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Old 03-25-2013, 12:13 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,002 posts, read 102,592,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamba_boy View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I am from Pittsburgh. I left years ago to get married, not because I disliked the place. (Just for the record) Anyway, Pittsburgh always had the "eds and meds" piece of the economy. It just wasn't at the forefront when the steel industry was at its height. Jonas Salk and his colleagues invented the polio vaccine at the U of Pittsburgh, my alma mater, in the early 1950s, for example.

There really was no growth at all, in fact, there was popluation loss both in the city and the suburbs from ~ 1970 until about 2011
Just curious if you have any insight how much the energy boom from the Marcellus Shale and other fracking plays has brought new people and wealth to Pitt.? Is Energy sector becoming anywhere near the importance of "eds and meds"? (I love that term!).

To be totally silly here are some more:
Washington DC = Eds and Feds
San Fran = Eds and Teds (hey, don't be gay, I didn't mean that; the TED conference of course)
Eds and meds is what they call it! There are several large universities in Pittsburgh, including Carnegie Mellon which is top flight.

I don't know if the fracking has had a huge impact yet. It doesn't seem to have from reading their forum. I don't live there any more, and have no close relatives there who are working. Having lived here in Colorado with its "boom and bust" natural resources employment, I'd warn them if they'd listen.

I kind of like Eds and Feds!
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:40 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,810 posts, read 18,804,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ediddy View Post
It's one thing to live in a 500 sq ft apartment when you're single and 25. It's a whole other story when you're 35, married and have a couple of kids. And unless you want your kids to graduate as illiterates, you need to send your kids to private school in Manhattan which is $20K+ per kid per year.

I spent a lot of time in New York in my 20s. I didn't actually live there, but I was there for work a lot. Loved it. In my 30s now, married, kids, the works....you couldn't pay me enough to live there today.

And that's the part Florida doesn't take into account. You can't have a city populated only by hip 25 year olds who ride their bike to work. You need a city that allows the 35, 45, 55 year old to prosper as well. The 35-55 year old is the engine of the economy. This group buys houses, cars, furniture, etc. And if a city can't keep this group happy and satisfied, it will not prosper.
I think that you are saying that the successful metro needs to account for all of its citizens, regardless of what stags in life one is in. If so, I agree. You can't coddle one group that's perceived to be more important than others.
It's interesting to me that both Kotkin and Florida tout one of my towns: Raleigh. It's been successful for the very reason that it aims to support all of its citizens and their needs. It's a city and metro that is based on the Eds, Meds, Feds and TEDs. Interestingly, it's a city/metro that started its climb up the ladder of visibility by focusing first on a foundation of public education, parks and recreation and public safety. It was all about upper middle class professionals and their families who transfered into the area in droves. The hip and cool was largely ignored through the formative years of the 70s thru 90s in the areas but the enormous college presence in the area didn't let that flame dim. By the late 90s, the cities of Raleigh and Durham started paying more attention to the needs of young professional adults who weren't necessarily seeking a "family town". I think it took that long before the area had enough people to bring visibility and demand to those needs. The Triangle is now sitting at about 2 million with half that population coming in just the last two decades. Now, the cities are focusing on their cores. In Raleigh, urban multifamily housing continues to rise at a brisk rate and more employment centers are opening or relocating to downtown. In both Raleigh and Durham new museums, performance arts venues, live music, restaurants, bars, etc. continue to be opened or expand. I don't think that one has to be in either Kotkin's or Florida's camp. It's not about one or the other, it's about being "all of the above" to best of ones ability.
Because of the continued brisk rate of growth, both the cores and the burbs in the Triangle have bright futures instead of one being successful at the expense of the other. Over time, trends in development will eventually change/determine how we live but to expect metros to turn their backs on the majority of its people overnight is never a good idea for their long term health.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,242,183 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ediddy View Post
And that's the part Florida doesn't take into account. You can't have a city populated only by hip 25 year olds who ride their bike to work. You need a city that allows the 35, 45, 55 year old to prosper as well. The 35-55 year old is the engine of the economy. This group buys houses, cars, furniture, etc. And if a city can't keep this group happy and satisfied, it will not prosper.
Apparently you can. Or at least you can until the student loan bubble pops and fewer people can afford to spend $200,000 on humanities degrees so they can head to big cities to work for non-profits.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:45 AM
 
