All posts by subu7023

I'm a (mature) student of the social services with some background in publishing and a degree in history. I've seen suburban poverty through involvement with a drop-in centre.

(1272) The New Urban Crisis [Book review]

The New Urban Crisis.  How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class – and What We Can Do About It
Richard Florida
2017: Basic Books, NY
310 pages
Urban crisis is also suburban crisis.  What is bad for one is bad for the other, if in different ways.  For Florida’s take on all this we refer you to chapter eight of his most recent book.  This chapter functions as a data-supported handbook to the sprawl zones.  In an era of what he calls winner-take-all urbanism staged by and for the so-called creative class, well, the further out you go it seems the deeper the doo-doo.  Please read.
The new suburban crisis
citylab.com

(1267) Airport homeless

If one thing could be said to symbolize the transition from the twentieth century to the present one it might be the tragic death of glamour in air travel.  Added now to the boring sorrows of security screening, economy seating, airline performance and global carbon footprints must surely be this phenomenon: homeless people living in airports.
Homeless fill Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport atrium overnight
myajc.com
image: Mark Goebel via Flickr/CC

(1265) Los Angeles

The general look and feel of Los Angeles, California is readily understood by anyone who has spent any time near North America’s sprawl lands.  The sheer size of Los Angeles, and the inequality and environmental racism it contains — however familiar it’s basic form — is enough to give pause to anyone, though.
Certainly there’s visual evidence nearly everywhere of what is said to be a homeless population now numbering fifty thousand.  Beat up recreational vehicles are homes to many Angelenos.  You come across them constantly.   People camp everywhere from the lawns at city hall to highway medians.
By the late 1970s it seems that a sense of dread had become so attached to this brutally car-dependent collection of over eighty municipal entities that a truly massive investment in rail-based public transit was kicked off.  While plagued with construction challenges, including major cost overruns, this program has been bearing fruit for a while now.  There are also voices fighting for cycling and walking and the bus network.  The latter is especially important to the working people of Los Angeles.
Please take a look at this Los Angelist video about the Metro Red Line.  Much of the rationale found in it is applicable to Canadian cities, to sprawl lands found anywhere.  The sheer enormity of Los Angeles helps bring these issues into focus perhaps in a way much more raw than they might be encountered where you live but there is much to be learned.

(1264) Sears & loathing in Davos


The work of folding slacks, swiping credit cards and stocking shelves was enough to keep Sears going in Canada as a profitable, dividend-paying and executive bonus-giving retailer for decades.  Then management decided to pack it all in.  Emperor Justinian, representing us at Davos, seems to think it’s all pretty much okay, including the company leaving behind a whopper of a deficit in its pension plan.
Will 16,000 Sears Canada retirees see their pensions?
thespec.com
Trudeau suggests EI for Sears workers who risk losing pensions
huffingtonpost.ca
Image: Mike Kalasnik via Flickr/CC