Dubious gentrification study will backfire on New York City

first_imgThe northern Brooklyn rezoning has since been weaponized by opponents of market-rate housing. Key to this effort is the nonprofit group Churches United for Fair Housing, which blames the zoning change for driving Latino residents out of the area. Needing a study to underpin their claim, it conjured one up.The big takeaway of the analysis, released in 2019, was that over 15 years the rezoned area added more than 20,000 people yet lost 15,000 Latinos.The study had two major flaws that were either unnoticed or deliberately ignored by advocates, politicians and many reporters.Most obviously, it counted population changes beginning in 2000, five years before the rezoning passed the City Council, and part of South Williamsburg that was not rezoned.Second, it omitted that the area’s Hispanic population had been falling since 1990.In a nutshell, it cherry-picked data to blame the rezoning for a trend that had been happening for 15 years.Even folks who don’t know the first rule of statistics — correlation is not causation — should have figured that out.City planners certainly did. They put out their own study, which pointed out that the Hispanic population decline slowed down after the rezoning. That is, the residents who Churches United said were pushed out by the rezoning were actually more likely to stay after it passed.Could it be that the thousands of new apartments gave all the newcomers flocking to Williamsburg somewhere to go besides existing housing, so they were less likely to displace Latinos?A smaller potential factor is that some residents took note of the gentrification and became more inclined to stay — even if many disliked the Starbucks, trendy bars and other changes that came with the hipsters and the yuppies.Some observers offer that hypothesis to explain research showing that low-income children in gentrifying areas of New York City from 2009 to 2015 were more likely to stay in their neighborhood than low-income children in non-gentrifying areas. In both cases, poor children changed addresses a lot, but they were less likely to leave areas where property values and incomes were rising.City Planning buries the ledeThe Department of City Planning’s view is that if new housing is not built in gentrifying areas, newcomers will outbid locals for existing housing.As noted above, the agency’s own study debunked Churches United’s. But City Planning buried the key findings on page 24 of a 57-page, generically titled report and made little attempt to promote them. Another agency report, innocuously named “The Geography of Jobs,” tucked a key statistic about low housing growth hurting affordability into page 27. No rallies, no op-eds, no media blitz, no political campaigns. After all, it’s an agency of planners, not publicists.Mayor Bill de Blasio knew the facts and had a platform to amplify them, but instead focused his media appearances on more politically beneficial topics such as providing legal assistance to fight evictions. In that void, Churches United’s fiction has become fact in the minds of advocates and local elected officials.At a hearing last month, City Council members confidently cited the study to undermine the testimony of administration officials, who corrected the politicians timidly and politely — and were dismissed as naive wonks. It was a crucial lost opportunity.Churches United stands by its study and criticizes that of City Planning officials.“By not looking at earlier time frames, they ignore the speculative behavior that often occurs before rezonings and often drives low-income residents out before zoning changes are implemented,” said Maxwell Cabello, the group’s senior land use and policy analyst. “Our report was intentional about addressing these qualitative and well-known aspects of developer-driven rezonings while also working within the limitations of what data is publicly available.”But it’s impossible to know what, if any, “speculative behavior” was caused by a potential rezoning years in the future. The Bloomberg administration did not even exist until 2002. Countless other factors cause population changes. There was a recession in the early 2000s, for example, and the rent-stabilization law incentivized landlords to replace tenants; it no longer does.I think Churches United means well. While NIMBYists oppose development for selfish reasons, Churches United tries to help the disadvantaged. It just mistakenly blames upzoning for making the city more expensive, when in reality it does the opposite.Brooklyn boomIn New York City, gentrification typically means an area gets whiter. I saw it happening before it showed up in the Census data. Well into the 2000s, whenever Brooklyn-bound subways opened their doors at my stop, Grand Army Plaza in Park Slope, virtually every white rider would exit. A decade later, about half would stay aboard, bound for Prospect Heights and Crown Heights.Fort Greene gentrified too. For decades I have biked past its stately brownstones and sweeping shade trees to play tennis in Fort Greene Park. In the 1980s and 1990s, white folks were few and far between. Now they are everywhere. Many have British or French accents. They moved into Bedford-Stuyvesant too, a once unimaginable trend.There was no big upzoning, no building boom, in these historically Black neighborhoods. But critics of rezoning did not blame the lack of housing construction for the displacement of minorities. That would have contradicted their narrative.Similarly, little housing was added to white neighborhoods such as Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Park Slope, which — given the law of supply and demand — became increasingly unaffordable to young New Yorkers.One analysis found that from 2010 to 2018 the city added only 19 dwellings for every 100 new jobs. As employment boomed and housing didn’t, white people pushed out into minority neighborhoods, where rents were half as much and crime had fallen precipitously.The de Blasio administration is now making an overdue push to allow more housing in heavily white Soho and Gowanus. The City Council and advocates for the working class support these efforts because more low-income New Yorkers will be able to move into these so-called high-opportunity neighborhoods. The research — the honest research, that is — predicts the newcomers’ children will reap lifelong benefits.Calls are growing to upzone other wealthy areas. By law, that would require affordable housing in new developments. Local opposition motivated by NIMBYism, racism or plain old self-interest make these fights difficult, but they are worth pursuing.Proponents of adding housing in rich districts can cite data to show why. But they cannot turn around and tout pseudoscience when it suits their political agenda or preconceived notions. Not only does that undermine their credibility, it hurts their constituents.Think about it. As New York recovers, people will continue pushing out to where housing costs less. Absent new zoning and new development, they will bump others from existing homes. This has happened before. If we ignore that history, we will be condemned to repeat it.Contact Erik Engquist Message* Email Address* (iStock/Photo Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)Imagine you wanted to stop denser housing. What would be your strategy?You would spread word that new housing would be unaffordable to locals and cause their own rents to rise. You would demonstrate, demonize developers and run candidates on a Real Estate is Evil platform.And you would back up your argument with a study — manipulated if necessary.No anti-development playbook is complete without a study. Nothing turns anecdotes into facts, and predictions into certainties, quite like scientific-looking analysis does.What if the evidence contradicts your claims? Worry not. You can finesse data to say just about anything. The expression “lies, damn lies, and statistics” doesn’t come from nothing.ADVERTISEMENTAnti-development activists in New York City have played this game well. City planners, not so much.Case in point: the 2005 rezoning of Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Some of the apartment buildings it yielded had income-restricted units, but many did not, because the Bloomberg administration and City Council incentivized, rather than mandated, affordability.Read moreWhen NIMBYs attack: Why regional planning doesn’t flyWhere de Blasio went wrong on property tax reformWhy Ron Kim blames real estate for poverty Full Name*last_img read more

