looking for a tongue and cheek way of learning about the impact of redlining (who isn’t, am I right?). Adam Ruins everything a truTV show takes on the suburbs. Give it a view!
Amazon is looking to grow, and they are putting a call out for bids for a new home to grow in. I think we’re about to see a massive push from cities all over for this new headquarters which will create 50,000 new jobs, and be an economic anchor institution in its new home. I also think we’ll see lots of opinions for and against bringing Amazon into new cities over the next few weeks as well. Massive influx of investment and growth of any kind, when done incorrectly, leads to massive influx or exacerbation of inequality. And the discussion of how to invite Amazon, and should cities invite Amazon are worth having. If nothing else, it will be interesting to see how cities woo Amazon, without hurting their current residents and businesses.
CityLab makes an interesting point about bringing Amazon to the heartland (and we support that idea for a whole host of reasons). But regardless of where Amazon sets up shop, we want to throw a suggestion out for how.
Amazon, fill a vacant mall or two! America has malls, (emptied with some help from Amazon…). These large spaces used to serve as anchors for communities growth, but as they dry up and stay vacant, many are serving as anchors dragging down their surroundings. But many would be perfect for your new headquarters campus. just to name a few of the reasons Amazon should consider filling empty American malls for a campus:
- They are usually located near great transportation, given that the heyday of malls coincides with the heyday of sprawl
- They are affordable for acquisition because there are few other uses for the space outside of large office buildings and some other fabulously innovative ideas.
- Cities don’t have to give away the public coffers to help you reactivate/renovate currently vacant spaces.
- Malls come with ample parking so consider that fight about traffic/parking- over
- Reactivating a mall for a headquarters would be so innovative it would give Amazon some wonderful PR. (and set a replicable standard for other large employers wishing to build campuses)
Currently on our bookshelves and highly recommended:
- An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power- Al Gore
- The Color of Law: A forgotten history of how our government segregated America- Richard Rothstein
- Race, Class and Politics in the Cappuccino City- Derek S. HyraDerek S. HyraDerek S. Hyra
What are you reading these days?
When we work in communities, we always strive to help build the capacity of local community leaders. Whether that’s through connecting them with resources we know about, or introducing them to other community partners, or transferring skills, our goal is to help communities grow strong and resilient. the foundation of that growth is local community leadership.
Yes! Magazine highlighted a fascinating non-profit, Community Learning Partnership, that is creating college programs that couples classroom work with hands on experience as change agents in their community. CLP provides students, instructors, and community groups a model for preparing local leaders and activists. These college programs “offer fledgling community organizers ‘a sense of optimism about how they can effect change in their own backyard.'”
Programs like CLP are expanding the role of college in communities and building leadership capacity as well. Read more about this fantastic work in Yes! Magazine’s article Where They Teach Students How to Revitalize Their Local Communities.
New data released by the Yale Program on Climate Communication and summarized by Nadia Popovich, John Schwartz and Tatiana Schlossberg in the New York Times gives a detailed view of public opinion on global warming.
Spoiler alert: Americans believe in global warming, but aren’t convinced that it’s their responsibility to worry about.
To us the most interesting point though is how much support American voters have for renewable energy, and renewable energy research. Eighty two percent of Americans are in favor of funding renewable energy research, 82%!!!! and yet our elected officials are slashing budgets and cutting departments. It begs the question, Why?
National Geographic asked photographers to share their stories about climate change. Photos were submitted through Your Shot, National Geographic’s online photo community, and then editors’ selections were chosen to be in an exhibit at the Conference of the Parties 22 Climate Summit in Morocco.
We are fans of evidence based solutions, and thus research and analysis is an important factor of how we determine what policy solutions to support, and what neighborhood projects to invest our time, resources and funding.
A new study has been released titled, A Prospective Analysis of the Costs, Benefits and Impacts of U.S. Renewable Portfolio Standards. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory analyzed state renewable energy portfolios to assess costs and benefits into the future. The study analyzed two scenarios, 1) if RPS’s remain unchanged from current status, and 2) if RPS expand in every state and have higher targets.
The findings are dramatic. The reduction of pollutants, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption in both scenarios are incredible. The savings in health and environmental benefits are promising and all of these outweigh the costs accrued through the RPS standards. Turns out, investing in solar is a good use of public dollars.
As this MidwestEnergyNews.com article headline states: Benefits of state renewable energy policies far outweigh costs.
The DC Fiscal Policy Institute issued a study today called “A Broken Foundation.” The Washington City Paper did a summary of it here. But we can break down even further into the pieces that, in our opinion, need to be considered immediately by policy makers, development and housing offices and affordable housing developers.
Read on after the jump for more. Continue reading
The New York Times published a piece investigating the recovery of Detroit, outlining the two distinct worlds the city’s recovery has created and exacerbated. But this story isn’t exclusive to Detroit. As American cities bounce back from the recession, two very separate worlds are taking hold in cities all across the nation. Whether you’re in Washington, DC, San Francisco, or Columbus, Ohio it is clear that not everyone in our recovering cities are actually recovering.