jerryking + infrastructure   114

Inside FreshDirect’s Big Bet to Win the Home-Delivery Fight - WSJ
By Jennifer Smith
July 18, 2018 5:30 a.m

Designed to keep food fresh longer and move it faster, FreshDirect’s 400,000 square-foot distribution centre is the online grocer’s multimillion-dollar bet on the fastest-growing sector in the grocery business, home-delivery. FreshDirect pioneered the e-commerce home-delivery market, and now with Amazon and big grocery chains like Kroger Co. piling on investments, companies are jockeying for position in a business that some believe is the future of supermarket sales.....FreshDirect's trucks now provide next-day delivery to customers across the New York-New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., metropolitan areas, with plans to expand into Boston next. The private company says it generated between $600 million and $700 million in annual revenue in 2017.

It declined to disclose the cost of the new facility, which was financed with the help of a $189 million investment round in 2016 led by J.P. Morgan Asset Management, direct funding and incentives from state and local governments......Amazon, Target Corp. and other large companies have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to expand food delivery and build out their grocery e-commerce operations. Supermarket chain owner Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV’s Peapod unit, the longest-running online grocery service in the U.S., has expanded to 24 markets and is investing in technology to cut its handling and delivery costs.

Walmart Inc. said this month that Jet.com, the online retailer it bought two years ago, will open a fulfillment center in the Bronx this fall to help roll out same- and next-day grocery deliveries in New York City.

The grocers are trying to solve one of the toughest problems in home delivery: Getting food to doorsteps in the same condition consumers would expect if they went to the store themselves. Delivering perishables is trickier than dropping off paper towels or dogfood. Fruit bruises, meat spoils, eggs break. ........FreshDirect’s logistic hurdles start well before delivery. It must get products from its suppliers to the building, process the food, then pick, pack and ship orders before the quality degrades.

That is why the new distribution centre has 15 different temperature zones. Tomatoes do best at about 55 degrees, but “chicken and meat like it to be just at 32 degrees... it gives more of shelf life to it,"....Software determines the most efficient route for each order, and tells workers which items to pick.....A big part of the facility [distribution centre] is ripping out tons and tons of operating costs out of the business.....The stakes in getting the technology right are high. FreshDirect is competing with grocery chains that often fill online orders through their stores, using a mix of staff and third-party services like Instacart Inc. So-called click-and-collect services, where consumers swing by to pick up their own orders, tend to have better margins because the retailer isn’t paying for last-mile delivery.....Online-only operations with centralized warehouses tend to be more efficient than logistics run out of stores, because they use fewer workers and can position goods for faster fulfillment.
algorithms  Amazon  big_bets  cold_storage  distribution_centres  distribution  e-commerce  food  FreshDirect  grocery  home-delivery  infrastructure  Kroger  logistics  perishables  retailers  software  supermarkets  Target  Wal-Mart  warehouses  fulfillment  same-day  piling_on  last_mile 
july 2018 by jerryking
Cyberattacks Put Russian Fingers on the Switch at Power Plants, U.S. Says
MARCH 15, 2018 | The New York Times | By NICOLE PERLROTH and DAVID E. SANGER.

The Trump administration accused Russia on Thursday of engineering a series of cyberattacks that targeted American and European nuclear power plants and water and electric systems, and could have sabotaged or shut power plants off at will.....Russian hacks had taken an aggressive turn. The attacks were no longer aimed at intelligence gathering, but at potentially sabotaging or shutting down plant operations.....Though a major step toward deterrence, publicly naming countries accused of cyberattacks still is unlikely to shame them into stopping. The United States is struggling to come up with proportionate responses to the wide variety of cyberespionage, vandalism and outright attacks.
Russia  security_&_intelligence  cyberattacks  vandalism  cyber_security  power_grid  infrastructure  NSA  vulnerabilities  hackers  U.S._Cyber_Command  David_Sanger  cyberphysical  physical_world 
march 2018 by jerryking
Wider Dufferin Overpass Opens, Ready for Rail Path & GO RER | Urban Toronto
July 21, 2017 4:49 pm | by Craig White.

The newly widened bridge facilitates future transportation upgrades for Torontonians, specifically for those who ride the rails or their bikes, or those who simply walk.

For those who ride GO Trains on the Kitchener, Milton, or Barrie corridors, the widened bridge means that another track can now be laid over the bridge. Eventually this part of the corridor will have two tracks for each of the three corridors, and another two tracks for the UP Express. The increase in tracks means that all corridors will eventually be able to support the frequent 2-Way All-Day trains which RER-type service requires. The provincial government, through Metrolinx, is changing GO from a commuter service to a Regional Express Rail service over the next decade.
Toronto  GO  Metrolinx  RER  transit  infrastructure  Queen’s_Park 
july 2017 by jerryking
Toronto’s Pearson airport plans massive transit hub - The Globe and Mail
BILL CURRY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jul. 14, 2017

The airport authority has been gradually building support for the idea of establishing Pearson as a second major transit hub – after Union Station – in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Regional mayors and the Ontario government announced their support for the idea at a news conference in April. In May, Pearson and 10 other airports announced the Southern Ontario Airport Network, which is based in part on shifting smaller regional air traffic away from Pearson as it focuses on larger international flights. Improved transit connections to Pearson are a key part of that plan.

