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Metropolis

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Metropolis

Creating a city for 5 million people isn’t utopian, but building it in the desert might be

Street in Telosa replete with flying cars, delivery robots and cactuses. Source: BIG

Utopias are easily dismissed. Part of this is in the name. Definitionally, utopia means “no place.” Coined by Thomas More in his 1516 classic, utopias aren’t meant to exist in the real world. They are the (sometimes) well-intentioned dreams of fallible people trying to create infallible places, wholly encompassing the interpersonal relationships, politics, economy, and day-to-day life of the imagined residents.

Biases and personal experience make it such that what may be utopian for the visionary may not be for others. Perhaps such a vision could even be dystopian. More’s imagined Utopia, after all, was a strictly regimented society that…


Metropolis

The death of central business districts is here, and with it comes an opportunity to reshape our cities

Picture a typical downtown in your mind. What do you see? Historically, it may have been soaring peaks of commercial skyscrapers, the bustle of commuters running to and from the office, and perhaps a local institution like a famed restaurant, theatre, or place of cultural significance. Most, however, wouldn’t immediately think of the people and the streets that form the foundations of a community. But that’s beginning to change.

Over the last century, cities have evolved from centers of industrial production reliant on heavy manufacturing and trade, to re-orienting themselves into centralized hubs focused on attracting corporate commuters who occupy…


Metropolis

Why EV’s are false prophets in the fight for a better world

A Tesla driving in freeway traffic
Source: Motortrend

Few narratives in the last decade have generated as much momentum as that of electric vehicles. They’ve been heralded as a revolution. Saviors to our gasoline addiction and warriors in the fight for a more sustainable world. Federal departments have noted they have the potential to dramatically improve public health and reduce ecological damage. Financial observers have christened EVs as the next frontier for outsized opportunity and returns. To be seen in one is the ultimate status symbol, signifying that you’re not only someone, but someone who cares about the world, and how the world thinks of you. …


Metropolis

Making sense of what’s going on in the red-hot housing market

Photo: Bob Sacha / Getty Images

Real estate. It’s on everyone’s minds. At least it certainly feels that way. Everywhere you turn, there’s an article about home prices soaring to record highs, a tweet about someone getting outbid on a home they offered 10% above ask, or a video trying to make sense of the market right now and if one should get involved. Anecdotes have prevailed in these uncertain times. It’s a bubble! Home prices have increased 25% in our market, and it’s going to pop like 2008. We’ve all heard or uttered these words in the past several months.

There’s talk of bubbles and…


Metropolis

How to solve America’s homelessness crisis

San Francisco city-sanctioned homeless encampment with social distancing squares across from city hall. Source: KTLA/Josh Edelson/AFP.

Homelessness is an artificially created problem. Though it’s a dire reality faced by hundreds of thousands of people daily, it’s a reality that need not exist. This isn’t just idealistic posturing.

The primary challenge faced by any homeless person, definitionally, is that they do not have a permanent home to live in. If a homeless person is provided permanent housing, definitionally, they are no longer homeless. This is good news for any one concerned with the crisis that’s been plaguing cities and people around the country. There is a simple solution that can theoretically universally be implemented in relatively short…


Metropolis

The institutionalization of real estate and the rise of ‘placeless’ places

Fenwick, a 310 unit apartment building in Silver Spring, Maryland. Source: SK + I

Many of America’s towns and cities could charitably be described as boring. New development, that is. America is home to an incredible diversity of regional architectural and planning styles. We cherish what makes each of these places special, traveling far and wide to take in their idiosyncrasies and beauty. But somewhere along the way, we stopped building according to local traditions. Over the last 70 years, America hasn’t put its best design foot forward.

It would be disappointing enough to fail in gracing a land as physically beautiful as the US with the built companions it deserves. But it’s downright…


Metropolis

With the rise of remote work, cities like Tulsa and Tucson are offering big bucks to lure talent untethered by an office

Photo illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Getty Images

Metropolis is a column about the intersection of technology, business, and cities.

It’s not Instagram, but it may as well be. Tucson, Arizona, flaunts its star-filled desert sunset landscapes, taunting you with the thought that this could be your backyard view. Northwest Arkansas sells itself with a thrilling picture of a mountain biker navigating an elevated trail: sparkling water on one side, lush forests on the other, and, one assumes, a bright, adventurous future ahead. Vermont’s photos — small towns, steeples, and all, framed by rolling green mountains — tug at one’s sense of nostalgia. These aren’t ads targeted at…

Marker

Pop business for the intelligent reader. A publication from Medium.

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