1,356 posts, read 1,635,987 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Apparently you can. Or at least you can until the student loan bubble pops and fewer people can afford to spend $200,000 on humanities degrees so they can head to big cities to work for non-profits.
I don't know where this student loan bubble nonsense comes from. Less than 1% of the student population takes on that amount of debt and as far as investments go, a degree is one of the best ones a young person can make, regardless of major.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,062 posts, read 16,081,530 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octa View Post
I don't know where this student loan bubble nonsense comes from. Less than 1% of the student population takes on that amount of debt and as far as investments go, a degree is one of the best ones a young person can make, regardless of major.
It's the for-profits that are driving the "bubble." It's a real bubble, it's just a fairly small fraction of the student loan pie, and even then it's only 15% or so of that small fraction that is defaulting. Anyway, the new federal loan standards more or less single-handedly took care of that problem. California bases the Cal-Grant off the new federal standards, and about 85% of the for-profit colleges were excluded from both Cal-Grant as well as federal loans. Step two is in the process of going into effect which lowers the cohort default rate even further and excludes even more institutions plus further steps will go into effect that address "default management strategies" that some colleges, mostly again the for-profits, are using to get around the cohort default rate statistics which are excluding them. It's also shifting to program default rates rather than institution or campus default rates. Even the for-profits have some programs where people are graduating, getting out, and getting jobs that enable them to pay off their loans promptly even if as a whole they have ridiculously high default rates.

Even if there weren't easy ways of addressing the problem, it's still overwhelmingly positive even with the default rates having doubled in the last few years.

Last edited by Malloric; 03-28-2013 at 08:00 PM..
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:44 AM
 
Location: New York City
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Both sides have legitimate points. Kotkin is correct that Florida’s theories are about the elite and have nothing to say about working class families or housing affordability. On the other hand, Florida’s analysis is very shrewd and insightful in describing the success of superstar cities like San Francisco and New York.

The problem, which Florida partly addressed in his later writings, is that members of the Creative Class are limited and finite. What’s more, transportation and technology have allowed them to self-select and cluster like never before.

Florida’s analysis offers useful prescriptive advice for certain cities, like Baltimore and Philadelphia, but it was absurd (and arguably disingenuous) to peddle it in places like Dayton or Buffalo. He mistook the necessary for the sufficient and created unreasonable expectations of what was possible.

Then again, is being tolerant or having an arts center and more green space in the inner city a bad thing? Provided a government doesn’t bankrupt itself providing improvements, many of Florida’s recommendations contribute the quality of life for everyone. A city won’t turn into the next Austin, but it may stem brain-drain and spur some economic development.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,062 posts, read 16,081,530 times
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Florida's basic premise is that cities should be attractive places for the Creative Class to live, which is kind of hard to argue with as the things that make it attractive for them to live generally, although not always, fall in line with what the working class want as well. Maybe there's less interest in the arts, toy streetcars, brick sidewalks and hanging flower pot ambiance, overpriced bodegas and delis in walking distance, etc., among the working-class. But the basics (low crime, parks, decent schools, grocery stores rather than nothing but liquor stores) are appreciated by both.

Kotkin more sees cities as amusement parks for people to drive into for entertainment purposes before driving back to the suburbs where they get all their everyday needs. That's the approach most cities have taken in the last 50 years. Again, there's some overlap. Both Kotkin and Florida would be for fancy shopping districts with toy streetcars, brick sidewalks, and hanging flower pots (okay, maybe not the toy streetcar for Kotkin -- to expensive, he'd rather see some more parking garages). If you look at Sacramento, it's definitely followed the Kotkin model. After depopulating downtown to make way for business, they built a bunch of parking garages. The spend millions of dollars every year on trying to make Downtown Plaza and K Street attractive shopping centers of surbanites to drive into. Up until the last 10-15 years, Midtown (which is a more Florida neighborhood) was neglected entirely. Twenty years ago just getting the police to both to do their job in Midtown was virtually impossible, it was just one of those neighborhoods the city directed them to neglect. Midtowns revival is heavily based on residents who live in and immediately around it doing most of their shopping/entertainment there, although it also does act as an amusement park neighborhood for suburbanites as well as Sacramento intended K Street and DTP to be.

