Friday, November 25, 2011

Inbound/Outbound Migration

Forbes has released its latest interactive map using 2010 Census data. Similar to last year, we're pulling from Florida, the Midwest, East, and Southwest, while hemorrhaging to Texas, Colorado, and the Pacific Northwest. Texas for jobs and the others for creative class, urban centers (i.e. more emphasis on quality of life and less on jobs)? My wish for 2012 is that we begin to see investment in the quality of the built environment so that people will move here for the quality of life and not just for work. I believe this happens to some extent, but quality of life needs to become a part of our brand.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shop Local for the Holidays

I'm loving the mayor these days. He referred to the "built environment" of our city in his State of the City address, displaying his increasing sensitivity and understanding of urban issues. He's now putting our money where his mouth is with his continued support for ABQ the Plan. An initial $20 million for the convention center, $1 million to complete an environmental impact statement for BRT along Central Ave, and now money for both the completion of the 50-mile bike loop around the city as well as for "river work." It is not clear if that's the boardwalk that was originally supported by the committee or not. Regardless, I'm already on board. Lastly, there's been commercials dedicated to encouraging people to shop locally for the holidays. The City has gone an extra step by providing free street parking in three city neighborhoods; Nob Hill, Downtown, and Old Town.

In other news, la Tejana Susana helped the Downs obtain a 25-year lease on Expo NM, with the unrivaled proposal to add a casino near the intersection of Central and Louisiana. Naturally, the brilliant plan set the new structure behind a sea of parking. While most people hoped for more, the outcome was about par with the golden nuggets coming out of Santa Fe these days. It's sheer unimaginative, conservative, old thinking, and there's no excuse for it given the level of interest and the prime location. (photo courtesy of the Albuquerque Journal)