Archive for the ‘urban issues’ Category

Canada’s Top Entrepreneurial Cities, 2014

October 21, 2014 Comments off

Canada’s Top Entrepreneurial Cities, 2014
Source: Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Historically, and for a variety of reasons, CFIB has found entrepreneurial characteristics to be strongest in Canada’s prairie cities and the urban areas that ring large urban cores. What they have in common is ‘newness’—the prairie economies have only been developed in the past 150 years or so. Only a few generations separate today’s urban prairie residents from their entrepreneurial forbearers. Similarly, suburban entrepreneurs sought the benefits of urban markets already in place, but found outlying areas more conducive to the structure and cost of doing business.

One often sees higher entrepreneurial activity in resource regions as well–although economies there can suffer from wider boom and bust business cycles. Favourable resource development conditions will attract businesses seeking to service increased activity—and, when conditions deteriorate, a strong base of experienced business owners often becomes the primary pillar of community support.

Among major centres, Canada’s overall top-ranked entrepreneurial communities in 2014 fit all these main characteristics. The combined communities of Airdrie, Rocky View, Cochrane and Chestermere that ring around Calgary’s periphery takes the top score of 70.8 out of a possible 100. This area also received the top score in 2012 and 2013. Periphery communities around Edmonton (which include Strathcona County, St. Albert, Parkland, Spruce Grove, Leduc and other smaller municipalities) climbs to second spot. Saskatoon slipped back a little, but still held its place above Saskatchewan’s other major city Regina. Kelowna is not far behind in fifth spot.

Among mid-sized urban areas, the prairie region is also still well represented, including Lloydminster, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie and Red Deer. Here, the obvious common element is the resource sector, which has offered many new entrepreneurial and development opportunities. Medicine Hat is another Alberta community in the top 10, as are Camrose and Brooks, which are new to the study this year. Another newcomer, Collingwood, is Ontario’s representative in the group, while Thetford Mines and Saint-Georges takes Quebec’s top spots.

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Airbnb in the City

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Airbnb in the City (PDF)
Source: New York State Office of the Attorney General

The rapid rise of short-term rental platforms like Airbnb have dramatically expanded the use of traditional apartments as transient hotel rooms — sparking a public debate in New York and in communities worldwide about the real-world consequences of this online marketplace.

Where supporters of Airbnb and other rental sites see a catalyst for entrepreneurship, critics see a threat to the safety, affordability, and residential character of local communities . Are the new platforms fueling a black market for unsafe hotels? By bidding up the price of apartments in popular areas, do short-term rentals mak e metropolitan areas like New York City less affordable? Is the influx of out-of-town visitors upsetting the quiet of longstanding residential neighborhoods?

Until now, t he discourse has centered more on opinions and anecdotes than facts . This report seeks to bridge the gulf between rhetoric and reality. It offers the first exploration of the data on how users in New York City, one of Airbnb’s most important markets, utilize the most successful online lodging rental platform . More broadly, the report endeavors to use quantitative data to inform an ongoing debate about how we embrace emerging, disruptive technologies, while protecting the safety and well-being of our citizens .

By a nalyzing Airbnb bookings for “private” stays, this report presents a snapshot of short-term rentals in New York City from January 1, 2010 through June 2, 2014 (the “Review Period” .

New report: US metros set to out-perform, led by Portland & San Jose

October 14, 2014 Comments off

New report: US metros set to out-perform, led by Portland & San Jose
Source: Oxford Economics

All of the 7 leading metros in the Pacific region look set to outperform the national economy, reflecting in part the importance of high-technology manufacturing and the information sector to many of them, plus softer factors such as quality of life

The four weakest of our top 30 metros are, perhaps predictably, to be found in the Midwest, where the weight of legacy industries means that Cleveland and Detroit manage to grow by just 1.8% and 1.7% annually in the 2014-18 period. It’s poor comfort that in Europe, those would be average performances for large metros.

There’s also the ever-present matter of risk, with international dangers making it possible that economic growth will be more troubled than we assume. However, under most scenarios it still seems right to expect leading metros to comfortably out-perform the national average growth rate, almost whatever that might be.