Unleashing the EU’s creativity to generate jobs

first_imgBut all this will be of no use if the pace of change remains leisurely and if the progress achieved on paper is not translated into real advances for Europe’s citizens on the ground.How to achieve this is quite another matter. But there is no alternative. We must increase our competitiveness and stimulate innovation in our companies and in society at large. The building of a short and strong link between innovation and job creation requires that we overcome a number of formidable barriers.There must be immediate action on six fronts, namely: changing attitudes; creating new businesses; research and development; knowledge and skills; finance and risk capital; and government and legislation.Attitudes must change in the labour market. Jobs associated with new technology do not follow the pattern of traditional jobs. It is important therefore to win public acceptance of the entrepreneurial model of employment: flexible, mobile, risk-taking and increasingly working at home for multiple employers.School-leavers must be ready for a working and living environment very different from that of their parents. Europe needs a highly knowledgeable workforce with a constantly evolving palette of skills and aptitudes. We need to train people to be able to adapt to future jobs in areas which have not been identified yet.Our European cultures favour achieving greater security, stability and equality over risk-taking, creativity and innovation. Our education system is more focused on avoiding failure than on taking risks. All too often, the education process is entrusted to people who appear to have no dialogue with, nor understanding of, industry and the path of progress. It does not have to be that way.We have the capability to create job opportunities for everyone if only we would unleash the creativity which lies dormant in all walks of life.For a generation, Europe has failed to match a substantial economic growth with job creation, despite its potentially formidable strengths: the largest single market in the world and a deep and wide knowledge base. It is now widely acknowledged that resistance to change, unwillingness to take risks, over-regulation, taxation and administrative disincentives, lack of entrepreneurship, and rigid labour market rules stand firm in the way of job creation.Other, lesser-known obstacles exist, such as unwieldy approval procedures for new products, slow and expensive patent systems, inefficient research funding and, of particular concern, an inability to move quickly from the research idea to market success.But there is light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. In countries where markets are freeing up, an increasing number of innovative companies are being founded, revealing a new economic vigour. There is an encouraging revival of venture capital and new stock markets are being created to target small companies.In other countries, regrettably, we are still visibly held back by barriers to entry and by limits placed on entrepreneurs and on established new businesses.It must be said that the EU and national governments are already addressing some of these issues. Implementation of the First Action Plan for Innovation in Europe has started, spearheaded by Commissioner Edith Cresson.Advances have been made in protecting intellectual property rights, financing innovation, administrative simplification, education and training, and gearing research to innovation. Far too many job opportunities in Europe’s network of businesses are lost because of obstacles set up by European traditions and over-prescriptive legislative systems.The key to unlocking the potential of all Europeans is innovation. Tomorrow’s jobs rely on our ability to build the right conditions for innovation today, whatever the strength or weakness of the current economic cycle. Only greater competitiveness and innovation can create sustainable new jobs.Innovation is not only about new technology, science and research; it is also about attitudes of mind which should permeate government, businesses, academia, indeed the whole of society. It is therefore neither useful nor helpful to address innovation as a strictly economic issue.Innovation is an antidote to inertia and complacency. By itself, it is not a panacea. It will not on its own provide a definitive solution to excessive unemployment.But innovation challenges stale and hidebound ways of thinking and acting. It invites us to look with fresh eyes, to think in different ways, to seek out new answers to old problems.More to the point, innovation leads to the creation of completely new markets, and there is no way to predict exactly what these will be, let alone how far they will transform our lives. It also enables us to organise our work and social structures in more efficient and thus more humane ways. It taps people’s creative energies. It makes the workplace more competitive and therefore more satisfying.That is why we have to establish a close connection in Europe between innovation, economic growth and job creation. While the