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Archive for the ‘urban issues’ Category

Global Metro Monitor 2014: An Uncertain Recovery

January 23, 2015 Comments off

Global Metro Monitor 2014: An Uncertain Recovery
Source: Brookings Institution

With only 20 percent of the population, the world’s 300 largest metropolitan economies accounted for nearly half of global output in 2014. This interactive and report compare growth patterns in the world’s 300 largest metro economies on two key economic indicators—annualized growth rate of real GDP per capita and annualized growth rate of employment. These indicators, which are combined into an economic performance index on which metro areas are ranked, matter because they reflect the importance that people and policymakers attach to achieving rising incomes and standards of living and generating widespread labor market opportunity.

Changing Patterns in U.S. Immigration and Population; Immigrants slow population decline in many counties

January 23, 2015 Comments off

Changing Patterns in U.S. Immigration and Population; Immigrants slow population decline in many counties
Source: Pew Charitable Trusts

An examination of county-level demographic data reveals how immigrants affected population change in specific regions of the country between 1990 and 2012. While the native- and foreign-born populations both grew across most of the United States during that period, there are some areas where the native-born population decreased. This brief illustrates how, in some places, an influx of foreign-born individuals slowed overall population loss and even reversed it. This is consistent with past research that has found that immigration continues to shape the country’s demography, particularly in newer immigrant destinations. The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has shown that immigration has mitigated population loss in the Midwest at the state level and in metropolitan areas. Researchers reported in the journal Rural Sociology that immigrants reduced population loss in nonmetropolitan counties during the 1990s. This brief updates and expands on previous research by providing a county-level analysis of the entire nation over two decades and presenting the demographic context for future research on the impact of immigration on state and local economies and budgets.

Getting to the Route of It: The Role of Governance in Regional Transit

January 21, 2015 Comments off

Getting to the Route of It: The Role of Governance in Regional Transit
Source: Eno Center for Transportation

Metropolitan regions are the economic engines of our nation and public transit is the machinery that enables the largest metropolitan areas to function, compete effectively for employers and labor, and foster innovation. The ability of transit organizations to respond to changing and expanding demands varies across the industry and is shaped to a large extent by individual governance and organizational structures. Each type of governance structure has its own implications for funding, equitable and effective service patterns, and economic growth.

See also: APPENDIX–Getting to the Route of It: The Role of Governance in Regional Transit

The Bike-Share Planning Guide

January 15, 2015 Comments off

The Bike-Share Planning Guide (PDF)
Source: Institute for Transportation and Development Policy

More than 600 cities around the globe have bike-share systems, and new systems are starting every year. The largest and most successful systems, in places such as China, Paris, London, and Washington, D.C., have helped to promote cycling as a viable and valued transport option.

This guide evaluates international best practice in bike-share, helps to bridge the divide between developing and developed countries’ experiences to provide guidance on planning and implementing a successful bike-share system regardless of the location, size, or density of your city.

Transit-Oriented Development Standard

January 15, 2015 Comments off

Transit-Oriented Development Standard
Source: Institute for Transportation and Development Policy

The TOD Standard is a powerful tool to help shape and assess urban development. It focuses on maximizing the benefits of public transit and non-motorized mobility while placing the emphasis firmly back on the users: people.

The Standard outlines eight core principles of urban design and land use, each supported by specific performance objectives and easily measurable indicators, or metrics. Together, they promote safe, balanced and vibrant neighborhoods around stations; short and well-connected pedestrian and cycling networks; densities that ensure strong customer bases for local services and public transport; and minimal car traffic and parking interference.

Transit-oriented development (TOD) is an answer to the unsustainable, car-dependant, and transit-poor urban sprawl that has characterized the growth of cities around the world in the last century. It also contrasts with transit-adjacent development that fails to foster the strong walking and cycling environment needed to complement and actively support the use of transit.

The Standard is addressed to a broad range of technical and non-technical audiences including policy makers, planners, city officials, developers, architects, urban designers, landscape designers, civil engineers, civil society organizations, and the interested public. By providing a way to quickly evaluate the planning and design components that are key to successful TOD, the Standard fills a critical gap in the instruments available in the urgent task of providing the world’s rising urban population with healthy living places.

Milken Institute announces ‘Best-Performing Cities 2014′

January 12, 2015 Comments off

Milken Institute announces ‘Best-Performing Cities 2014′
Source: Milken Institute

The Milken Institute’s annual “Best-Performing Cities” index shows that technology and shale energy were the biggest factors behind America’s booming cities — especially technology. Tech titan San Francisco claimed the top spot, up two ranks from last year. Last year’s No. 1, Austin, Texas, dropped a slot. The rest of the top five boast thriving tech sectors as well: Provo, Utah (third, down from second last year); San Jose, Calif. (unchanged at fourth); and Raleigh, N.C. (fifth this year, up from 13th place).

“Many of the Best-Performing Cities of 2014 possess what we call the ‘innovation advantage,'” says Ross DeVol, chief research officer of the Milken Institute and one of the report’s authors. “Cities like San Francisco and San Jose are able to offset high costs, an unfavorable tax structure, and a burdensome regulatory environment, thanks to the clustering of talent and technology in an entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Other top cities, DeVol points out, may not have quite the same ecosystem but provide a less onerous cost basis and fewer regulatory burdens. Austin, Provo, and Boulder, Colo., are examples. “These tech centers have a high employment multiplier,” notes DeVol. “That is, one tech position generates nearly four other jobs.”

Why Has Urban Inequality Increased?

January 8, 2015 Comments off

Why Has Urban Inequality Increased? (PDF)
Source: Brown University (and others)

The increase in wage inequality since 1980 in the United States has been more pronounced in larger cities, even after accounting for differences in the composition of the workforce across locations. Using Census of Population and Census of Manufacturers data aggregated to the local labor market level, this paper examines the importance of changes in the factor bias of agglomeration economies, capital-skill complementarity, changes in the relative supply of skilled labor, and mutual interactions for understanding the more rapid increases in wage inequality in larger cities between 1980 and 2007. Parameter estimates of a production function that incorporates each of these mechanisms indicate strong evidence of capital-skill complementarity, increasing skill bias of agglomeration economies and declining capital bias of agglomeration economies. Immigration shocks serve as a source of exogenous variation across metropolitan areas in changes to the relative supply of skilled labor versus unskilled labor. The direct relative demand effects of the changing factor biases of agglomeration economies rationalize 77-82 percent of the more rapid increases in wage inequality in more populous local labor markets. Interactions between capital-skill complementarity and changes in the factor bias of agglomeration economies have generated outward and inward shifts in the relative demand for skilled labor in larger cities that approximately offset.

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