In the News

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The economic cost of NIMBYism

Housing, affordable and otherwise, is a problem in the nation's most vibrant cities, stifling both economic growth and diversification. Part of that reason is protectionist policies of NIMBY's, who aren't keen to share their neighborhood communities (but very happy to benefit from the sky-high property values that accompany growth).

Excerpt:

Protectionist housing policies are bad for people who’d like to work in Silicon Valley, of course. But NIMBYism is also bad for the nation as a whole. Even though labor productivity has grown the most over the last few decades in three specific U.S. cities—New York, San Francisco, and San Jose—that local growth hasn’t translated to greater national growth at all, thanks to a lack of housing.

Read the rest here.

A guide to hosting your wedding in Ann Arbor and Metro Detroit

The sun is out, birds are singing and couples are looking to tie the knot in the best and most memorable way possible. Eater offers a guide for brides and grooms to be.

Excerpt:

Duck and cover because summer means wedding season. Time to pull out your cocktail dress and prepare to overindulge and celebrate happy unions. While many couples will opt for the traditional reception halls around town, Southeast Michigan's restaurants provide some great options for hosting celebrations. So pour yourself a glass of bubbly and tighten your tie. Here are 20 awesome restaurant locations that transform for the big day. 

Read the rest here.

Unfinished Orson Welles memoir found in U-M archives

File this under pretty dang cool. Archivists at U-M have stumbled across an unfinished memoir by one of Hollywood's greatest directors, Orson Welles.

Excerpt:

"According to reports in the LA Times and The GuardianConfessions of a One-Man Band details his views on his friend, Ernest Hemingway, wife Rita Hayworth and filmmaker DW Griffith. The autobiography was started in 1970s, according to archivists at UM who announced Thursday they found eight boxes of materials, including handwritten notes and edits, sent by the Citizen Kane director’s partner of 24 years, Oja Kodar, from her home in Croatia."

Read the rest here.

Ann Arbor is tops as "Small American Cities of the Future"

Another week, another list.

Ann Arbor just landed on fDi Intelligence's 2015 list of Small American Cities of the Future, with top scores in human capital and lifestyle. The city was ranked the #10 Small City of the Future overall.

Excerpt:

The top 10 of fDi’s third biennial ranking of American cities is a wholly North American affair, with all entrants located in Canada or the US. Rebounding somewhat following a turbulent economic period, FDI projects into North America increased 4.55% between 2012 and 2014.

Read the rest here. PDFs of the rankings are at the bottom of the page.

Ann Arbor FarmLogs now used by 20% of farms in U.S.

Agricultural technology businesses are thriving and Ann Arbor-based FarmLogs is reaping big rewards with its crop monitoring technology.

Excerpt:

"Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, FarmLogs launched about three years ago and participated in the Y Combinator startup accelerator program. FarmLogs raised $10 million in Series B about six months ago, bringing its total institutional funding to $15 million thus far. FarmLogs is used by farmers in all 50 states and internationally in over 130 countries across six continents. FarmLogs currently has 30 employees and the farm management software company plans to double its staff count this year."

Read the rest here.

Ann Arbor native Andrew W.K. launches a podcast

First a weekly newspaper column, now a podcast. Give hims few years and Ann Arbor native Andrew W.K. may make a bid for Howard Stern's King Of All Media throne.

Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/america-w-k

Zingerman's now available at Detroit airport

Travelers cannot (and should not) eat by fast food alone. It's about time that DTW got something a little better than bags of processed food dropped into a multinational franchisee's fryer.

Enter Ann Arbor foodie stalwart Zingerman's! Hopefully sales will be good enough to inspire an actual Zing's cafe. Until then...

Excerpt:

"Hungry guests passing through the McNamara terminal will be able to enjoy Zingerman's foods and coffee at an HBF-operated kiosk near terminal gates 70-78. Visitors to the kiosk will be able to purchase such classic Zingerman's staples as packaged pastries from Zingerman's Bakehouse, savory cheese plates and packaged cheese spreads from Zingerman's Creamery, delicious Cold Brew from the Zingerman's Coffee Company, sandwiches made using Zingerman's Deli meats, cheeses, and condiments, as well as fresh-baked bread from the Bakehouse. To top it off, guests can enjoy handmade, fresh candy from the Zingerman's Candy Manufactory. "

Read the rest here.

First steps in connecting Ann Arbor and Detroit public transit begin

It's been a long torturous route and there's no doubt the logistical and political agony will continue, but progress is being made -albeit slowly- to link Ann Arbor, Detroit and the surrounding suburbs via public transit. Knock on wood, say a little prayer and light a candle for things to develop at reasonable pace.