The GTAA has estimated in January that the total cost of the project is at least $11.2-billion. The plan has six transit components, five of which involve extending existing or planned transit lines – such as the Eglinton LRT and Finch LRT – so that they connect to the airport. The most expensive aspect is a contribution to a high-speed rail line that would run from Union Station to the airport and on to Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, and possibly as far as Windsor.
airports  GTAA  transit  hubs  GTA  infrastructure  high-speed_rail  Pearson_International  YYZ  transportation  terminals  accessibility  Mississauga  Metrolinx  HSR 
july 2017 by jerryking
Pearson airport hub a fitting project for Canada Infrastructure Bank: Metrolinx CEO - The Globe and Mail
BILL CURRY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Apr. 09, 2017

In recent months, Pearson airport officials have been promoting a plan to raise billions for regional transit connections, including the possibility of a high-speed rail link through southwestern Ontario. A report that has not yet been released to the public estimates that private capital could help fund more than $12-billion worth of new transit, including a $6-billion high-speed rail line connecting Toronto and Windsor. One option to fund the projects would be to partially privatize the airport.

“What Pearson airport is proposing is a really important way to start to think about how do we build out the connectivity between Pearson, the rest of the transit and transportation network and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area,”
airports  Toronto  infrastructure  hubs  high-speed_rail  transit  transportation  Mississauga  Metrolinx  Pearson_International  GTAA  YYZ  travel  terminals  accessibility  southwestern_Ontario  HSR 
april 2017 by jerryking
Where Halls of Ivy Meet Silicon Dreams, a New City Rises - The New York Times
By DAVID W. CHENMARCH 22, 2017
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New_York_City  Colleges_&_Universities  infrastructure  education  Cornell  NYU  Columbia 
march 2017 by jerryking
Why this economist thinks government intervention is a good thing - The Globe and Mail
PAUL WALDIE
The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Nov. 28, 2016

Many governments are moving away from austerity and toward stimulating economic growth by spending on infrastructure projects. Is that the right approach?

This is not about the panacea of infrastructure. It’s ridiculous if you think about it. All these smart, smart people in the IMF—once they finally admit that austerity was shit and it was very damaging, what’s their solution? Infrastructure. (3) These people have PhDs. Can they not come up with something more interesting than spend a bunch on bridges and roads?

What do you think about Brexit?

A massive, massive disaster. I just can’t believe that the people who engineered it haven’t been put in prison. It’s so obvious now that they were lying. Think of it: If Coca-Cola lied with advertising campaigns like that, they’d be in prison. All these civil servants are going to be spending decades unravelling something that was not the problem. The real problem in the U.K. is low productivity, very high inequality and a lack of serious planning around industrial and innovation policy. That had nothing to do with Europe. Brexit is just going to take away huge amounts of government resources that could have been spent thinking about what it really means to increase productivity. As well, it just really makes things complicated.
Paul_Waldie  economists  Brexit  industrial_policies  innovation_policies  innovation  iPhone  Mariana_Mazzucato  infrastructure  austerity  government_intervention  PhDs  IMF  productivity  income_inequality 
december 2016 by jerryking
VC Pioneer Vinod Khosla Says AI Is Key to Long-Term Business Competitiveness - CIO Journal. - WSJ
By STEVE ROSENBUSH
Nov 15, 2016

“Improbables, which people don’t pay attention to, are not unimportant, we just don’t know which improbable is important,” Mr. Khosla said. “So what do you do? You don’t plan for the highest likelihood scenario. You plan for agility. And that is a fundamental choice we make as a nation, in national defense, as the CEO of a company, as the CIO of an infrastructure, of an organization, and in the way we live.”....So change, and predictions for the future, that are important, almost never come from anybody who knows the area. Almost anyone you talk to about the future of the auto industry will be wrong on the auto industry. So, no large change in a space has come from an incumbent. Retail came from Amazon. SpaceX came from a startup. Genentech did biotechnology. Youtube, Facebook, Twitter did media … because there is too much conventional wisdom in industry. ....Extrapolating the past is the wrong way to predict the future, and improbables are not unimportant. People plan around high probability. Improbables, which people don’t pay attention to, are not unimportant, we just don’t know which improbable is important.
Vinod_Khosla  artificial_intelligence  autonomous_vehicles  outsiders  gazelles  unknowns  automotive_industry  change  automation  diversity  agility  future  predictions  adaptability  probabilities  Uber  point-to-point  public_transit  data  infrastructure  information_overload  unthinkable  improbables  low_probability  extrapolations  pay_attention 
november 2016 by jerryking
Trump and the Lord’s Work
MAY 3, 2016 | The New York Times | Thomas L. Friedman.

This was a really bad time for us to be stuck. I’m just finishing writing a new book, which is partly about the inflection point we hit around 2007. In 2007, Apple came out with the iPhone, beginning the smartphone/apps revolution; in late 2006 Facebook opened its doors to anyone, not just college and high school students, and took off like a rocket; Google came out with the Android operating system in 2007; Hadoop launched in 2007, helping create the storage/processing power for the big data revolution; Github, launched in 2007, scaling open-source software; Twitter was spun off as its own separate platform in 2007. Amazon came out with the Kindle in 2007. Airbnb started in 2007.

In short, on the eve of Obama’s presidency, something big happened: Everything started getting digitized and made mobile — work, commerce, billing, finance, education — reshaping the economy. A lot of things started to get very fast all at once. It was precisely when we needed to double down on our formula for success and update it for a new era — more lifelong learning opportunities for every worker, better infrastructure (roads, airports, rails and bandwidth) to promote the flow of commerce, better rules to incentivize risk-taking and prevent recklessness, better immigration policies to attract the world’s smartest minds, and more government-funded research to push out the boundaries of science and sow the seeds for the next generation of start-ups.

