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Placebook: A Sense of Motion and Mobility

The Snowy Owl in DC. An expert on stealth motion and mobility. Photo Credit: Brandon Funkhouser.

First and foremost, congrats to Duncan Crary, for this write-up in the Albany Business Review, that area’s local business journal. He’s another young guy, in a smaller city, who’s managed to craft his own small, but fairly prosperous, living, by staging unique events and having a leg in hard labor. Hold your thoughts on him, as I want to address this notion of upward mobility in a bit more detail before the rest of the links.

I also want to put out a welcome to the place analysis blogosphere to Granola Shotgun. According to the about page, the name is supposed to reflect stereotypes of the average adherent of a liberal(granola) or conservative (shotgun) person and how the two will come together in this analysis. Will be interesting to see what he has to say and how he manages to balance both sets of views.

Now I want to get back to the notion of mobility and migration. The Census has now officially released numbers that support the moving company survey I posted a couple of weeks ago that states North Carolina as having the largest number of migrants since the last census. To piggyback on that, James Fallows, who has written a number of policy books and for the The Atlantic for many years, has been traveling the country studying the future of America. His latest report is from Greenville,SC, an area that leaders here in Greensboro have chosen to idolize and do as much as possible to recreate. What I love about Fallows latest article, is that he addresses two issues that I have with this need to copy Greenville. Are they diverse and are they open to the start-up technology/small maker culture in the same way that RTP is?  While there is a promise to deal with diversity later in the series, I am pleased with what I saw about technology in the article.

Meanwhile, Fallows colleague at The Atlantic, Michael O’Brien dares to ask the question, “Why is the American Dream Dead in the South?,” which piggybacks off of this article highlighting the geography of the American Dream . I want to directly quote one of O’Brien’s main reasonings from the research he bases his analysis on:

So it should be no surprise that the researchers found that racial segregation, income segregation, and sprawl are all strongly negatively correlated with upward mobility. But what might surprise is that it doesn’t matter whether the rich cut themselves off from everybody else. What matters is whether the middle class cut themselves off from the poor.

Moving onward to Greensboro, The Triad Business Journal published two articles along with a chart, on comments made by several leaders in the past few days on the state of economic development in Greensboro. Some new information and leads may come out of work session being held today between City Council and economic development leaders. Also, the Business Journal highlights a major, and ongoing change of the guard of leadership in Greensboro. A Facebook post also has some interesting comments.

I’d go into more of this, but that’s a post for another day. Let’s get on to the rest of the state, country and world.

North Carolina News Roundup

I want to commend the work that leaders in Winston-Salem and Greensboro have done to keep people from freezing on the streets during these cold snaps of weather.

More on Charlotte’s issues with upward mobility.

These are the busiest intersections in the Triad.

Scenes from Eastern North Carolina in the eyes of a former Raleigh city planner.

National and World Roundup

The top 21 Waffle Houses in the country, which is missing several notable North Carolina locations ;).

What every state’s signature drink cocktail is.

Why rail vs. pipeline is the wrong question and why trains are the most glorious way to travel.

How to conquer the supermarket.

A cute list of why Iowa rules.

A new association of railroad passengers has formed in Missouri and Illinois.

Finally, a snapshot of what an average home looked like in 1976 (according to Good Housekeeping).

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