task is huge, there is ground for optimism.Our single market of 350 million people will be significantly reinforced by economic and monetary union and the introduction of the single currency. This will quickly widen capital markets and provide greater venture opportunities.In addition, enlargement of the European Union in the not too distant future to new member states will add – in population terms – a new Germany in the first phase and a new France in the second.The new market conditions will inevitably transform our economies. This cannot but encourage companies of all sizes to be more mobile and forward-looking. The capital markets themselves will expand exponentially.The more money that is available, the greater the chances that entrepreneurs will benefit from this expansion. But before this happens, there are many obstacles which Europe must overcome. This goes some way to explaining the persistent mismatch between the skills required by employers and those offered by entrants in the labour market. We must improve Europe’s knowledge and skills by reigniting enthusiasm for innovation and entrepreneurship in the educational environment.The largest corporations already play an important part in generating new jobs by nurturing the creation and growth of small and medium enterprises which are in a better position to exploit new ideas. But this is not enough.Government must play a leading role in helping to change society by brokering the opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship to the public. They can themselves become more innovative and entrepreneurial, as the UK government has done. These cultural changes are as important as opening up markets and removing rules and regulations that visibly block progress.There is a great deal that governments in Europe can do to create an environment receptive to innovation.The more active European governments have started bench-marking their policies and services to ensure that quality keeps pace with new demands made by the public and imposed by new technologies. Others, however, declare their good intentions but with little real follow-up.It is essential to complete single market legislation and to enforce national implementation of EU laws. While there is broad agreement on the principle of liberalisation of markets for products, labour and capital, member states argue that this should be done in a way that does not undermine a European social model which aims to ensure job security.The irony of it all is that western Europe, despite its claim to job security for everyone, has long suffered the highest unemployment rate amongst industrial countries.It is obvious, therefore, that we need to act now. This is a critical time for Europe, with the single currency about to become reality and the enlargement of the European Union on the near horizon. Europe must create more jobs. We owe this to all our citizens.Baron Daniel Janssen is chairman of chemical giant Solvay and a member of the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) which has just published a report on ‘Job Creation and Competitiveness through Innovation’.last_img read more

Wagenborg Nedlift opens in Akersloot

first_imgThe Akersloot branch has already handled the transportation of onshore drilling rigs in the North Holland area and will also provide logistic services for the construction of a 12 km gas pipeline which is part of the Bergermeer Gas Storage (BGS) project.The new Wagenborg Nedlift office is located on the IOT Dosco site, De Boekel in Akersloot.IOT-Dosco is an internationally well-known rental and trading company operating in the oil, gas, salt water/geothermic and ‘HDD drilling’ sector with subsidiaries in The Netherlands, Romania, Azerbaijan and the United Arab Emirates.www.wagenborg.comlast_img

If You Want to Live Longer, Stop Jogging and Take Up Tennis

first_imgYou can stop pretending you never run because it’s boring and hurts your knees.  Now there’s a better excuse that’s backed up by science . . .A new study just came out about sports that increase life expectancy.  And jogging is NOT one of them.  If you want to live as long as possible, take up TENNIS instead.Researchers tracked over 80,000 people in the U.K. for 15 years.  And the ones who regularly played racket sports like tennis and squash were 47% less likely to die over the course of the study.Swimming was next at 28%, followed by aerobics at 27%, and cycling at 15%.  Runners were only 13% less likely to die.That might be a little misleading though.  The researchers think it’s because a lot of the people who claimed they were runners didn’t actually go jogging that often.  Or if they did, they only ran short distances.Plus most of the runners in the study were young people.  So the researchers had to account for that, which might have skewed the numbers a little bit.Overall, they found that ANY type of activity is still much better than nothing.  People who got at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate exercise a week were 27% less likely to die, regardless of what type of exercise it was.last_img read more