That was the real grand bargain we needed. Instead, we had the 2008 economic meltdown, which set off more polarization, and way too much gridlock, given how much rethinking, reimagining and retooling we needed to do....It’s clear: Capitalism driven more by machines and robots poses new challenges for both white-collar and blue-collar workers.
Tom_Friedman  Donald_Trump  Github  Campaign_2016  GOP  populism  blue-collar  economic_downturn  white-collar  digital_economy  mobile  recklessness  automation  infrastructure  R&D  smart_people  digitalization  inflection_points 
october 2016 by jerryking
Everything We Wish We'd Known About Building Data Products - First Round Review
Quote: "Where to Start Building: A lot of people choose to start building by modeling the product in question. Some start with feature discovery or feature engineering. Others start with building the infrastructure to serve results at scale. But for Belkin, there's only one right answer and starting point for a data product: Understanding how will you evaluate performance and building evaluation tools.
“Every single company I've worked at and talked to has the same problem without a single exception so far — poor data quality, especially tracking data,” he says.“Either there's incomplete data, missing tracking data, duplicative tracking data.” To solve this problem, you must invest a ton of time and energy monitoring data quality. You need to monitor and alert as carefully as you monitor site SLAs. You need to treat data quality bugs as more than a first priority. Don’t be afraid to fail a deploy if you detect data quality issues."
assessments_&_evaluations  control_systems  dashboards  data_quality  economies_of_scale  instrumentation_monitoring  testing  tracking  information  infrastructure  via:ajohnson1200  massive_data_sets 
september 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
What Silicon Valley Can Learn From Seoul - NYTimes.com
By JENNA WORTHAM JUNE 2, 2015

One thing Silicon Valley hopes to learn is how to get Americans to actually pay for things on their phones. For years now, Koreans have carried out important daily transactions, like paying bills and shopping, on their smartphones. ....Silicon Valley might also learn how to cater to more customers in more countries around the world. Most Korean companies have been internationally minded since their inception, aware of their own limitations: South Korea is such a small market that entrepreneurs are forced to consider how they might adapt to business abroad.

But without a more affordable, better mobile web, even the best new offerings from American entrepreneurs will be stuck in the past. Perhaps one of the biggest lessons Silicon Valley’s innovators should learn from South Korea is that to radically change how everyday people live their lives, they’ll need to convince their nation to invest in infrastructure, so that we can actually use the services they want to sell us.
Jenna_Wortham  Seoul  South_Korea  mobile_applications  internationally_minded  Silicon_Valley  Wi-Fi  infrastructure 
june 2015 by jerryking
Public transit and the rush-hour commute now federal issues - The Globe and Mail
CAMPBELL CLARK
Public transit and the rush-hour commute now federal issues
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Apr. 27 2015
transit  GTA  transportation  Milton  traffic_congestion  infrastructure  GO  public_transit  rush-hour  commuting 
april 2015 by jerryking
Infrastructure spending is no miracle cure - The Globe and Mail
KONRAD YAKABUSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Apr. 23 2015

In some circles, infrastructure spending is seen as a miracle cure to lift the economy, if not political fortunes. With rock bottom interest rates, proponents say now is the perfect time to ramp up spending on trains and subways in order to stimulate growth, relieve congestion and boost long-term productivity.

As with most economic strategies, however, the devil is in the execution....You can always find studies to buttress your claims that new infrastructure pays for itself by stimulating the economy and generating jobs during the construction phase while boosting productivity thereafter. But this is hardly true across the board. Does anyone believe the Sheppard subway line has made Toronto’s economy more productive? It’s a sinkhole whose operating costs are a drain on the rest of the transit system.

And what about Pearson Airport’s Terminal 1? It’s a cavernous monster that adds to passenger stress levels while subtracting from their productivity. Speaking of poorly conceived projects, the soon-to-open rail link between Pearson and downtown Toronto appears to rely on overly optimistic ridership projections.

In our infrastructure envy, we decry our subways, roads and commuter trains as second-rate. But proper scale and functionality are far more important than fancy architecture or expensive materials.
Konrad_Yakabuski  infrastructure  politics  debt  second-rate  Keynesian  scaling  functionality  UPX  interest_rates  sinkholes  low-interest  overoptimism 
april 2015 by jerryking
Lawrence H. Summers: ‘There are many ways of burdening our future’ - The Globe and Mail
RUDYARD GRIFFITHS
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Mar. 20 2015

Lawrence Summers: confidence is the cheapest form of stimulus.

If a young person asked you, ‘How do I thrive in a low-growth economy?’ what would your advice be?

It’s never been more important to be comfortable with technology, to be well-educated, to not just know things, but know how to learn, and develop a set of distinctive skills that employers can value. For people who are able to do those things, the combination of technology and global markets will make this a moment of immense opportunity........There are many ways of burdening the future. One is to borrow money – though, given how low interest rates are, those burdens aren't that great. Another is to defer maintenance. Those costs accumulate at a much greater rate, and that's why I think infrastructure investment is so very important. Another way to burden future generations is to scrimp on education. Another way is to fail to invest in basic scientific research. Another way is to saddle them with huge pension liabilities for those who are working, serving the public today. We are doing all those things.
Rudyard_Griffiths  America_in_Decline?  growth  economy  technology  automation  deferred_maintenance  downward_mobility  infrastructure  skills  advice  new_graduates  economic_stagnation  the_Great_Decoupling  low_growth  slow_growth  confidence  economic_stimulus  leaps_of_faith  Larry_Summers 
march 2015 by jerryking
Governments need to deliver big infrastructure projects honestly - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Mar. 09 2015

Why do big projects like these so often go over time and over budget? Ryerson University professor Murtaza Haider says that delays and overruns on megaprojects are common all over the world. Proponents of big projects consistently low-ball the cost for fear that the sticker shock might prevent them from ever getting built. “It is a very serious issue that goes to the heart of the credibility of all those who are building the infrastructure,” he says.

The hitches with the Spadina line are especially serious for a city such as Toronto that must spend billions to renew and build out its infrastructure. “If this is the norm, we have a problem,” says Prof. Haider.