A Look at New Employment Data for Metropolitan Labor Markets

October 14, 2014 Comments off

A Look at New Employment Data for Metropolitan Labor Markets
Source: Brookings Institution

The Great Recession created some of the toughest employment conditions that American workers experienced in the postwar period. The economy overall shed 8.7 million jobs in 2008 and 2009, and the unemployment rate reached a 25-year high of 10 percent in 2009. That year, more than 14 million Americans were looking for work but unable to find it, more than double the number before the recession started.

As Brookings’ Metro Monitor has demonstrated, however, the impacts of the recession have varied widely across the nation’s major metropolitan economies. This owes to several factors, including differing industrial specializations and house-price trends across metro areas, as my colleague Jonathan Rothwell has shown. In assessing the economic health of major metro areas, the Metro Monitor incorporates, among other indicators, BLS data on unemployment rates, which reflect that the vast majority of areas still have a higher unemployment rate than pre-recession.

Eurostat regional yearbook 2014

October 14, 2014 Comments off

Eurostat regional yearbook 2014
Source: Eurostat

Statistical information is an important tool for understanding and quantifying the impact of political decisions in a specific territory or region. The Eurostat regional yearbook 2014 gives a detailed picture relating to a broad range of statistical topics across the regions of the Member States of the European Union (EU), as well as the regions of EFTA and candidate countries. Each chapter presents statistical information in maps, figures and tables, accompanied by a description of the policy context, main findings and data sources. These regional indicators are presented for the following 11 subjects: population, health, education, the labour market, the economy, structural business statistics, research and innovation, the information society, tourism, transport, and agriculture. In addition, four special focus chapters are included in this edition: these look at the environment, land cover and land use, European cities, and regional competitiveness.

The Statistical Atlas is an interactive map viewer, which contains statistical maps from the Eurostat regional yearbook and provides the possibility to download these maps as high-resolution PDFs.

The most recent version of the Eurostat regional yearbook is available in Statistics Explained, which also contains translations of all of the articles in German and French as well as three articles in the 18 official Community languages.

Access Across America: Transit 2014

October 9, 2014 Comments off

Access Across America: Transit 2014
Source: University of Minnesota (Accessibility Observatory)

This study examined the accessibility to jobs by transit in 46 of the 50 largest (by population) metropolitan areas in the United States. It is the most detailed evaluation to date of access to jobs by transit, and it allows for a direct comparison of the transit accessibility performance of America’s largest metropolitan areas.

Rankings were determined by a weighted average of accessibility, giving a higher weight to closer jobs. The calculations include all components of a transit journey, including “last mile” access and egress walking segments and transfers.

The study’s report presents detailed accessibility values for each metropolitan area, as well as detailed block-level maps that illustrate the spatial patterns of accessibility within each area. A separate publication—Access Across America: Transit 2014 Methodology—describes the data and methodology.

In the future, the data presented in this study will be used to complete additional analyses, published periodically. Upcoming reports in the series will explore more detailed aspects of transit accessibility to jobs, including accessibility of jobs of different wage levels and a comparison with accessibility by car.

EU — Urban mobility: Shifting towards sustainable transport systems

October 3, 2014 Comments off

Urban mobility: Shifting towards sustainable transport systems
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

Urban mobility is confronted by many challenges, the key one being traffic congestion: urbanisation and a high dependence on cars having led to congestion in urban areas. Traffic congestion adversely impacts the urban environment itself in a direct way, leading to poor air quality, noise emissions, high levels of CO2 and road safety problems. It also affects current and future economic competitiveness, social cohesion and the continent’s sustainable growth.

Tackling urban mobility while minimising its undesirable impacts on the economy, society and the environment i.e. improving sustainable urban mobility goes beyond focusing on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of transport systems, also covering in particular demand-orientated measures, such as promoting walking, cycling, and a reduction in the need to travel.

While many cities are experiencing serious mobility issues, the effects of demographic and socio-economic changes such as ageing populations, migration, processes of suburbanisation and urban sprawl touch them in different ways and thus confront them with different mobility challenges. The ability of local entities or cities to act on mobility issues is also dependent on their regulatory and funding powers as well as their situation in terms of wealth and resources. Though dealing with urban mobility is primarily the responsibility of local, regional or national authorities, the EU has for many years placed urban mobility at the top of the EU agenda.


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