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New Urbanism and Jane Jacobs – A Tangled Disconnect

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By a majority of votes and voluminous citations, Jacobs tops the list of the 20th century's most influential urban thinkers. Had this been a transient fascination, as with literary works, it would be a major achievement in itself. In this case, it's far greater: an entire profession mesmerised in thought and action.  read more »

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What Is Social Justice?

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Perhaps no issue more motivates progressive activists than social justice. Good intentions may motivate the social justice warriors, albeit sometimes sprinkled with a dollop of self-hatred. But good intentions do not necessarily produce good results. Indeed, often the policies favored by progressive idealists hinder the economic and social progress of the very people they seek to rescue.  read more »

The “New Zealand Dream” is Still Alive

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The promotion of middle-income home ownership long has been a policy priority of governments around the world. This includes New Zealand, as Gael Ferguson indicated in The New Zealand Dream, published in 1994:  read more »

California’s Progressive Betrayal

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The recent California Democratic Party convention in San Francisco exposed the divide between the state’s progressive and working-class voters. Progressives, in their militant certitude, support left-wing policies that often don’t affect them; it’s the working class that suffers the consequences of these proposals. But the Green New Deal, widely embraced by party leaders, pushed too far, triggering a backlash at the convention.  read more »

When it Comes to Road Diets, Small Businesses are the Biggest Losers

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Twenty-one businesses have closed in less than two years since the city of Los Angeles reconfigured a 0.8 stretch of Venice Boulevard in the west side’s Mar Vista neighborhood. The city replaced one of three traffic lanes in each direction with protected bike lanes, removed some street parking, and installed physical barriers. The project is called a “road diet” and it’s part of the city’s “Vision Zero” and “Complete Streets”  programs.  read more »

The Populist Dilemma

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The recent upsurge in support for populist conservatives, not only across Europe, but in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and even India has inspired talk of “a nationalist revival” and “the cosmic magnetism” of Donald Trump and Brexit. Here, it is argued, is a movement that finally can take on both the Green-oriented and increasingly authoritarian left.  read more »

New Metropolitan Rankings Show Knowledge-Based Industries and Entrepreneurship Drive Success

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Today, the Walton Family Foundation released “The Most Dynamic Metropolitans,” new research ranking the economic performance of metropolitan areas in the Heartland and across the country.  The study demonstrates that a knowledge-based economy spurs economic growth in metropolises across the United States. Metro areas with knowledge-based economies ranked higher than cities that have yet to make much-needed investments in technology, education, entrepreneurship and commercialization.  read more »

The Resistance We Need: The Trump Administration Gears Up to Trust-Bust the Tech Giants

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If ever any group had it coming, it’s the giants of the tech industry. The recent decision by the Trump administration to look into monopolistic practices by the tech oligarchs—talk about collusion!—represents a welcome change from over two decades, under both parties, of sucking up to these firms as they bought up competitors and consolidated market positions that would put the likes of John D. Rockefeller to shame.  read more »

Obstacle Course

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I was in Atlanta last month and was encouraged to poke around by the people who invited me. For my entire life the greater Atlanta metroplex has grown in population, geographic size, economic importance, and cultural relevance. As the locals like to remind everyone, Hartsfield-Jackson is the busiest airport in North America. Half the people I went to school with in New Jersey in the 70s and 80s migrated to places like Atlanta for all the usual reasons.  read more »

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