Yes, we do. The dynamic at work here is universal and troubling. A government that announces a big, expensive project is loath to admit that things have gone wrong and that it is spending more public money than it said it would.

Instead, it grabs any opportunity to boast about how great the project is and how well it is going. Rather than being a monitor, it turns into a cheerleader.
Marcus_Gee  transit  infrastructure  cost_overruns  Toronto  truth-telling  honesty  megaprojects  normalization 
march 2015 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
White House to Begin $10 Billion Rural Investment Fund - NYTimes.com
By ALEXANDRA STEVENSON JULY 24, 2014

The White House Rural Council will announce plans on Thursday to start a $10 billion investment fund that will give pension funds and large investors the opportunity to invest in agricultural projects. Those include wastewater systems, energy projects and infrastructure development in rural America.

“We’re the eHarmony.com of infrastructure and business investment,”...The move comes as pension funds and institutional investors, faced with few investment opportunities that yield high returns in the face of low interest rates, have begun to shift large amounts of money into less traditional investments that promise bigger returns like hedge funds and private equity firms.
farmland  agriculture  agribusiness  rural  alternative_investments  private_equity  infrastructure  investing  energy  wastewater-treatment  institutional_investors  pension_funds 
july 2014 by jerryking
Toronto's summertime roadwork fest the start of a noisier – but sounder – future - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jul. 18 2014

Bloor Street West is getting new sidewalks and asphalt. Dundas and Spadina is being dug up for track and water-main work. Construction fencing is going in and heavy equipment setting up on Eglinton Avenue for the Crosstown light-rail transit project. Then, of course, there is the Gardiner Expressway, now in the midst of a massive rehabilitation that often slows traffic to a crawl even more snail-like than usual. With contractors hurrying to finish projects for next year’s Pan American Games as well, it is feeling like the worst construction season in years.
Eglinton_Crosstown  summertime  Toronto  infrastructure  transit  TTC  congestion  transportation  Metrolinx  traffic_congestion 
july 2014 by jerryking
Brics Agree to Base Development Bank in Shanghai - WSJ
By JEFFREY T. LEWIS and PAULO TREVISANI CONNECT
Updated July 15, 2014

The Brics and other emerging-market countries have vast needs for financing of infrastructure projects, according to the chief executive of Brazilian development bank BNDES, who estimated the need for long-term project finance at about $800 billion.

The new institution, whose first chief executive will be from India, will start out with capital of $50 billion, to be paid in equally by all five Brics countries. Capital is planned to grow eventually to $100 billion, according to the memorandum released after the meeting in Brazil of the heads of government of the five countries.

The Brics have been trying for years to reform the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the backbone of the world's global financial structure, to give emerging markets more influence over those institutions, but with little success.

"In the IMF and the World Bank, the U.S. and a handful of allies really do make almost all the decisions, and the vast majority of the world…doesn't really have a voice," said Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C. "The fund has lost most of its influence on the middle-income country in the last 15 years. This is part of the process of change in these international institutions."

The Brics countries on Tuesday called on the members of the IMF to implement reforms to the organization that were agreed on in 2010, and for members to agree to a new formula for voting rights at the IMF.

The World Bank finances development projects around the world, and the IMF is the lender of last resort to countries that don't have the dollars to pay their foreign debt. The IMF in particular is widely disliked among countries that need its help, because of the stringent budget control conditions it usually places on governments in return for its help.
economic_development  BRIC  Vladimir_Putin  IMF  World_Bank  infrastructure 
july 2014 by jerryking
A Spanish lesson in economics - The Globe and Mail
TODD HIRSCH
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jun. 20 2014

The lesson here is that public infrastructure projects are necessary to promote arts and culture, but they need to be considered carefully in terms of size, scope and cost. They should be beautiful and inspiring, but they cannot become the ego-driven projects of mayors or architects. Unlike government spending on education or health, which can be scaled up, down or redesigned over time, a huge public infrastructure project has one chance to get it right.

I’m certainly no expert on the Spanish economy, and the country and its people have so many wonderful attributes that it’s impossible to not love the place. And certainly Canada has its share of service failures, publicly funded white elephants and other blunders. The point is that economics is everywhere – even when you’re at a Spanish café gulping an ice-cold Agua de Valencia (don’t ask – just go to Valencia and order one.)
Todd_Hirsch  economics  Spain  olive_oils  circumspection  cultural_institutions  tourism  Valencia  white_elephants  infrastructure 
june 2014 by jerryking
World’s largest asset manager rails against companies’ short-term thinking - The Globe and Mail
BOYD ERMAN
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 23 2014,

...Mr. Fink is worried that the great tide of economic growth is not rising as quickly as it could be because of persistent and pernicious short-term thinking. Everyone from Main Street to Wall Street to Pennsylvania Avenue is too focused on near-term waves to pay attention to what the overall water level is doing.