The problem with both Florida and Kotkin, although definitely more Kotkin, is the toy streetcars and brick sidewalks and flower pots (and multi-million dollar pizza joints, multiple luxury hotels, convention centers, etc. etc. all paid for with public tax payer dollars) often don't at all benefit the people who actually live in the city now. The singular obession of Kevin Johnson is building a new arena for the Maloofs or now whoever the new owner(s) end up being. Do the residents of Sacramento, most of whom are poor and not-well educated get much benefit out of the city spending its resources on an arena? Or do the surbanites who are more middle-class and have the money to spend $50+ per ticket, $150/night for a hotel room, $20 for a pizza on Welfare (K) Street? For the people who actually live in Sacramento, is the Kotkin model of the city as an amusement park good public policy? How much benefit do they get from spending hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money on pizza parlors, bars, night clubs, hotels, convention centers, marinas? Probably not much. They'd probable see more benefit from an investment in parks, schools, YMCA, pools, law enforcement... the very things that have been cut year after year to make room in the budget for spending money on pizza joints, bars, hotels. And lately the arena. Meanwhile, a grocery store is paying for the public pools and volunteer groups are taking donations to rebuild a playground after it got torched by an arsonist because there's just no money for that.

Not that Florida model really benefits them all that much either. But Midtown's revival is slowly gentrifying surrounding neighborhoods (Alhambra Triangle, North Oak Park) whereas Welfare (K) Street is really doing nothing but sucking up millions of dollars of corporate welfare.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:27 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
7,182 posts, read 5,415,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Florida's basic premise is that cities should be attractive places for the Creative Class to live, which is kind of hard to argue with as the things that make it attractive for them to live generally, although not always, fall in line with what the working class want as well. Maybe there's less interest in the arts, toy streetcars, brick sidewalks and hanging flower pot ambiance, overpriced bodegas and delis in walking distance, etc., among the working-class. But the basics (low crime, parks, decent schools, grocery stores rather than nothing but liquor stores) are appreciated by both.

Kotkin more sees cities as amusement parks for people to drive into for entertainment purposes before driving back to the suburbs where they get all their everyday needs. That's the approach most cities have taken in the last 50 years. Again, there's some overlap. Both Kotkin and Florida would be for fancy shopping districts with toy streetcars, brick sidewalks, and hanging flower pots (okay, maybe not the toy streetcar for Kotkin -- to expensive, he'd rather see some more parking garages). If you look at Sacramento, it's definitely followed the Kotkin model. After depopulating downtown to make way for business, they built a bunch of parking garages. The spend millions of dollars every year on trying to make Downtown Plaza and K Street attractive shopping centers of surbanites to drive into. Up until the last 10-15 years, Midtown (which is a more Florida neighborhood) was neglected entirely. Twenty years ago just getting the police to both to do their job in Midtown was virtually impossible, it was just one of those neighborhoods the city directed them to neglect. Midtowns revival is heavily based on residents who live in and immediately around it doing most of their shopping/entertainment there, although it also does act as an amusement park neighborhood for suburbanites as well as Sacramento intended K Street and DTP to be.

The problem with both Florida and Kotkin, although definitely more Kotkin, is the toy streetcars and brick sidewalks and flower pots (and multi-million dollar pizza joints, multiple luxury hotels, convention centers, etc. etc. all paid for with public tax payer dollars) often don't at all benefit the people who actually live in the city now. The singular obession of Kevin Johnson is building a new arena for the Maloofs or now whoever the new owner(s) end up being. Do the residents of Sacramento, most of whom are poor and not-well educated get much benefit out of the city spending its resources on an arena? Or do the surbanites who are more middle-class and have the money to spend $50+ per ticket, $150/night for a hotel room, $20 for a pizza on Welfare (K) Street? For the people who actually live in Sacramento, is the Kotkin model of the city as an amusement park good public policy? How much benefit do they get from spending hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money on pizza parlors, bars, night clubs, hotels, convention centers, marinas? Probably not much. They'd probable see more benefit from an investment in parks, schools, YMCA, pools, law enforcement... the very things that have been cut year after year to make room in the budget for spending money on pizza joints, bars, hotels. And lately the arena. Meanwhile, a grocery store is paying for the public pools and volunteer groups are taking donations to rebuild a playground after it got torched by an arsonist because there's just no money for that.

