High-rises cause crime? Turning to Texas, lack of focus on urban issues, treehugging, fo

Knocking Down High Rises Stops Crime! Or not.

“OK, so, you take away two-thirds of the people of Richard Allen (and in fact, probably take away more than 2/3rds of the original residents, given many projects become mixed income), and you lose…. 2/3rds of the crime. Not to be a jerk, but doesn’t that sort of imply that, at the end of the day, as absolutely crappy and terrible as these huge projects were, crime might not have been caused by architecture, but instead by the fact that most people in PHA homes are desperately poor- with a median income of $11,000 a year? (And by the way, with a PHA waiting list that would stretch for miles, where do people go when 2/3rds of them are told to move out? There is a finite supply of PHA housing, after all.)”

The Early Word: Turning to Texas and Ohio

“With victories Tuesday in Wisconsin and Hawaii, Barack Obama has won the past 10 Democratic contests and created a critical situation for Hillary Rodham Clinton in the next set of primaries, Ohio and Texas. … Both Mr. McCain and Mrs. Clinton took aim at Mr. Obama in their speeches Tuesday night.”

URBAN ISSUES: TOO HOT TO HANDLE?

American Prospect says there’s a “lack of focus on urban issues in the presidential race.” The article says: “The problem … is exacerbated by the front-loading of rural states in the primary schedule, and also by the electoral college, which gives disproportionate weight to the minority of Americans who neither live nor work in a city.” More: “There isn’t a domestic political problem in America that can be solved without serious attention being paid to urban issues.”

Cities Step Up Tree Plantings

The Associated Press reports cities “prodded by environmental awareness, some by regulatory edict, they’re stepping up tree plantings in hopes of improving air quality, reducing energy consumption and easing storm water flows.” The question, according to the article, is not whether to plant trees, but where: The article mentions “New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., and several Maryland towns,” but doesn’t mention urban agriculture. The Vancouver Province says: “…urban agriculture has been successfully implemented in places such as Cuba, where Havana (population three million) produces more than 75 per cent of the vegetables it consumes within the city.”

New system delaying Texas food stamps applications

AP: “New data for December revealed that 48 percent of applications sent through the updated system were completed within a federally mandated 30-day deadline. … The federal on-time standard is 95 percent. … Timeliness is also an issue for Medicaid applications sent through TIERS. State records show that 63 percent of those cases in December were processed on time.”

Kilpatrick focuses on business despite scandal’s specter

Detroit Free Press: “if the audit is not submitted by Feb. 28, the state will delay Detroit’s share of some of the revenue-sharing funds it provides to all local governments.”

Consumer Prices in U.S. Increase More Than Forecast

“Inflation is ‘uncomfortably high,’ Ellen Zentner, an economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. ‘Once the U.S. economy looks like it’s started to stabilize,’ the Fed will be ‘raising rates back up to neutral, because inflation is not going away,’ she said.” Many facts and stats follow. What’s important, though, is this: “housing starts in the U.S. stayed near the lowest level since 1991,” “prices of goods imported into the U.S. jumped 1.7 percent in January,” and “the central bank last month lowered its benchmark interest rate by 1.25 percentage point during two meetings, the fastest rate reduction since the federal funds rate [became] the main policy tool around 1990.” Anytime you see, since 1991 that means 17 years (a long time) and also two recessions ago (1990-91) (”…first rule of recession is you do not talk about recession.”) The price of imports is a great way to gauge the power of the US dollar, because the less its worth, the more we will have to pay for foreign goods. Thirdly, anytime you see the word “fastest” or any word to indicate that drastic steps were taken by the central bank, that is not a good thing. The Producer Price Index which measures the price changes received by domestic firms for their products, according to the article will be released on February 26 which will paint an even better picture of the fourth quarter of 2007.

Miami police plans urban test of Honeywell’s micro-UAV

Flightglobal.com reports “Police in Miami, Florida want to find out whether a small unmanned air vehicle able to hover and stare can help law enforcement in urban areas.” The article is unclear on what exactly these aircraft will do, but states “The police department will operate the UAVs, and helicopter pilots from its aviation unit have been trained to fly the gMAV. ‘The demonstration will be in urban terrain, involving real tactical operations,’ he says.”

Viewer’s guide: Total lunar eclipse on Wed.

USA Today has an interesting article on tonight’s lunar eclipse. “As is the case with all lunar eclipses, the region of visibility will encompass more than half of our planet.” It also attempts to explain a phenomenon dealing with a triangle that will be visible between Saturn, the star Regulus, and the moon as “this upcoming double event will be the only one of its kind occurring within the next millennium!” All this space talk is making me like, totally spaced out.

Tags: urban designpolicehoustonmiamitexas2008 presidential election