Blogs, polls, the story of the moment – that is what drives peoples’ thinking, he says. That means investment decisions and political moves are based on what’s happening now, and not long-term goals. The economy will bear the cost of this short-term obsession, and so will investors, Mr. Fink warns. He would like to see big changes in everything from accounting to corporate governance to government spending priorities, to reset the focus on more distant horizons....“We need executives in business to start focusing on what is right in the long run,” ...“Societies are having a hard time, politically and economically, adjusting to the immediacy of information: The 24/7 news cycle, blogs, the instantaneous information. It’s very hard. This is one of the things where we are developing a crisis.”...Mr. Fink is particularly frustrated with the lionization of activist investors in the media. Think Bill Ackman, Carl Icahn and others who push for changes that will lead to an immediate runup in the stock price,....Similarly, he is critical of accounting rules that push insurance companies to invest in shorter-term assets, rather than long-term projects such as infrastructure. “Everything is leading toward an underinvestment in infrastructure and an underinvestment in capital expenditures.”...In 1999, the company went public. It has grown incredibly fast ever since. It manages money for everyone from retail investors to pension plans. During the financial crisis, the U.S. Treasury hired BlackRock to run assets in the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and the Bank of Greece hired the company to help fix the country’s banking system. (Model for WaudWare?)
BlackRock  Laurence_Fink  asset_management  long-term  Boyd_Erman  Wall_Street  delayed_gratification  thinking  strategic_thinking  Communicating_&_Connecting  CEOs  money_management  shareholder_activism  immediacy  insurance  infrastructure  CAPEX  short-term  short-term_thinking  financial_pornography  pension_funds  underinvestments  noise  pay_attention 
may 2014 by jerryking
Bloomberg Outlines $20 Billion Storm Protection Plan - NYTimes.com
By MARC SANTORA and KIA GREGORY
Published: June 11, 2013
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg outlined a far-reaching plan on Tuesday to protect New York from the threat of rising sea levels and powerful storm surges by building an extensive network of flood walls, levees and bulkheads to guard much of the city’s 520 miles of coastline.
The cost of fortifying critical infrastructure like the power grid, retrofitting older buildings to withstand powerful storms, and defending the coastline was estimated to be $20 billion, according to a 430-page report outlining the proposals.
New_York_City  Michael_Bloomberg  floods  climate_change  power_grid  infrastructure  vulnerabilities  business-continuity  sea-level_rise 
june 2013 by jerryking
How Canadian companies can tap into Asia’s consumer boom
Jun. 03 2013 | G&M | by DOMINIC BARTON.

Possible send to Earl Davis of Teachers.

To capture this opportunity, Canadian companies need an intimate understanding of the new Asian consumers. First, on the consumption and services front, they need to locate these consumers, with forensic precision....Second, Canadian companies need to understand the diverse and evolving tastes of Asian consumers. Across the region, the number of higher income households is rapidly expanding. These consumers are often young, are more international in their outlook, and are more willing to pay a premium for quality products. They consume more services, from education and health care to foreign travel....Third, Another significant opportunity for Canada is the provision and delivery of food, energy, and natural resources. By 2030, global demand for food is expected to rise by more than 25 per cent, mostly in Asia, and fertilizer demand will grow by 50 per cent.
Dominic_Barton  McKinsey  China  Canadian  target_marketing  consumer_behavior  shifting_tastes  China_rising  booming  Asia  Asian  Asia_Pacific  BRIC  middle_class  inland  affluence  infrastructure  forensics 
june 2013 by jerryking
Cyberattacks to threat to U.S., intelligence chief says - Google Drive
March 13,2013 | NYT | Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane.

"The nation’s top intelligence official warned Congress on Tuesday that a cyberattack could cripple America’s infrastructure and economy and suggested that such attacks pose the most dangerous immediate threat to the United States, more pressing than an attack by global terrorist networks. James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, said in prepared testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee that American spy agencies saw only a 'remote chance' in the next two years of a major cyberattack — what he defined as an operation that 'would result in long-term, wide-scale disruption of services, such as a regional power outage.' Still, it was the first time that Mr. Clapper has listed cyberattacks first in his annual presentation to Congress about the various threats facing the United States, and the rare occasion since 2001 that intelligence officials have not listed international terrorism first in the catalog of dangers facing the United States."
cyber_warfare  China  Iran  security_&_intelligence  spymasters  infrastructure  power_grid  vulnerabilities  James_Clapper  cyberattacks  cyberthreats 
march 2013 by jerryking
Africa must get real about its romance with China
Mar. 12, 2013| The Financial Times| Lamido Sanusi.

[Africans must] "see China for what it is: a competitor."
====================================
It is time for Africans to wake up to the realit...
Africa  Nigeria  China  China_rising  colonialism  exploitation  infrastructure  productivity  underdevelopment  neocolonialism  deindustrialization  imperialism  delusions  predatory_practices  Carpe_diem  tough-mindedness  disingenuous  from notes
march 2013 by jerryking
A New U.S. International Economic Strategy - WSJ.com
February 5, 2013 | WSJ | by Robert Zoellick.

A New U.S. International Economic Strategy
Taking the lead on trade and open markets can enhance global security, opportunity and the prospects for liberty.

(1) First, this country should strengthen its continental base by building on the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.
(2) the extraordinary monetary policies of late, led by the Federal Reserve's continued near-zero interest-rate policy, are taking us into uncharted territory.
(3)the U.S. needs to break the logjam on opening markets.
(4)Fourth, gender equality is not only fair and right—it is smart economics.
(5) Finally, the U.S. needs to match growth priorities of developing economies.
globalization  international_trade  Robert_Zoellick  NAFTA  IMF  WTO  economic_policy  gender_gap  entrepreneurship  Junior_Achievement  infrastructure 
february 2013 by jerryking
Dramatic temperature increases could threaten Canadian health, infrastructure - The Globe and Mail
Jan. 21 2013 | The Globe and Mail | ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY

Canada is getting hotter faster than ever before and at a faster rate than almost any other country. Rain, snow, sleet and hail storms are becoming more erratic. What were once considered exceptional weather patterns – the kind researchers reject to avoid skewing their data – are becoming common....Canada’s infrastructure wasn’t built for this kind of climate. And much of the burden falls on municipal governments, with road, sewer and transit systems that can barely cope with existing weather conditions, let alone future vagaries.

