• The Avenue

    Climate Response Goes Local

    An aerial view of vehicles submerged in flood waters along the South Platte River near Greenley, Colorado September 14, 2013. Farming communities along the South Platte River were ordered to evacuate ahead of a predicted surge in the flooding which may have claimed a fifth life and has left many still unaccounted for, according to authorities.

    The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) draft “synthesis report” leaked this week and the findings are almost all dire. Higher seas, devastating heat waves, torrential rain, and other climate extremes are all intensifying, says the report, according to the New York Times. Runaway growth in the emission of greenhouse gases is overwhelming nations’ relatively weak efforts to limit pollution. And get ready for much worse: Without much more forceful action to curb emissions world-wide, the impacts of climate change in the coming decades will be “severe, pervasive, and irreversible,” says the IPCC.

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  • The Avenue

    Google Shows Power of Urban Innovation Districts

    A Google logo is seen at the entrance to the company's offices in Toronto

    As the U.S. economy continues to restructure post-recession, the spatial geography of innovation is shifting as well. The innovative economy is relocating—from isolated office parks in the suburbs to cities, creating in the process areas known as “innovation districts.” Changing living preferences among younger, educated workers are contributing to this trend, but, so too is a shift in the business models of innovative firms, moving away from a closed model of innovation, toward a more open and collaborative model requiring proximity to other firms and specialized research institutions.

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  • The Avenue

    DACA Loans for Low-Income Applicants

    As tens of thousands of DACA recipients prepare to submit renewals for their two-year deportation relief, they will need to once again come up with $465 for the application fee. While renewal requests require less documentation than the initial application, the fee remains the same. Many applicants, particularly those from low-income families, had difficulty paying the initial fee. A recent national study of self-selected youth eligible under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program found that among those who had not yet applied, 43 percent reported they could not afford it.  

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  • The Avenue

    If Missouri Has Transportation Needs, Where Did Amendment 7 Go Wrong?

    The Gateway Arch is seen in St. Louis, Missouri

    Earlier this month, Missouri voters overwhelmingly rejected a 10-year, 3/4 cent sales tax increase to boost statewide transportation investment. With local referendums an increasingly popular method to raise transportation funding in an era of federal uncertainty, the result has lessons for Missouri’s transportation interests and the country as a whole.

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  • The Avenue

    Ferguson, Mo. Emblematic of Growing Suburban Poverty

    Demonstrators face-off with riot police while protesting the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri August 13, 2014. Police in Ferguson fired several rounds of tear gas to disperse protesters late on Wednesday, on the fourth night of demonstrations over the fatal shooting last weekend of an unarmed black teenager Brown, 18, by a police officer on Saturday after what police said was a struggle with a gun in a police car. A witness in the case told local media that Brown had raised his arms to police to show that he was unarmed before being killed. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

    Nearly a week after the death of 18 year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., protests continue in the 21,000-person suburban community on St. Louis’ north side and around the nation. Amid the social media and news coverage of the community’s response to the police shooting of the unarmed teenager, a picture of Ferguson and its history has emerged. The New York Times and others have described the deep-seated racial tensions and inequalities that have long plagued the St. Louis region, as well as the dramatic demographic transformation of Ferguson from a largely white suburban enclave (it was 85 percent white as recently as 1980) to a predominantly black community (it was 67 percent black by 2008-2012).  


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  • The Avenue

    Digging Deeper on DACA Data

    DACA map

    Last month, the federal U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency released metropolitan-level data on the number of people participating in the deferred action program for immigrants brought here as children. After an introductory look, my colleagues and I had more time to interpret the data as we approach the DACA program’s second anniversary and renewals and potential expansion. Here are a few highlights to illustrate our initial analysis, from my presentation at “Two Years of DACA Implementation: Learning from the Metro Experience,” an event hosted by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

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  • The Avenue

    Mayors Take Aim at Inequality, but is That the Right Target?

    New York mayor Bill de Blasio leaves during a Memorial Day ceremony at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in the Manhattan borough of New York May 26, 2014.

    Yesterday, a special U.S. Conference of Mayors task force released a report documenting growing income disparities in U.S. metro areas. The Cities of Opportunity Task Force is chaired by New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, two of the most prominent mayors elected last fall on platforms to reduce inequities within their cities.  Read More

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  • The Avenue

    Nixon’s New Federalism 45 Years Later

    Richard M. Nixon greets the crowd in a trademark pose while campaigning for the presidency of the United States in 1968.

    Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon left office in disgrace. But five years prior to his resignation, he made a landmark contribution to our perpetual debate over the division of power in our federalist system. Taking to national television six months into his first term, Nixon presented a bold vision of what he called “the New Federalism,” detailing his overarching domestic affairs agenda  centered on a new vision of how power should be shared between the federal government and the states.

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  • The Avenue

    Cultivate Clusters as a Tool for an Effective FDI Strategy

    A finished BMW X4 is driven off the production line at the BMW manufacturing plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina March 28, 2014.

    Despite growing concerns about the ability of the United States to continue attracting high-quality foreign direct investment (FDI), it remains the largest recipient of FDI in the world. Our latest report noted that, while the United States cannot afford to rest on its laurels, a few megatrends—the shale gas revolution lowering energy prices, rising wages and slowing growth in emerging markets and U.S. advantages in advanced manufacturing processes—bode well for long-term U.S. competitiveness.  

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  • The Avenue

    The Silicon Valley Wage Premium

    Software Developer Salary Map

    Software application developers earn large salaries in the United States, $96,260 a year on average. But in metropolitan San Jose they earn $131,270, the highest in the country. There are many partial explanations for this—local cost of living, differences in education levels, experience, and industry—but none of them quite account for it. It turns out that developers living in San Jose have acquired the specific skills most valued by employers.

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