you will find a far more subtle set of political questions over the what and the how of opening data.

Datasets are built from the categories and relationships that the database designer (or their political masters) decide are important. In their book, Sorting Things Out: Classification and its Consequences, Geoffrey Bowker and Susan Leigh Star describe how the international classification of disease, the basis for worldwide mortality statistics, has historically under-represented tropical diseases in its code lists. The result is that global health policy has been less able to see, distinguish and target certain conditions....Local authority spending data has never existed as a single dataset before – but a central edict that this should be published, itself a decision with a political edge, has generated new standards for representing local spend, that have to decide what sort of information about spend is important.

Should the data contain company identifiers to let us see which firms get public money? And should spend data be linked to results and categorisation of public services? These decisions can have big impacts on how data can be used, what it can tell us, and what impacts open data will have.
datasets  data  open_data  cities  municipalities  politics  political_campaigns  sorting  messiness 
december 2013 by jerryking
Political
 Finance 
in 
City 
Elections: Toronto 
and
 Calgary
 Compared

September
2008 | The
 Canadian 
Political 
Science
 Review |Lisa
 Young

(University
 of 
Calgary)
 and
 Sam 
Austin 
(University
 of 
Calgary)

Comparing
 candidate 
contribution
 and
 expenditure
 data
 from
 urban 
elections
 in
 Toronto
 and
 Calgary,
 the
 paper
 concludes
 that
 elements
 of
 the
 regulatory
 regime
 in
 Toronto
 contribute 
modestly
 to
 a
 more
 level
 playing
 field 
for 
political
 competition 
in 
that 
city.
In

particular,
the
limits
on
the
size
of
contributions,
when
coupled
with
a
rebate
for
political

donat
ions,
 make
 candidates
 less
 reliant
 on
 corporate
 and
 development
 sources.
 These
 elements
 of
 Toronto’s
 regulatory 
regime
 also
 contribute
 to
a
somewhat 
higher
 level
 of
 competitiveness 
in 
municipal 
elections
 in
 Toronto
 than 
in 
Calgary,
where 
election 
finance

is 
effectively
 unregulated,
cities  elections  municipalities  finance  funding 
december 2013 by jerryking
Bloomberg Focuses on Rest (as in Rest of the World) - NYTimes.com
December 14, 2013 | NYT | By MICHAEL BARBARO.

Bloomberg Associates will be a project that is the first concrete phase of a post-mayoral life that aides said would remain intensely focused on cities, long viewed by him as laboratories for large-scale experiments in public health, economic development and environmental sustainability.

Above all, the new endeavor reflects a profound confidence — never in short supply with this mayor — that it would behoove dozens of municipalities to replicate the ideas that defined his tenure: turning busy roads into pedestrian plazas, posting calorie counts in fast-food chains, creating a customer-service hotline for citizens....The consulting group is the latest chapter in Mr. Bloomberg’s long journey from political neophyte to much-admired mentor to fellow mayors, dozens of whom have flocked to City Hall to study his open-seat bullpen layout, attended his conferences about urban innovation and applied for grants from his foundation (called “mayors’ school” by several city leaders who have spent time there).
Michael_Bloomberg  New_York_City  Second_Acts  management_consulting  hotlines  data  data_driven  cities  mayoral  large-scale  public_health  economic_development  sustainability  environment 
december 2013 by jerryking
Finns Pitch Frightful Weather as a Competitive Advantage - NYTimes.com
November 15, 2013, 9:02 am 8 Comments
Finns Pitch Frightful Weather as a Competitive Advantage
By MARK SCOTT

In Europe’s crowded technology scene, cities are eager to differentiate themselves from local rivals.

London has its connections with global finance. Berlin has a thriving local arts and music community. And Helsinki has its wintry weather....“Weather is a competitive advantage for us,” said Christian Lindholm, a local entrepreneur, who – like many in Finland’s tech community – spent several years working at Nokia. “Too much good weather would be bad for us.”

The Finnish tech industry is going through a reboot as focus shifts from struggling Nokia, which is selling its cellphone division to Microsoft for $7.2 billion, to some of the country’s smaller companies.

The most recent success is Supercell, the local online gaming company...tech firms are also benefiting from the investment flowing into companies based in and around Helsinki. With a lack of Finnish early-stage investors to back start-ups, much of the funding still comes through government support, including from Tekes, the country’s technology and innovation agency, and other state-backed venture funds.