“There’s a very large gap in terms of the current health of municipal infrastructure in Canada and where we should be right now,” said Paul Kovacs, University of Western Ontario economist and executive director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, a group established by Canada’s insurance industry to research the costs of natural disasters and how to mitigate them....The effects of erratic weather patterns became very real for Ontario’s apple farmers last year: An early thaw followed by an unexpected frost wiped out 82 per cent of the province’s crop. Now, the industry – worth about $100-million in Ontario alone – is trying to figure out how to weatherproof itself. Potential fixes are wind breaks, hail nets, frost fans and sunscreen for apples to prevent damage from sunlight and heat. It’s expensive and uncertain, especially when the weather becomes tougher to predict. Leslie Huffman, Ontario’s apple production specialist, is working with the province on evaluating new techniques.
apples  anomalies  Canada  catastrophes  climate_change  extreme_weather_events  infrastructure  insurance  municipalities  natural_calamities  risk-mitigation  weather 
january 2013 by jerryking
Emerging from the frontier
Nov 21st 2012 | | The Economist from The World In 2013 print edition | by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s finance minister and co-ordinating minister for the economy

Africa’s growing economic ties with the BRIC economies, particularly China, are well known. As an example, the continent’s trade with China increased from about $10.6 billion in 2000 to $166 billion in 2012. In my own country, Nigeria, trade with China increased over the same period from less than $1 billion to $7.8 billion. In 2013 China will become the greatest influence on the continent as its new leaders deepen the strategic relationship with Africa beyond natural resources. At the same time, civil-society organisations in Africa will demand greater transparency from China in government-to-government relations, and more community engagement from Chinese companies.
Africa will become the next preferred destination for labour-intensive manufacturing

I see many opportunities here for private investors in Africa. As Asia’s economies slow and its wages rise, Africa will become the next preferred destination for labour-intensive manufacturing of products such as garments and shoes. Its large domestic market of 1.2 billion people will serve as a further attraction for low-cost, light manufacturing.
China  frontier_markets  emerging_markets  women  South-South  Africa  private_equity  BRIC  infrastructure  Nigeria  Ethiopia  Angola 
january 2013 by jerryking
Growing at a Smart Pace
Growing at a Smart Pace

What Every CEO Should Know About Creating New Businesses
1 Ultimately, growth means starting new businesses.
Most firms have no alternative. Sectors decline, as they did for Pullman’s railroad cars and Singer’s sewing machines. Technology renders products and services obsolete—the fate Polaroid suffered, as digital cameras decimated its instant photography franchise. Markets saturate, as Home Depot is now finding, after establishing more than a thousand stores nationwide.
2 Most new businesses fail.
3 Corporate culture is the biggest deterrent to business creation.
New ventures flourish best in open, exploratory environments, but most large corporations are geared toward mature businesses and efficient, predictable operations.
4 Separate organizations don’t work—or at least not for long.
5 Starting a new business is essentially an experiment.
6. New businesses proceed through distinct stages, each requiring a different
7. New business creation takes time--a lot of time.
8. New businesses need help fitting in--"bridging"--with established systems and structures.
9. The best predictors of success are market knowledge and demand-driven products and services.
10. An open mind is hard to find.
growth  Thomas_Stewart  HBR  CEOs  Junior_Achievement  hard_to_find  start_ups  failure  organizational_culture  experimentation  trial_&_error  life_cycle  tacit_data  entrepreneurship  dedication  obsolescence  demand-driven  infrastructure  new_businesses  bridging  large_companies  customer-driven  market_saturation  Home_Depot  Fortune_500  mindsets  open_mind  decline  Michael_McDerment  Polaroid  digital_cameras 
december 2012 by jerryking
The Mid-20th Century Infrastructure of the U.S. - NYTimes.com
November 16, 2012 | NYT| Uwe E. Reinhardt is an economics professor at Princeton.
electric_power  infrastructure  railways 
november 2012 by jerryking
The hidden price of public-private partnerships - The Globe and Mail
BARRIE McKENNA

OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail

Last updated Sunday, Oct. 14 2012
P3  infrastructure  Barrie_McKenna  hidden 
november 2012 by jerryking
Water, Water, Everywhere, Nor Any Drop to Drink
June/July 2007 | Canadian TREASURER | by David Dewan.

50% of water is lost in transmission in many U.S. cities because of poor infrastructure. That's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Clearly, demand will far exceed supply. However, we humans are a resourceful bunch, and necessity is the mother of invention. This is why we recommend investments in all facets of the global water industry. For example:
* water technology;
* filtration & purificatiun;
* environmental services;
* engineering;
* consulting:
* irrigation;
* packaged water;
* utilities;
* pipelines & distribution;
* hydroelectricity:
* water rights, and
* instrumentation & measurement components.
water  investing  commodities  infrastructure  environmental_services 
august 2012 by jerryking
Let's Rebuild America Together - WSJ.com
August 17, 2007 | WSJ | By HAROLD FORD, JR. and JIM HALL.
Harold_FordJr.  infrastructure 
august 2012 by jerryking
Taking One for the Country - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: June 30, 2012

"I found myself applauding for Chief Justice Roberts the same way I did for Al Gore when he gracefully bowed to the will of the Supreme Court in the 2000 election and the same way I do for those wounded warriors — and for the same reason: They each, in their own way, took one for the country.