Disneyland Preview — Week of April 28

first_imgSatSunMonTuesWedThurFri Fantasmic!2200002 Pixar Fireworks1111111 California Adventure9-118-1110-910-910-910-98-9 As per usual, the parks will open one hour early for eligible guests at Disneyland Park Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and at Disney California Adventure Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Resort guests can take advantage of these hours every day of their stay for Extra Magic Hours, while guests eligible for Magic Mornings can use that benefit one day at Disneyland Park only. Full park hours can be found by clicking on each date in the Crowd Calendar.RefurbishmentsThe refurbishment list is thankfully pretty short right now. At Disneyland Park, Pirates of the Caribbean is closed to transition to the new auction scene, and Space Mountain will be offline very briefly on May 3 to transition to Hyperspace Mountain that evening. Over at California Adventure, the Boardwalk Games at Paradise Pier and Mickey’s Fun Wheel are closed during the area’s conversion to Pixar Pier, and World of Color is dark during Pixar Fest, but the remainder of the park is all up and running. Check out our refurbishments page for details on exactly what will be down and for how long.Looking ahead, Disney recently announced that “a bug’s land” would be closing to make way for more Marvel attractions at California Adventure. It will be going away for good towards the end of the summer, so make sure you plan ahead if you’d like to see it before it disappears.That should do it for this week’s preview. Check back next week and every week to find out what’s coming down the pike. Got questions? Aware of anything else that prospective guests should know about? Let us know in the comments. Paint The Night2211111 ShowSatSunMonTueWedThuFri Share This!This week, we see a Star Wars-themed Disneyland After Dark, and special festivities for Star Wars Day, a/k/a May the Fourth. Read on to find out about this and more in this week’s Disneyland preview.Special Events and Notes© DisneyWe still have a while before Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens, but there’s still loads of Star Wars fun to be had towards the end of this week! Thursday night is the latest installment of Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite, which will feature a meet and greet with Rey, the premiere of the March of the First Order, and the return of Hyperspace Mountain, the outstanding Star Wars overlay for Space Mountain, in addition to other Star Wars-themed merriment. You should be aware that tickets are already sold out, so if you don’t already have tickets, Disneyland Park will be closing at 9 pm on Thursday for you.The Star Wars fun continues on May the Fourth, and the good news is that many of those special events and opportunities will be available to the masses on Friday; if you’re not able to make it on Thursday, you’ll have a chance to see Rey, watch Captain Phasma, and pick up special Star Wars merchandise the following day. Hyperspace Mountain will also be available to everyone staring May 4.Friday is also Grad Nite at Disney’s California Adventure. That park will host a private party after regular park hours, but there will be more teenagers in the parks that day prior to the evening event as well.It’s also still Pixar Fest! During this festival, which runs through September 3, you’ll find Pixar-themed fireworks and the Pixar Play Parade at Disneyland Park, and the return of Paint the Night at Disney California Adventure, in addition to other Pixar-focused activities and opportunities. There will also be special dining opportunities available, as one would expect, and the Alien Pizza Planet will be launching at Disneyland Park for the occasion. Make sure you check out Rikki’s preview of the Festival!As if often the case for these events, there is a special area for Passholders. Stop by the AP Corner for Pixar decals (new ones rotating in every two weeks) and themed photo locations. The AP Corner can be found at Paradise Gardens at Disney California Adventure and runs through June 8.Finally, Cove Bar remains open through the end of May for its last hurrah, if you’d like to give it another go before it goes away for good!CrowdsThe weekend will see some pretty substantial crowds, clocking in at level 9 and 8, but the week should have average to slightly above average crowd levels.Full details, including park-by-park crowd levels, are available on our Crowd Calendar.WeatherShould be a very nice week at Disneyland! Highs mostly in the 70s, lows in the mid- to upper 50s, and only a scant chance of rain in the middle of the week.As always, it’s wise to double check the weather as the day of your visit approaches. Check out the most up-to-date forecast here.ShowsDisneyland has a special slate of shows running for a bit for Pixar Fest, with the evening fireworks at Disneyland Park being replaced by Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular (featuring a flying Buzz Lightyear!) and World of Color being replaced by the Paint the Night parade at DCA. Also, the Pixar Play Parade joins the daytime schedule at Disneyland Park. Fantasmic! will continue to run, but only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Detailed show schedules, including smaller diversions like Jambalaya Jazz, can be found here. Disneyland9-128-129-109-109-109-98-12 Pixar Play Parade2211112 Admission and HoursBlockouts are really only an issue on the weekends this time of year. Southern California Select Passholders are blocked out Saturday and Sunday, whereas Deluxe and Southern California Passholders are only blocked out Saturday. All other passes are honored every day this week. For those of you buying tickets as day guests, single-day tickets are at Regular Price ($117/$110) Saturday, Sunday, and Friday, and Value Price ($97/$91) the remainder of the week.Regular park hours (excluding Extra Magic Hours/Magic Mornings) are as follows this week:last_img read more

