Morning Ed: Cities {2018.09.27.Th}


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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12 Responses

  1. Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

    Ci7: Meh. She mostly is observing that there is a particular American subculture (” young and tattooed and bespectacled, clacking away on MacBooks”) that is found across the country. She travels the country searching out business members of this subculture patronize, and is surprised to find that these patrons’ tastes are similar wherever they happen to be located. I suspect that were she to leave her comfort zone she would find greater variation.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      I wonder how her results would have differed if, instead of visiting the city closest to the geographic center of the state, she had visited the largest city in each state. In Nebraska, Omaha instead of whichever town of 3,500 she visited (probably Broken Bow)? In California, LA instead of Fresno? In Oregon, Portland instead of Prineville? Is her opinion of Texas based on Brady, closest to the geographic center? Battle Mountain, NV?Report

  2. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    [Ci1] that is a really weird article.

    Houston may be ruined by regulation!

    It’s so vulnerable to flooding it needs $58 billion in flood management infrastructure!

    There is a serious risk that the ominous forces of “smart growth” might force us to make efficient use of that $58 billion!

    They might even (shudder) regulate construction standards!

    In the recent hurricane, the newer houses, which were compliant with more recent regulations, mostly weren’t badly damaged!

    This somehow proves the danger of regulation!

    Is this kind of thing Joel Kotkin’s usual schtick?Report

    • Avatar dragonfrog says:

      You know that New Yorker comic with the man in a ragged business suit sitting by a fire in a post apocalyptic landscape, saying something like “we destroyed the world, but for a beautiful moment we created a lot of shareholder value”?

      Kotkin’s piece read like maybe he didn’t get that that was supposed to be a joke.Report

    • Avatar PD Shaw says:

      I don’t really care what Houston does, but if they want federal flood control and flood insurance dollars, they need to take preventive measures. (And I’m pretty sure that mention about new elevation requirements is part of a federal mandate tied to federal largess)Report

  3. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Ci0: So carpet bombing a city is actually good for it?! Can we start with Washington DC, then move on to Baltimore, and maybe Chicago?

    I’m kidding, obviously (kinda…). I wonder if they ran a similar analysis on cities nearly destroyed by natural disasters? It’s actually an interesting thing to think about. If San Francisco was hit by a massive earthquake that effectively leveled every building built before, say, 1960, would the city actually rework it’s zoning and other infrastructure to alleviate the problems it had, or would it attempt to return to some previous state out of a collective sense of nostalgia?Report

    • Avatar Brent F says:

      Of the top of my head, I remember similar research on natural and man-made disasters coming up with similar findings. The rebuilt bit of Japan and Germany post WW2 had an advantage down the line of rebuilding with all new infrastructure and similar findings on the rebuilding of Japan post-Fukishima earthquake.

      It makes sense, in that rebuilding allows old errors to be corrected and that it serves as a period of forced increased investment into the future, that pays future dividends. The downside beyond obviously living in through the disaster is terrible, is that it sucks to have to rebuild during the rebuilding phase rather than enjoying whats already built.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        Cool! I mean, yeah, the disaster is horrible, but at least the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter than the light at the start.Report

  4. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Ci5 – in my view, the places I’m familiar with that would be inner ring suburbs if they were not politically merged (e.g. The Bronx, NE DC) are in the same sort of post-war decline-but-not-yet-gentrified state as if they were independent polities.Report

  5. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Ci6 – I don’t think Conor Sen is joking, but I wish he were. But also, I’m increasingly thinking that Japan’s extremely low birthrate makes a lot of its economic stats look at lot worse than they are over the past generation.Report

  6. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    [Ci7] I dunno. I think she’s just making the perennially true observation that the vast majority of people are totally uncreative and unoriginal. Which is not exactly what you’d call newsworthy, but probably gains a little bit of sting when you’re talking about people who think of themselves as “creatives”.

    Really, though, I think she’s commenting on how rote gentrification has become at this point. It’s a bit like the death of disco. In the early days, there was truly great music being made and a liberating energy in those early discos. But, once you got to the point that there were identical discos in every small town from Portland to Boise with the same mirrored ball spinning and the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack playing, it was about time to stick a fork in it.Report