Episode Summary

  1. Consider how transportation strategy fits into your economic development tool kit.
  2. Tunnels might be coming to Florida in an attempt to relieve traffic congestion.
  3. Housing is prices boomed in Mountain West.
  4. Pittsburg has started to go vertical by combing rental of electric bikes, mopeds, scooters; carpooling and, the ability to rent an automobile for a few hours — all in one app.

Stronger cities have shorter commutes? (3 min read)

Economic development should be focused on transportation? (7 min read)

Florida's boring? (2 min read)

Property price growth in the US (2 min read)

Mobility as a service (3 min read)


Hey everybody it's Kyle. Where, on this podcast, I share, discuss, ponder, and try to connect some dots through the best content I've discovered each week related to urban planning, architecture, and cities.

I want to build with you case studies, discover examples, refine ideas, that hopefully inspire you as you go along your journey. If you don't have time to read, I'm trying to break down the patterns here and help you stay ahead of the curve.

Ultimately, trying to learn, what are the patterns of development?

5-6 things this week. Still testing out this new format...going for the listicle vibe. Not sure if it makes for better listening, you let me know.

  1. Focus economic development on transportation

Great essay here from David Zipper. David was interviewing a corporate relocation specialist. Here's what he said

“David, did you know there is a 100-page book about how to recruit a company?” I did not, so he continued. “The first 99 pages are blank, and the last page reads: ‘Where does the CEO want to live?’”

A little off point but apparently the CEO's going to go where they want to live.

My favorite part of the article and a call to action for economic development offices to consider adding transportation to their list of considerations.

I'm quoting David here,

"Now is an ideal time to shake things up. The pandemic-triggered rise of teleworking is making companies reassess location decisions, which will force economic developers to update their toolkits. That creates a golden opportunity to modernize their field by finally embracing the crucial role that transportation plays in fostering economic growth.

For years, leading academics have argued that any employer, big or small, stands to benefit from an improved transportation network that shortens commutes. After all, a CEO may situate her headquarters in a location convenient to her home, but her company’s productivity — and its competitiveness — is largely determined by the quality of its workforce. And that workforce will be of a lower quality if arduous commutes deter a chunk of the local labor market from even considering jobs in a given location."

Ok yes. Everyone wants shorter commutes. Transportation strategy should be in an economic developers tool kit.

Let's get back to Amazon for a second. You know what they do really well? You know why they have created trillions of dollars of share holder value? It's because they chose to focus on last mile infrastructure.

How do we get Rebekah or Rogers stuff to them in  two days or less? We can't rely on UPS, FEDEX, and USPS. We're going to do it ourselves. We're going to hire logistics experts from the US military and we're going to make supply chain our key differentiator. You can't make supply chain without ships, planes, and automobiles. And you can't do that with out ports, and highways. If we didn't have roads, believe me, amazon would pay for them.

More of that on a different show. \

  1. Florida's Boring?

Elon Musk's Boring company (literally boring...like tunnels) has had their proposal accepted by the city commission in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. The proposal to build a tunnel system is an effort to reduce congestion and support growing transit needs in the city.

The Las Olas Loop would act like a subway system, shuttling people back and forth from the beach and downtown. City officials previously said that a ride in one of the Teslas would cost $5 to $8.

The Boring Co. recently opened the country's first Telsa loop system in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) Loop was built in a year and is comprised of 1.7 miles of tunnels under the convention center. The LVCC Loop cuts down the 45-minute walk across the center's campus to just two minutes, according to The Boring Co.'s website.

It's a Tesla, on-demand subway. We'll have to keep an eye on this.

  1. Property price growth in United States
    No surprise with that headline. I think the question is where is it happening?

Data from Zillow shows that, in 2020, US prime property prices – defined as the top 5% of sales prices in a given region – ranged between growth of 10% to losses of 3%.

‘Mountain west’ and small rural cities were among the best performers, with Boise City, Idaho – where prices grew by 10% – being a standout example. Spokane, Washington saw prices increase by 7.4% over the same period.

  1. Mobility as service

Quoting the article by Kea Wilson

"July 9th the Steel City will launch its long-awaited Move PGH pilot, which is being touted as the first comprehensive “mobility as a service” (MaaS) app in United States history. Under the program, residents will be able to pay their bus fares; rent micromobility vehicles such as electric bikes, mopeds, and scooters; find someone to carpool with; and, when absolutely necessary, rent an automobile for a few hours — all under the umbrella of the Transit app, which is  already used by 40,000 residents of the city, 79 percent of whom do not have access to a private vehicle. And if they want to take multiple modes in a single trip, they’ll be able do it all without leaving the app, or re-entering their credit card information over and over — at least when all the kinks are worked out."

I'm on a business kick today, let's keep going. We talked about supply chain being a key factor to Amazon's strategy. Why is it so interesting? Because Amazon is vertically integrating (like Carnegie and Rockefeller before Bezos) amazon wants to do everything on the value chain.

Same idea with what Pittsburg is doing. Vertically integrate by taking ownership of the transportation strategy in their town. Also sounds very familiar to what David Zipper was talking about in his article, right?

More importantly? Pittsburg will now have access to all the data and transportation habits of the people using the app. Where did people use bikes? Where did people use the scooters? Do we have the right infrastructure there to support that activity? Where do we target our investment?

This doesn't need to be big brother watching, this can be done in a safe and anonymous way. I hope..hope...hope...that Pittsburg didn't miss out not this opportunity to learn more about their city.

4 key take aways in the patterns of development:

  • Consider how transportation strategy fits into your economic development tool kit
  • Tunnels might be coming to Florida in an attempt to relieve traffic congestion
  • Housing is prices boomed in Mountain West
  • Pittsburg has started to go vertical by combing rental of electric bikes, mopeds, scooters; carpooling and, the ability to rent an automobile for a few hours — all in one app.

I'll talk to y'all soon