The government money varies from one-off grants for research and development at universities to six-figure investments aimed at boosting start-ups efforts to market their products in international markets.
cities  competitive_advantage  differentiation  Europe  EU  Finland  Finnish  games  healthcare  Helsinki  mobile_applications  Nokia  start_ups  state-as-facilitator  weather  winter 
november 2013 by jerryking
Toronto’s problem has grown beyond its mayor
Nov. 08 2013 | The Globe and Mail |Richard Florida

Toronto must deal with an even larger schism, the one that divides its booming 21st-century economy from its outmoded growth model and system of governance. It is this – not Mr. Ford – that poses the most serious threat to Toronto’s continued prosperity....Toronto has reached a true inflection point, and the problem is not high taxes or fiscal profligacy, as many have framed it....Toronto’s biggest problem is its growth model, which has far outlived its shelf life.

When a city region like Toronto – or Atlanta, Washington, Dallas or Miami – hits the 5.5 to six million mark in population, it can no longer grow based on cars and sprawl. It has to grow upward as well as outward and has to become much more oriented to transit. Most cities fail to make the required investments and their growth stalls and falters. The truly great cities are able to invest in ways that change their growth trajectory. This is what New York did more than a century ago when it built its rail and subway lines. That’s what Toronto needs to do now if it wants to achieve its ambition to become a truly global city....To do so requires not just massive investments in transit, but more flexible building and zoning regimes that promote greater density at the core and in the suburbs alike. The dysfunction in the mayor’s office means that all this is being put on the back burner....then there is the deep and fundamental problem of the growing geographic inequality that produced Mr. Ford in the first place. ....Inequality has frustrated even the most effective mayors...[Toronto} needs a new governance system that is adequate to the new challenges it faces....Toronto can lead the world by devising a modern system that’s up to the task of investing in governing and investing in a large economically integrated city. ...the basic idea would be to create a new kind of federalism, which extends from the provincial government through the city and all the way down to the varied communities and neighbourhoods that make it up.
21st._century  building_codes  cities  communities  densification  federalism  land_uses  mayoral  neighbourhoods  NYC  Queen’s_Park  regulation  Richard_Florida  Rob_Ford  scandals  schisms  transit  Toronto  zoning  inflection_points 
november 2013 by jerryking
Why we’re better off living in hyperdense cities built around mass transit
Oct. 11 2013 | G&M | ALEX BOZIKOVIC.

Vishaan Chakrabarti is getting into a cab. This is a bit surprising because the architect and academic is a constant transit rider, like most of his neighbours in Manhattan.

“I’m a guy who’s usually in the subway, unless I have a few calls to make,” he admits good-naturedly as a fire truck screams past him. He thinks we should ride the subway, too – his new book, A Country of Cities, argues that “hyperdense” cities built around mass transit, make us more prosperous and happier, too.
cities  design  densification  transit  books  urban_intensification  urban_planning 
october 2013 by jerryking
One final ignominy for a pioneer of abstract art
Sep. 26 2013 | - The Globe and Mail | RUSSELL SMITH

We Canadians shouldn’t be shocked – we ourselves have little concept of placing historical markers of cultural grandeur in our cities. We don’t name our streets after our artists, even when a great artist lived there. We don’t even put up plaques on their former houses. Our municipal governments have no interest in turning our dull concrete grids into a series of references to fantasy – as the streets of Paris and London, for example, are; there, you can walk and meet ghosts of both authors and fictional characters; not only can you see who died of consumption in a garret upstairs, but also whose character did. These plaques lay a fictional city over a real one. (Oh well, you might say, Canada is not famous for its art anyway. And I would say, yes, and this is why.)
Russell_Smith  art  Russia  ideacity  culture  history  overlay_networks  fantasy  wayfinding  artists  cities  virtual_worlds  cityscapes  iconic  street_furniture  landmarks  metaphysical  London  Paris  imagination 
september 2013 by jerryking
'Heaven was the word for Canada:' race in Martin Luther King's 'North Star' - The Globe and Mail
Aug. 24 2013 | The Globe and Mail | John Ibbitson.

....Racially, the single greatest achievement may have been the decision by the government of Lester B. Pearson in 1967 to introduce the points system for choosing immigrants, sweeping away policies that had kept non-whites out of Canada for generations.

The following half-century of wide-open immigration and entrenched multiculturalism forged Canadian cities so cosmopolitan, diverse and tolerant that they come closer than any to Dr. King’s dream of harmony and equality....

