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The Value of All Things Crazily Rich and Asian

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Neither Kevin Kwan’s novel “Crazy Rich Asians” nor the movie based on it should win any prizes as literature or film. Yet the “Crazy” phenomena — both the best-selling book, its sequels and the smash movie — represent a critical moment not only in Asian, and Asian-American, history, but in how we look at race.  read more »

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Ten Years After Lehman Collapsed, We’re Still Screwed

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The collapse of Lehman Brothers 10 years ago today began the financial crisis that crippled and even killed for some the American dream as we had known it. Donald Trump might be starting to change that, at least for Americans who aren’t determined to remain in our bluest and priciest cities.  read more »

“Middle America” in America’s Urban Century

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In the late 1990s and the early Aughts, when the last Gen Xers and the first Millennials were launching into their adult lives, “Urban America” was a very different place. On many fronts, the choices young ambitious graduates had were fast becoming limitless, save on one key front: the cities where they could reasonably want to live.  read more »

Streetcar Roundup

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Milwaukee and Oklahoma City are both planning to open new streetcar lines later this year, so it is worth taking a look at how the dumbest form of transit is working in other cities. The table below shows all of the streetcar lines reported in the July, 2018 National Transit Database spreadsheet. Ridership numbers are shown for January and July and annual growth compares the last full year (August 2017-July 2018) with the year before that.  read more »

A Walk Around Chicago’s Loop

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Chicago has a storied history in skyscraper development, so much so that it has been called the birthplace of the skyscraper. Nearly all of that history occurred in and around the “Loop,” which is the historic downtown, or central business district (CBD). Recently, I took the opportunity to walk around the Loop, to photograph buildings, old and new.  read more »

Cleveland and the Fight for Talent

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Mark Rantala recently wrote an op-ed for Crain’s Cleveland Business that talks about Cleveland’s need for talent:  read more »

A Generation Plans An Exodus From California

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California is the great role model for America, particularly if you read the Eastern press. Yet few boosters have yet to confront the fact that the state is continuing to hemorrhage people at a higher rate, with particular losses among the family-formation age demographic critical to California’s future.  read more »

Beginnings, Middles, and Ends

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I was recently invited to give a talk at a housing conference down in Los Angeles. Once again my fellow speakers engaged in the usual arguments. Aging Baby Boomers asserted that we need to keep building more 1957 style suburban homes on the edge of the metroplex because that’s what people want and can afford, particularly once they marry and have children. Then a group of Millennials sang their sad song of high prices and a lack of options in the places they really want to live.  read more »

Ethnic Flight

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For the first decades of mass suburbanization, the movement from urban cores often has been referred to as “white flight” (Note 1). But now major metropolitan area living patterns indicate something much different, what might be called “ethnic flight.” The four largest racial and ethnic groups (called “ethnicities” in this article) are overwhelmingly concentrated outside the urban core, in the suburbs and Exurbs. These four largest ethnicities are White Only Not Hispanic, African American Only, Asian Only and Hispanics (Note 2).  read more »

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