Not that Florida model really benefits them all that much either. But Midtown's revival is slowly gentrifying surrounding neighborhoods (Alhambra Triangle, North Oak Park) whereas Welfare (K) Street is really doing nothing but sucking up millions of dollars of corporate welfare.
I'm not exactly a student of Kotkin's writings by any stretch, but I didn't get the sense that he was an advocate for exurbs and sprawl, as many of his detractors in this thread suggest, and as Florida stated in his rebuttal. My take on the few pieces I've read is that Kotkin is pointing out that census data continues to show that many people still are choosing to live in more suburban/exurban areas with lower costs of living, more house for the money, better schools, etc.. As I understand it, Kotkin explains this reality contradicts the predictions of many, including, I guess, Florida, that a mass exodus from suburban and exurban areas back to city cores was going to occur, led of course by the "creative class." Although many cities have seen a growth in in-migration of the creative class and hipsters, which I guess are a subset of this, it hasn't, according to Kotkin, led this great mass migration back to the urban core, it hasn't benefited particularly the working class and poor in those areas, and in fact perhaps has harmed the poor to an extent by forcing them out by outpricing them from some of the gentrified city neighborhoods revitalized by the creative class.

To the first point about the death of the suburbs/exurbs being greatly exaggerated, I think this is a straightforward factual assertion that he seems to support with a lot of census data from a significant number of metro areas. I don't know that this makes him a champion of the suburbs/exurbs, as I didn't get from the articles I read that he was saying this was a good thing or a bad thing: just what was actually happening. I know the most recent census data shows that to be happening in my home metro of St. Louis. We certainly have neighborhoods in our city continuing to see population growth and revitilization, which is great, but the city core still lost population (very slight loss), while the suburbs and exurbs continuing to see much higher population growth. Other cities might have different experiences, but from what I gather, St. Louis is hardly unique.

Some of his other points perhaps are more debatable. It seems to me any revitalization of an urban core that has been blighted is a good thing, even if gentrification results in displacement of some of the poor residents of the city.

Last edited by MUTGR; 04-09-2013 at 09:42 PM..
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,242,183 times
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I just skimmed both articles again rather quickly. Here's my condensed take on it.

Kotkin is both wrong and right. He lambasts Florida with Florida's research that shows the creative class generates few, if any, trickle-down benefits for the service and working classes. But that misses Florida's argument entirely, imo, which is that the Creative Class drives economic growth. I don't see how economic growth and income inequality are mutually exclusive. In fact, we often see economic growth coupled with rising income inequality in cities in developed and developing nations alike. So I don't think Kotkin can really take Florida to task for a proposition he never made in the first place.

I'm with Kotkin, however, insofar as it seems that Florida is a bit of a snakeoil salesman. Yes, highly educated people (particularly those involved in technology) will drive growth, but please tell us something we don't know already. Florida offers a prescription on how to attract these so-called "creatives" and it's this prescription that I find to be utter BS. I think Kotkin is justified in taking Florida to task on this because he does seem to believe that cities can get these creatives and stimulate economic growth by basically giving them the stuff they want. Hang up some gay pride flags, come up with some arts programs stuff, and then the creatives will take an interest in your city and bring their talents there, he seems to be saying. But as Florida admits in his article, most of these Creatives aren't taking note of the creative strides made by Green Bay, Wisconsin and Dayton, Ohio and are headed straight for the Creative Class enclaves on the Coasts (i.e., San Fran, DC, Boston, NYC, etc).

Perhaps Florida would claim this is an oversimplification of his theory, but his theory seems just that simple to me. I admittedly have not read his book, but I've heard some of his speeches, and it seems that he's gifted at pointing out correlations that should be fairly obvious to any casual observer.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:24 PM
 
Location: New York City
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Originally Posted by MUTGR View Post
I'm not exactly a student of Kotkin's writings by any stretch, but I didn't get the sense that he was an advocate for exurbs and sprawl, as many of his detractors in this thread suggest, and as Florida stated in his rebuttal.
Kotkin himself is rather nuanced, but his blog, New Geography, is very pro-sprawl. Wendell Cox in particular sounds more like a lobbyist than an analyst.
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