News from the United States these days is pretty grim for working people and many a town there is long in need of greatness. Something tells us, when we read about what seems like a burned out working class or ex-working class, that a lot more than protectionism, reserve bank gyrations and interest rate fiddlings will be required to restore a general prosperity to America. Public health seems a bigger part of the story than is generally accepted. To wit, a couple of recent features:
Maybe the economy isn’t the reason why so many American men aren’t working. Many experts have blamed a poor job market, but new research indicates that an overlooked cause may be poor health
An intractable problem. For the last half-century, Milwaukee has been caught in a relentless social and economic spiral
Michael Ford’s treatment of modernism is pretty cool: towers in a park through a hip hop lens. Brainy and fresh, a TEDx talk really worth your time.
The Future of ‘Hip-Hop Architecture’. Michael Ford explains how he’s building a movement to reclaim urban design from the failures of the 1970s
image: Plan Voisin, 1925 via Wikimedia/CC
Elizabeth Kneebone’s testimony to the US federal government earlier this year serves as an extended essay on that country’s suburban poverty.
The changing geography of US poverty
The more we look at this Strong Towns feature the more of a knockout it becomes. The author was part of a municipal financial data project in a US city recently. Part of the project’s output was a map of local costs and revenues. Check out the cost of those post-war ‘burbs for this fairly typical North American city, you’ll be amazed.
The real reason your city has no money
Then they came for the suburbs. And I did nothing because I didn’t have a car, or a job, medical coverage, or mortgage insurance.
Hopefully the Trump presidency will be shortened by litigation, impeachment, or the man’s general unfitness.
Meantime, looks like Prince Cheeto isn’t wasting time putting the boots to people.
image: davitydave via Flickr/CC
After having read the recent non-fiction bestseller Evicted we feared no good news about housing could ever come out of Milwaukee barring a full scale miracle. Then we read a little about a sensible undertaking in that US city that seeks to answer to the problem of the ‘missing middle’. Nice.
For more about the types of housing it might behoove North Americans to look into a little more assertively:
The decline of manufacturing in the United States can now be seen as the source of a painful menace to public health.
As jobs left the US, suicides rose
Canadian journalist Yves Engler surveys the political life of sprawl and finds it all a little lacking. It does seem pretty easy to attach dispersed living to right-of-centre values.
Sprawl is an enemy of the left
image: Greg Wass via Flickr/CC