Video: Beauty and the Beast

first_imgBroadway smash-hit musical Beauty and the Beast, boasting an all-South African cast in a lavish, large-scale prodution, has had its run at Cape Town’s Artscape Opera House extended to 22 March. Take a look at what you’re missing – if you haven’t seen it already! Click arrow to play video.last_img

Sponsor Opportunities

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Admin#web richard macmanus A quick note that we have a couple of sponsor slots available for October. Read/WriteWeb is currently the 24th ranked blog in the world according to Technorati and is one of the leading web 2.0 blogs. We’re also among the 25 Largest Tech Business Websites, according to eBizMBA. Read/WriteWeb is read by early adopters, analysts, CIO‚Äôs, VC‚Äôs, developers, designers, leading thinkers. Sponsoring us helps you reach the hubs of influence – and you’ll also be supporting a quality tech news source that is growing every month.To enquire, please email the editor Richard MacManus.center_img Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

How the smart stadium will transform the smart city

first_imgFor Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… Martin Otterson Related Posts Tags:#Internet of Things#IoT#OSISoft#Qualcomm#San Diego Padres#Smart Cities#Taylor Swift center_img How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … What’s the difference between a monster truck rally and a Taylor Swift concert?Water. You can’t hold a monster truck rally without thousands of cubic meters of mud, which in turn can mean tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of gallons of water. By the same token, Taylor Swift’s ornate lighting and staging could can cause power consumption to zoom up the charts and unnaturally force a venue into the red zone for peak power charges. (The prevalence of tattoos, however, at both events is probably about even.)The ability to charge accurate “bill backs” to promoters rather than just somewhat arbitrary flat fee are one of the many drivers of the smart stadium, i.e. venues wired with predictive analytics and sensors to fine-tune costs, consumption and even the fan experience. See also: 5 key technologies of a smart cityStadiums can be extremely difficult facilities to manage. Occupancy can zoom from a handful of people to more than 100,000 and back to empty in a few hours. They can snarl traffic, create havoc between regular residents and visitors and consume more power and/or natural gas than any building in the region. No one wants a repeat of the Super Bowl blackout. At the same time they are also monuments to civic pride. IoT can help smooth out those differences and make everyone good neighbors.The Seattle Mariners, for instance, managed to cut water consumption by 10%, or 2 million gallons, over a three year period in part through IoT technology. IoT help the team pinpoint leaks in pipes. (The team also discovered it only costs around $5 in power to open and close its retractable roof.)The San Diego Padres, meanwhile, have installed LED lights, smart sensors and data management systems to better control water and power. A typical game can require 70 megawatt hours of power, 740 therms of natural gas and over 72,000 gallons of water, or about 48 hot tubs. Through IoT, the team expects to cut resources by more than 25% over the next five years. The stadium is a key “citizen” of tomorrow’s citiesBut the benefits go far beyond power. Sound abatement is increasingly one of the biggest problems for venues as stadiums and urbanites continue to flock to the heart of town. IoT gives people an objective way to monitor and better control sound. Better security and safety? IoT in one venue alerted the staff to a small fire caused by a hot dog roller that was accidentally left on after a game. Smart cameras for parking lots and surrounding streets will likely become standard to reduce the crime and vandalism that can sometimes mar public events.Want to find shorter beer lines? Avoid the bathroom with a major flood? Or figure out the best way to get home or to the airport based on anticipated traffic and public transportation options? There will be an app for that. And this is just the beginning. There are an estimated 12,216 stadiums worldwide, according to World Stadiums, and a growing number are located in megacities and emerging markets where water is scarce, power is fragile, and traffic is horrendous. Some stadiums are sparkling new, while others, date back to the 1920s. These venues can become open showcases for what’s possible. Let the games begin. The author is Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Partners at OSIsoft. Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Citieslast_img read more