Urban Policy

Crime or Punishment

  • By
  • David Lesher,
  • New America Foundation
February 18, 2007 |

Sacramento lawmakers are in a trap. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton will decide in little more than three months whether to set a population cap on the state’s vastly overcrowded prison system, potentially forcing the early release of thousands of convicted criminals. To keep the court at bay, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has asked the Legislature to approve billions in new prison construction money, and to consider revising sentencing and parole laws to put fewer criminals behind bars.

The Myth of ‘Superstar Cities’

  • By
  • Joel Kotkin,
  • New America Foundation
February 13, 2007 |

"If New York City is a business, it isn’t Wal-Mart -- it isn’t trying to be the lowest-priced product in the market. It’s a high-end product, maybe even a luxury product. New York offers tremendous value, but only for those companies able to capitalize on it."

-- Mayor Michael Bloomberg, January 2003

A Grand Vision for Affordable Housing

  • By
  • Rick Wartzman,
  • New America Foundation
February 9, 2007 |

Eli Broad has suggested that once its big makeover is complete, Grand Avenue will be comparable to the Champs-Elysees. That’s bunk. But it may look a little like Sesame Street, and that’s terrific.

The children’s public television program -- which, in the words of a recent study by a University of New Hampshire scholar, has "strived to exemplify and create an egalitarian and more tolerant community" -- has had a tough time being replicated in the real world. This is especially true in L.A., which is highly balkanized along racial and class lines.

A Real Estate Bust Would Boost L.A.

  • By
  • Joel Kotkin,
  • New America Foundation
January 29, 2007 |

For the last five years, speculators, big developers and homeowners have gorged on Los Angeles real estate. The huge run-up in prices -- more than 135% from 2001 to 2006 -- has greatly increased the spending power of property owners. Yet there has been a worrisome consequence: Working and middle-class families are moving out -- and failing to move in -- because they cannot afford a house here. Long term, that’s not good for the local economy. As perverse as it sounds, what L.A. needs now is a real estate bust.

Latinos and Gangs: the Hopeful Flip Side

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
January 28, 2007 |

In the opening sequence of Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-contender The Departed, Jack Nicholson’s gangster character recalls that when he was young, the priests used to tell the Irish American children of South Boston that they could either become cops or criminals.

The movie, which is essentially an urban morality tale played out between Irish American gangsters and cops, is only the latest in a long line of American films featuring the rivalry between good and bad in ethnic enclaves. (Think James Cagney and Pat O’Brien in the 1938 classic Angels with Dirty Faces.)

The New Economic Map of America

  • By
  • Joel Kotkin,
  • New America Foundation
November 30, 2006 |

Asked which American cities have been the biggest economic winners of the new millennium, almost anyone reading a daily newspaper or watching a nightly news show would name places like New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Washington, D.C., where condo and single-family home prices have surged and the wealthy enjoyed a bonanza by leveraging their real estate assets.

400,000,000

  • By
  • Joel Kotkin,
  • New America Foundation
October 17, 2006 |

The fact that the U.S. population will soon top 300 million has led some environmentalists to gnash their teeth over the nation’s ability to handle our expanded "ecological footprint." One can also imagine that few champagne bottles are being popped in Parisian salons.

And there’s even worse news ahead for those who hate the notion of numerous Americans: By 2050 there will be 400 million of us. This surge marks a major watershed in our history, recreating the American Republic and leaving us with unprecedented challenges and remarkable opportunities.

* * *

Urban Legend

  • By
  • Joel Kotkin,
  • New America Foundation
September 25, 2006 |

Cities have always served many functions: as centers of religion, political power, and commerce. But one of their most important tasks has been to serve as engines of upward mobility and aspiration. Nowhere has this been more true than in American cities. From the earliest period of American settlement, European observers were often struck by the remarkable social mobility found in America’s urban centers.

Building Constituencies for Spectrum Policy Change - First Report

September 23, 2006

In early 2006, the Wireless Future Program at the New America Foundation, an independent think tank, launched a new initiative to advance its work on public interest spectrum policy by strengthening connections with -- and service to -- diverse public constituencies. NAF enlisted CIMA: Center for International Media Action to convene a group to advise its Wireless Future Program from the perspective of communities that have a vested stake in the debate, but whose interests are not well represented by current policy and industry agendas.

The Great Plains

  • By
  • Joel Kotkin,
  • New America Foundation
September 2, 2006 |

BISMARCK, N.D. -- At a time when the much-celebrated coasts creak from rising interest rates, faltering income levels and soaring energy prices, this windswept, energy-rich city of 57,000 on the western edge of the Dakota plains is experiencing the best of times. Cities like this one out in the far-off hinterland -- Iowa City, Sioux Falls, Fargo, Grand Forks, Rapid City -- now are enjoying job growth rates that, if they don’t rival Las Vegas, certainly put to shame those of most major metropolitan areas.

Syndicate content