Excerpt:

Michael Ford is the CEO of RTA. He says the region is way behind other metro areas in terms of transportation.
"Think about this: how many people can get where they need to go right now? There's needs for frequency, late night service, earlier morning service. So people can get to jobs and get home. So people can get to shows and get home, people can get to sporting events and get home. So right now, that’s an issue.

“What if we just do nothing? People are going to continue to move out, because they can't get to good jobs, they can't get home. They can't just function normally.”

Ford also says the region isn’t keeping up with other areas in terms of investing in public transportation.

Read and listen to the rest here.

Cars, pedestrians, race and the fate of 2 downtowns

James Fallows has an interesting report on two California cities struggling to revitalize their downtowns in diametrically different ways - and the response of local residents to the proposed changes. It's a provocative set of reactions and a compelling view on how people form opinions.

Excerpt:

"Eliza Tibbets and her husband Luther built an orange empire in the inland-Southern California city of Riverside, which we introduced briefly here before. As Deb points out, Riverside has undertaken a downtown-revitalization project based on exactly the opposite premise from the one now being applied in Fresno, as chronicled most recently here. Fresno has an arty, high-concept, half-century-old pedestrian mall that was once a commercial success but is now a half-occupied distress zone. The city’s solution is to dig up the mall and open Fulton Street once more to cars. Riverside, by contrast, turned its Main Street into a pedestrian mall not long after Fresno did—and it is sticking with that plan.
Who’s right? Readers weigh in."

Read the rest here.

Traverse City group wants rail service to/from Ann Arbor

The question isn't whether people want a train to Traverse City, it's whether they want it enough… and whether Michigan's pathological inertia with regard to transportation issues will ever allow it to happen.

Excerpt:

"At statewide community forums in 2010 while the Michigan Department of Transportationwas developing a state rail plan, a consistent and top theme that emerged was that Michigan's passenger rail system should include a Traverse City-to-southern Michigan connection, said Liz Treutel, a policy associate at the Michigan Environmental Council — which, with the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers, convened the meetings.

Feedback ran both ways, Treutel said. People in northern Michigan wanted easier access to downstate, and tourists were interested in rail service heading north."

Read the rest here.

Ann Arbor No. 1 small city for millennials

Apparently, the American Institute of Economic Research hasn't read any of Concentrate's articles on affordable or millennial-friendly housing but, hey, that's cool. We're #1! 

Excerpt:

"Ann Arbor is ranked first in the nation among the most desirable small cities to live and work for millennials while Detroit is ranked close to last in a study released today by the American Institute of Economic Research.

The combination of a low unemployment rate, the University of Michigan and a thriving technology industry helped vault Ann Arbor to the top spot in the study."

Read the rest here.

Ann Arbor-made Stratos card put to the test

Wired takes the all-cards-in-one Stratos credit card out for a spin… and is impressed with what it can do. 

Excerpt:

"There are a thousand upsides to a card like Stratos, even beyond finally ditching your gigantic George Costanza wallet. It can make sure you actually use your gift cards, or make getting a loyalty card totally automatic. It’s much more secure than a standard credit card, for a variety of reasons. If you lose it, just shut it off—you don’t need to cancel the individual cards themselves. It even uses Bluetooth to warn you if you left it in the check-holder, and will shut off if you get too far away."

Read the rest here.

Could a universal fare card link Ann Arbor and Detroit transit?

The Regional Transportation Authority of Southeast Michigan is working to make the region's public transportation easier to use with a universal fare card.

Excerpt:

"The Authority is studying what kind of funding and policy decisions are needed to introduce universal fare card technology to the region. CEO Michael Ford says it’s a lengthy process."

Listen to the rest here.

U-M struggles to achieve economic diversity

Given all the accolades and advantages U-M as as the fourth-ranked public university in the United States, you'd think it'd do a better job of educating low income students.

Excerpt:

"U-M has one number it’s probably not proud of: the smallest share of low-income students among Michigan’s public universities, and one of the lowest rates among public universities in the country."

Read the rest here.

Is the future of urban mobility microtransit?

Uber, Lyft, airport shuttles, independent commuter buses, the revolution has begun. But where is it heading and what's needed to create the optimal carless system?

Excerpt:

"Strictly speaking, there's nothing new about microtransit. Informal ride-sharing networks like New York's dollar vans have operated for years, while city agencies run paratransit services for people with disabilities (often at a great loss). But better data on mobility patterns and wide smartphone access have made flexible, on-demand transit more possible than ever. Social trends toward city living and away from car-ownership have also fanned the current flame."

Read the rest here.
1453 Articles | Page: | Show All
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