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Cashing in on So Cal Culture

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

Southern California has always been an invented place. Without a major river, a natural port or even remotely adequate water, the region has always thrived on reinventing itself – from cow town to agricultural hub to oil city, Tinsel Town and the “Arsenal of Democracy.” Today, the need for the region to reinvent itself yet […]

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California’s New Feudalism Benefits a Few at the Expense of the Multitude

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

California has been the source of much innovation, from agribusiness and oil to fashion and the digital world. Historically much richer than the rest of the country, it was also the birthplace, along with Levittown, of the mass-produced suburb, freeways, much of our modern entrepreneurial culture, and of course mass entertainment. For most of a […]

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Thinking Outside the Rails on Transit

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

To many in the transit business – that is, people who seek to profit from the development and growth of buses, trains and streetcars – Southern California is often seen as a paradise lost, a former bastion of streetcar lines that crossed the region and sparked much of its early development. Today, billions are being […]

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City Leaders Are in Love With Density but Most City Dwellers Disagree

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

People care deeply about where they live. If you ever doubt that, remember this: they staged massive protests over a park in Istanbul. Gezi Park near Taksim Square is one of that ancient city’s most beloved spots. So in June, when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to demolish the park to make room for his grandiose […]

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Americans’ Family Feud

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

In this bizarrely politicized environment, even the preservation of the most basic institution of society – the family – is morphing into a divisive partisan issue. Increasingly, the two parties are divided not only along lines of economic and social philosophy, but over the primacy of traditional familialism. Increasingly, large portions of the progressive community […]

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Southern California’s Road Back

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

If the prospects for the United States remain relatively bright – despite two failed administrations – how about Southern California? Once a region that epitomized our country’s promise, the area still maintains enormous competitive advantages, if it ever gathers the wits to take advantage of them. We are going to have to play catch-up. I […]

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California Homes Require Real Reach

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

In the 1950s and 1960s, Southern California was ground zero for the “American Dream” of owning a house. From tony Newport Beach and Bel-Air to the more middle-class suburbs of the San Fernando Valley and Garden Grove to working-class Lakewood, our region created a vast geography of opportunity for prospective homeowners. Today, with house prices […]

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Young Tech Tycoons Pushing Left Coast Ahead Of East In Democratic Power Structure

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

There are two deep-blue regions that are critical to the Obama administration: the Northeast and the coastal region between San Jose and Seattle that truly deserves the moniker of the Left Coast. They dominate the Democratic donor list, and provide the administration with most of its appointees and much of its ideological moorings. Yet this […]

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California’s Blue-on-blue Battle

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

Perhaps nothing more illustrates the evolving inner class conflict within the progressive political movement than the recent embrace of California as a role model for the rest of the country. The Golden State, maintains John Judis of the New Republic, should provide the game plan for the Obama administration as it seeks a path back […]

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America’s Engineering Hubs: The Cities With The Greatest Capacity For Innovation

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

America has always been a nation of tinkerers. Our Founding Fathers, notes author Alec Foege, were innovators in areas ranging from agriculture (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson) and electricity (Benjamin Franklin) to the swivel chair (Jefferson). Engineering advances drove America’s quest for industrial supremacy in the 19th century, many of them borrowed (sometimes illegally) from the […]

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