But only for some. Black Canadians make up 2.5 per cent of the population, but fill 9 per cent of the spaces in the country’s prisons, according to the federal Office of the Correctional Investigator. Too many poor non-white neighbourhoods are unstable and, for many of those trapped in them, unsafe
MLK  John_Ibbitson  anniversaries  speeches  Underground_Railroad  geographic_segregation  North_Star  marginalization  1967  Lester_Pearson  African_Canadians  overrepresentation  disproportionality  immigration  multiculturalism  Canadian  cities  cosmopolitan  exclusion 
august 2013 by jerryking
Disruptions: How Driverless Cars Could Reshape Cities - NYTimes.com
July 7, 2013, 11:00 am 198 Comments
Disruptions: How Driverless Cars Could Reshape Cities
By NICK BILTON
cities  automobile  disruption  automation  autonomous_vehicles 
july 2013 by jerryking
St. Louis Looks to Regain Its Startup Mojo - WSJ.com
June 11, 2013 | WSJ | By BEN CASSELMAN

Cities Hunt for Startup Magic, Entrepreneurial Culture Seen as Growth Key; $100 Million Seed Fund in St. Louis
start_ups  St._Louis  cities  municipalities  economic_development 
june 2013 by jerryking
Montreal and Toronto need a new breed of mayor
Jun. 20 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Konrad Yakabuski.

Canada’s two biggest cities are in the market for new leadership at a critical juncture. So-called “higher” levels of government are out of money and ideas and de facto city states are re-emerging as the real motors of national growth and innovation. Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution point out that this “inversion of the hierarchy of power” presents cities with both challenges and opportunities. Higher levels of government are too broke, too slow and too politically divided to make transformative public policy, so visionary mayors must fill the void. The trend is yielding a new model of governance. “The metropolitan revolution,” they write in their new book of the same name, “is like our era: crowd-sourced rather than close-sourced, entrepreneurial rather than bureaucratic, networked rather than hierarchical.”...If inclusiveness is key to the metropolitan revolution, Toronto and Montreal have been shaped by history and demography to embody it. With half of its population born outside Canada, Toronto reverberates with the influences of an entire planet. Dundas Square on a Sunday afternoon is a chaotic free-for-all of colour, creed, generation and gender. There are few places in the world that could pull it off as peacefully....As Torontonians ponder a Ford-free future, they need to think about who can best lead such a diverse city as it stakes its claim to global greatness. Choosing an anti-development ideologue who puts poverty alleviation ahead of economic growth would be just as big a mistake as picking a crane-loving populist who doesn’t know his Weiwei from his WiFi.

The inversion of the power hierarchy promises to make the next mayors of Toronto and Montreal national leaders, not just local ones. To succeed, they will need to transcend outdated political cleavages and notions of progress.
Konrad_Yakabuski  Toronto  Montreal  anti-development  leadership  mayoral  networks  crowdsourcing  books  John_Tory  Brookings  voids  governance  cities  city-states  cash-strapped  vision 
june 2013 by jerryking
The Future for Urban Greenhouses is Well-Grounded
Mar/Apr 2013 | Resource | Paul Selina.

Even at the highest production levels, many acres of greenhouses are required to provide for the needs of a growing city. While the concept of multiple rooftop greenhouses, or multilevel greenhouses, is routinely reported by the media, this may not be the most practical or cost-effective solution to meet the food demands of a growing population:

* Replication of the climate system, support infrastructure, management, packaging, and distribution all add costs, and each greenhouse needs connections to utilities, and separate liquid and solid waste management. The logistics of lifting and lowering tons of produce, materials, and people can also be costly and inefficient.

* Crops are living biological systems that require highly skilled growers to achieve their production potential, maintain plant health, and minimize pesticide usage. The retail outlets and restaurants supplied by the greenhouse need a reliable supply of quality produce for their customers, without any interruptions caused by crop management mistakes. While we can gather and analyze more information about the climate and plant performance, using that information will require more management, especially to operate multiple locations.

...Currently, energy costs in North America are low, by global standards, and must be expected to rise in the future. This prospect represents the biggest challenge to localized greenhouse production. Most of the energy consumed by a greenhouse is used to maintain optimum growing temperatures, so low-cost glazing materials that reduce heat transfer without reducing transmission of solar radiation are needed, as well as research to create varieties that grow well at varying temperatures. If supplementary lighting is used, it will require even more energy. LED lights continue to improve in efficiency, but they will not be widely used until the installation costs are substantially reduced. ...As we look to the future, a combination of produce suppliers is the most likely development, with the middle of the market supplied by large local greenhouses, the most affluent consumers paying a premium for ultra-local rooftop production, and the value-conscious customers continuing to purchase vegetables grown seasonally and shipped in from other regions.
greenhouses  hyperlocal  farming  green_roofs  urban  cities  local 
april 2013 by jerryking
Rooftop Farming With Greenhouses
Nov 2011 | American Vegetable Grower pg 41 |Rick Snyder. Rick.
greenhouses  farming  agriculture  green_roofs  cities 
april 2013 by jerryking
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