To put it another way, Roberts undertook an act of statesmanship for the national good by being willing to anger his own “constituency” on a very big question. But he also did what judges should do: leave the big political questions to the politicians. The equivalent act of statesmanship on the part of our politicians now would be doing what Roberts deferred to them as their responsibility: decide the big, hard questions, with compromises, for the national good. Otherwise, we’re doomed to a tug of war on the deck of the Titanic, no matter what health care plan we have. "...Our newfound natural gas bounty can give us long-term access to cheap, cleaner energy and, combined with advances in robotics and software, is already bringing blue-collar manufacturing back to America. Web-enabled cellphones and tablets are creating vast new possibilities to bring high-quality, low-cost education to every community college and public school so people can afford to acquire the skills to learn 21st-century jobs. Cloud computing is giving anyone with a creative spark cheap, powerful tools to start a company with very little money. And dramatically low interest rates mean we can borrow to build new infrastructure — and make money.
Tom_Friedman  John_Roberts  U.S._Supreme_Court  judges  politicians  statesmanship  hydraulic_fracturing  natural_gas  cloud_computing  smartphones  robotics  software  interest_rates  infrastructure  automation  constituencies  low-interest  compromises  blue-collar  manufacturers  hard_questions  high-quality 
july 2012 by jerryking
Meet the man who shaped 20th-century Toronto - The Globe and Mail
JOHN LORINC
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 18, 2012

Rowland Caldwell Harris – who began a 33-year term as works commissioner a century ago this week – left his civic fingerprints all over Toronto, building hundreds of kilometres of sidewalks, sewers, paved roads, streetcar tracks, public baths and washrooms, landmark bridges and even the precursor plans to the GO commuter rail network.

“The significance of Harris a hundred years later is that we’re still living fundamentally in the city he imagined,” observes Dalhousie architecture professor Steven Mannell, who studies his career and has advised city officials on an extensive rehabilitation of the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, due to be finished next year.

Mr. Harris famously added a second deck to the Prince Edward Viaduct in anticipation of a subway line that wasn’t built for decades. What’s less well known is that Mr. Harris was a photo buff who, in 1930, presided over the city’s first planning exercise – a process that led to construction of congestion-easing arterials such as Dundas Street East and the parkway extension of Mount Pleasant through Rosedale and up towards St. Clair.
John_Lorinc  Toronto  trailblazers  R.C._Harris  architecture  wastewater-treatment  infrastructure  municipalities  urban  urban_planning  landmarks  bridges  foresight  imagination  TTC  '30s  city_builders 
may 2012 by jerryking
Nigeria to Begin Operation of $1 Billion Sovereign Fund - WSJ.com
May 11, 2012 | WSJ |By NEANDA SALVATERRA.

Nigeria to Put $1 Billion to Work in Sovereign Fund
Nigeria  sovereign_wealth_funds  infrastructure  diversification 
may 2012 by jerryking
Lunch with the FT: Zbigniew Brzezinski
January 13, 2012 | FT.com | By Edward Luce.

Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power.

“We [Americans] are too obsessed with today,” Brzezinski continues. “If we slide into a pattern of just thinking about today, we’ll end up reacting to yesterday instead of shaping something more constructive in the world.” By contrast, he says, the Chinese are thinking decades ahead. Alas, Brzezinski says, Obama has so far failed to move into a strategic habit of mind. To a far greater extent than the Chinese, he concedes, Obama has to respond to shifts in public mood. Brzezinski is not very complimentary about American public opinion.

