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Taxes & Mortgages

Conservatives, Light Transit, Baltimore and the Urban Question

July 6, 2015 by Klaus Philipsen

Good transit? Not if short-term thinking prevails

Baltimore's Red Line, a nearly $3 billion transit project, is a fully designed surface-subway light rail line, shovel ready and even recommended by the Federal Transit Administration to receive the very scarce and coveted "New Starts" funding. Maryland’s governor, Larry Hogan, has delivered a fatal blow to it. Why?[read more]

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U.S. Supreme Court Decision is Breakthrough for Race Relations, Housing and Social Mobility

July 3, 2015 by Peter Smith

A significant ray of hope

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Texas Department of Housing v. Inclusive Communities Project is a landmark ruling for racial and economic equality. It was a victory for those fighting in favor of more protection in the housing market for vulnerable populations.[read more]

'Eco-city' Vancouver Votes Down Tax to Fund Public Transit. Shouldn't It Learn From Hong Kong?

July 3, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly
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Sky Train at Rupert Station

Earlier today it was announced that Metro Vancouver voted “no” to a 0.5% sales tax increase that would have been used to fund a $7.5 billion regional transportation plan. So why is it that Asian transit operators seem to be so much better than North American transit operators at recovering their costs through fares?[read more]

Transit Infrastructure: Why We All Lose by Not Investing

July 1, 2015 by Klaus Philipsen

All aboard the BRT?

Infrastructure is an investment without a direct or short-term return, and so is often the first victim when politicians run on austerity and fiscal prudence, but really cater to immediate gratification and private consumption at the expense of long term thinking and communal benefits. Here is the case for long-term investments in infrastructure[read more]

Revealed: The Best Way To Tackle Racial Exclusion and Social Mobility

May 30, 2015 by Christopher Sellers

What's better than racial justice?

How broad-based economic growth, low housing costs, and limited regulation provide the best conditions for social mobility and tackling racial exclusion, rather than focussing on racial and class justice.[read more]

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Battle of the Mayors May Decide Devolution of Power to UK Cities

May 27, 2015 by David Thorpe

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes – against elected mayors

Legislation to allow the devolution of power to cities is strongly expected in the first Queen’s speech of the new UK parliament, but the plans may be derailed by cities' opposition to the idea of elected mayors.[read more]

Baltimore's Low Income Levels Are A Function of Social Mobility

May 20, 2015 by Christopher Sellers

Baltimore from the air

Baltimore, besides being in the news recently for unfortunate events, is also a city which has the worst wage levels compared to the US average. Is this related to social mobility? Aaron M. Renn investigates.[read more]

Overall GHG Emissions Are Not Decreasing Due To Californian Climate Change Regulations

May 19, 2015 by Christopher Sellers

Net GHG emissions from California

Californian state policies designed to limit greenhouse gas emissions, seen as pioneering in the rest of the world, are not actually having a measurable effect because they have resulted in a massive displacement of former state businesses and residents to other locations with higher per-capita CO2e emission levels.[read more]

Condo or Rental Apartment: Does it Even Matter?

April 21, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

To Rent or to Condo

Toronto is the condo capital of North America. For a number of years now, there have been more condos under construction in this city compared to any other in North America, including New York. But recently the real estate community has become incredibly interested in building multi-family apartments.[read more]

Why Do More People in Quebec Sell Their Home Without an Agent?

April 10, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

Quebec and Real Estate Patterns

If you ask most people, they’ll tell you that real estate agents will never ever disappear. Despite the internet, mobile phones, and social networks, the bulk of the market still employs an agent. But there are lots of entrepreneurs and people in the real estate community experimenting with different models.[read more]

The High Cost of Poor Land Use

April 8, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly
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Land Use and Space Scarcity in Cities

The Economist published an interesting article called 'Space and the city: Poor land use in the world’s greatest cities carries a huge cost.' The argument is that land isn’t scarce. It’s the land use policies we have created that are artificially limiting supply and driving up real estate values.[read more]

Is This the End of the Suburbs? Leigh Gallagher Thinks So

April 2, 2015 by Christopher Berggren

Urbanization and the Future of the Suburbs

 

In 'The End of the Suburbs,' a story is told of the big changes underway in the way Americans are choosing to live in the 21st century. For sixty years, urban areas have become decentralized, and downtowns turned into ugly, parking lot deserts where only marginalized people lived. But all that is changing.[read more]