“Americans don’t learn about the world, they don’t study world history, other than American history in a very one-sided fashion, and they don’t study geography,” Brzezinski says. “In that context of widespread ignorance, the ongoing and deliberately fanned fear about the outside world, which is connected with this grandiose war on jihadi terrorism, makes the American public extremely susceptible to extremist appeals.” But surely most Americans are tired of overseas adventures, I say. “There is more scepticism,” Brzezinski concedes. “But the susceptibility to demagoguery is still there.”....Brzezinski lists "Ignorance", as one of America’s six “key vulnerabilities” alongside “mounting debt’, a “flawed financial system”, “decaying national infrastructure”, “widening income inequality”, and “increasingly gridlocked politics”.
Zbigniew_Brzezinski  historical_amnesia  security_&_intelligence  strategic_thinking  China_rising  China  diplomacy  princelings  America_in_Decline?  threats  vulnerabilities  infrastructure  income_inequality  debt  political_polarization  long-term  partisan-politics  fractured_internally  NSC  ignorance  public_opinion  books  Chinese  instant_gratification  demagoguery  APNSA  gridlocked_politics  Edward_Luce  incurious  financial_system 
january 2012 by jerryking
The Ontario Food Terminal: A unique service for the food industry
The Ontario Food Terminal: A unique service for the food industry
Anonymous. Canadian Grocer118. 10 (Dec 2004/Jan 2005): 40A,40B,40C,40D
food  infrastructure  cold_storage  Toronto  farmers'_markets  supply_chains  OFT  ProQuest 
december 2011 by jerryking
PM brings soft power and firepower to bear in the North - The Globe and Mail
Aug. 21, 2011 | G&M |GLORIA GALLOWAY. “I
would say within the last year and a half he has become more pragmatic,”
said Shelagh Grant, a researcher from Peterborough, Ont., whose book
Polar Imperative talks about the need for Canada to exert its sovereign
control over the vast expanse that holds so much potential for wealth
and development.
“For the first time,” she said, “I think he understands that you can’t
just send the army in camouflage rolling across the tundra and say we
are protecting Arctic sovereignty.”
Those who study the North say infrastructure – including ports,
search-and-rescue units, and navigation aids to be used by foreign ships
plying the Northwest Passage – will effectively tell other countries
that the Canadian Arctic is ours more forcefully than moving troops into
the region.
Artic  sovereignty  canadian  canada  Stephen_Harper  soft_power  infrastructure 
august 2011 by jerryking
Africa Spends $50 Billion Each Year on Food Imports, Group Says
Apr 15, 2011 | Bloomberg | By Moses Mozart Dzawu. Africa
pays $50 billion each year on food imports and will need to invest $39
billion annually for the next 15 years in order to become
self-sufficient, said Akinwumi Adesina, vice president of the Alliance
for a Green Revolution in Africa. The continent faces problems with a
“lack of storage facilities, infrastructure and marketing of
agricultural produce,” he said in Accra, the Ghanaian capital, today. If
Africa doubles its agricultural output by 2015, the continent’s annual
gross domestic product would increase by 5.5 percent, Adesina said.
African governments need to develop strategies to get banks to boost
lending to the industry, he said.
Africa  food  importing  ideas  opportunities  farming  agriculture  infrastructure  problems  challenges  fresh_produce 
april 2011 by jerryking
Needed: national urban strategy - The Globe and Mail
Mar. 29, 2011|G&M|CAROL WILDING & MERV HILLIER.
Infrastructure has not kept pace with the growth of our cities. Our
report, Toronto as a Global City, documents what any commuter in rush
hour can tell you. Canada’s transportation systems have fallen well
behind those of the rest of the world. Among 23 global cities, 3 of the
bottom 5 positions in the transportation ranking are Canadian (Toronto,
Vancouver & Halifax). The avg. commuter round trip ranges from 67 to
80 minutes. Toronto again is last, longer than NYC, London and LA.
Canada has to do better. If employees and goods can’t get to their
destination on time, productivity will suffer. The quality and
availability of infrastructure directly affect business locations and
operations. In the GTA, congestion now costs the economy $6-B annually;
that will rise to $15-B annually by 2031 without sufficient levels of
investment. Across the country, the cost of underinvestment in just our
transportation infrastructure is even higher.
Toronto  urban  strategy  congestion  commuting  rush-hour  cities  infrastructure  underinvestments  traffic_congestion 
april 2011 by jerryking
Water-saving in the north-east: Trees grow in Brooklyn
Nov 11, 2010 | The Economist. NYC has a serious sewer problem,
spilling more than 27 B gal. (102 B L) of untreated overflow into its
harbour each year.U.S cities rely on decrepit sys. that collect
storm-water run-off, industrial waste & human sewage in the same
pipes.Usually these pipes take waste water to treatment plants.But any
overflow is released into rivers & streams.Time, erosion &
increasingly erratic weather have made this a national issue. NYC
recently unveiled a plan to clean up its waterways.Instead of spending
billions on new tanks & pipes (i.e, “grey infrastructure”), which
take yrs. to build & never quite address the problem, NYC will
invest in “green infrastructure”, e.g. roofs covered with vegetation,
porous pavements & kerbside gardens.Instead of treating rainfall as
waste to be quickly whisked away, NYC will let it sink usefully into the
ground: helping to make the city greener, improve air quality, raise
property values, increase jobs & lower water & energy costs,
green_roofs  water  infrastructure  New_York_City  Brooklyn  wastewater-treatment  overflow  environment 
november 2010 by jerryking
Tom Suozzi: How About a Partnership Stimulus? - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 11, 2010 | | By TOM SUOZZI. To help rebuild
America's roads and airports, let's tap the billions of dollars of
private capital looking for safe returns."Public-Private Partnerships
are globally proven models. During the past two decades, more than 1,300
such partnerships valued at over $250 billion were signed in the
European Union, Canada, South America, Australia and Asia. Some of our
states (like Florida, Virginia and Maryland) and cities (such as Chicago
and Denver) have successfully started to implement them, but overall
the U.S. lags far behind.

Our economic recovery is hampered by the poor condition of our
infrastructure and our congested roadways, ports and
airports."...President Obama should call a meeting of the country's
governors and governors-elect to discuss strategies for new national and
regional infrastructure projects. Creating a national infrastructure
bank is one way to implement such a program; setting up state
infrastructure banks is another.
PPP  infrastructure 
november 2010 by jerryking
The Crossroads Nation - NYTimes.com
Nov. 8, 2010 By DAVID BROOKS. What sort of country will
America be in 2030 or 2050? Nobody has defined America’s coming
economic identity. ....We’re living in an information age. Innovation
and creativity are the engines of economic growth. ...Creativity is not a
solitary process. It happens within netwks. It happens when talented
people get together, when idea systems and mentalities merge....."In
2009, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dir. policy planning at the State Dept.,
wrote an essay , “America’s Edge.”" for Foreign Affairs in which she
laid out the logic of this new situation: “In a networked world, the
issue is no longer relative power, but centrality in an increasingly
dense global web.” the U.S. is well situated to be the crossroads
nation. It is well situated to be the center of global ntwks and to
nurture the right kinds of ntwks Building that US means doing everything
possible to thicken connections: finance research; improve
infrastructure; fix immigration; reform taxes;
R&D  infrastructure  immigration  creativity  future  David_Brooks  networks  soft_power  U.S.foreign_policy  synchronization  orchestration  centralization  Anne-Marie_Slaughter  cross-disciplinary  cross-pollination  network_density  network_power  op_ed 
november 2010 by jerryking
U.K. Warns of Cyber Crime Risk - WSJ.com
OCT. 12, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By STEPHEN FIDLER. U.K.
Seeks Private Industry Help in Averting Cyber Attacks
The head of Britain's communications intelligence agency, GCHQ , said
that it may need to receive direct feeds of information from private
companies in key economic sectors in order to better protect the U.K.
economy from the threat from cyber attacks...New approaches may be
needed to deal with attacks on Britain's critical national
infrastructure—industries such as gas, electricity supply and banking
networks. "We need to consider the value of receiving in return a direct
feed of information from the operators with that same sort of
timeliness so that we are aware of the attacks that they are seeing on
their systems as they happen." This points to a different sort of
partnership between the national security agencies and key
industries--systems that are more interconnected and new financial
models to underpin a national capability which is both public and
private,"
cyberattacks  United_Kingdom  cyber_security  cyber_warfare  security_&_intelligence  GCHQ  organized_crime  infrastructure  vulnerabilities  real-time  network_risk  interconnections  power_grid 
october 2010 by jerryking
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