Chicago Number 6 In The World

Chicago gains in global cities ranking

Chicago is the 6th most influential city in the world according to a recent study. As a Chicagoan we were the 2nd city in the United States in population behind New York. Los Angeles replaced us as number 2 in population. But it is better to be number 6 in the world then second or third in the United States. We followed New York, London, Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong. The ranking shows the influence a city has beyond its own borders.

As a Chicagoan I am proud that we are so influential. But I also note that the Chicago Council on Global Affairs was one of the three authors of the study. So there may be a slight bias here. But part of our heritage is to vote early and often, and we accept and ballyhoo the findings. 


Metro Competition

Megapolitan areas compete globally

American Planning Association

Source: USA TODAY 

Publication date: 2011-11-29 

Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University outside of Phoenix, last month ventured into potentially hostile territory 120 miles south in Tucson, home of the University of Arizona, to address 600 civic and business leaders. 

His message was jaw-dropping: Put aside the rivalry between the universities and the metropolitan areas and join forces to form one giant urban powerhouse to compete globally with an economy larger than that of the United Arab Emirates. 

"Competitiveness between two communities gets us nowhere," Crow says. "We've been asleep at the switch too long." 

Click to read the story


Genealogy Tourism

Genealogy Tourism

European cities and regions could boost tourism by building on the enthusiasm people have for their genealogy and family heritage. A European city or region could determine the names that originated in their area.  The city or region would then contact people with those names in America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and invite them back for a tour of their ancestral home. 

Some people know the origins of their family very well, but this is the exception rather than the rule. Most people would be startled by an email invitation to come back to the "old country".

An example is shown below. The family name Moffat originated in Moffat, Dumfryshire, in the northwest part of England. There are over 17,000 descendants with variations of that name in the United States, and many more in laws and persons with a relationship to that name in the US and in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

The internet makes it much more affordable to find these descendants, and invite them to return to their ancestral region of origin.

Using this formula, the tourism agencies marketing northwest England would develop the web page and email marketing program to invite Moffats to return for the first ever gathering of the extended family.


IN 1881 

Locations of Persons Named Moffat in the US

Persons name Moffat in the United States

Moffat   2,774

Moffatt  4,034

Moffet      853

Moffett  9,850

Total   17,511

Plus additional persons from Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the UK, and others who are related to Moffat.

Local government could lead an effort to promote international family reunions in the location of the family origin - in this case the Town or County where the of Moffat's originated.

The development of email and social networking makes it feasible to market a family origin tour at relatively low cost.  The Town would work with hotels, tourism agencies, and touring companies to set up a tour based in Moffat. The touring company would pick up the tour at the Manchester Airport and bring them back to Moffat. One day tours around the area would be conducted. Some meetings with local persons named Moffat would add interest.

A possible market penetration of from .5 to 1% of the total market might be possible. 

0.5% of 20,000 people = 100 people 

* 7 days *  £ 100 per day =  £ 70,000 into the local economy.

An additional optional week to ten day tour should also be offered for those who want to see more of the UK.

If this effort worked for the name Moffat it could also be employed with other names based in the region that have a large number of people of that name in the US.


The spellings recognized by the Chief of the Clan are:
Maffat      Maffatt     Maffet Maffett     Maffit      Maffitt
Moffat Moffatt Moffet Moffett Moffit Moffitt
Morfit Morfitt MorphatMorphatt Morphet Morphet
Morphit Morphitt Muffat Muffatt Muffet Muffett
Muffit Muffit
You can see where your family name is most common. Insert your name where Barrow is below to see their locations.

Distribution of Barrows in the United Kingdom in 1881


Make No Little Plans

Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City premiered September 2010.
Check Local Listings to see when it is airing on your local PBS station.

"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work."
— Daniel Hudson Burnham (1846-1912)
"Few individuals have had more impact on the American city than architect and planner Daniel Hudson Burnham. In the midst of late 19th century urban disorder, Burnham offered a powerful vision of what a civilized American city could look like. He built some of the first skyscrapers in the world; directed construction of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition that inspired the City Beautiful Movement; and created urban plans for Washington DC, Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco and Manila.."

As a City Planner who grew up in Chicago, I admire his creativity and success in leading the planning and development of cities and major improvements. He made a few mistakes along the way but we enjoy the legacy of his leadership and vision.

Million Monkey Method

"The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare."


I use the million monkey method to learn a new technology or set up a new gizmo.. I keep trying over and over again till I finally succeed, or destroy the gizmo in a fit of rage. Reading the instructions is cheating.

This technique can be effective in learning a new technology, but it works poorly in City Planning and development. We strive to get it right the first time, or at least with as few iterations as possible. That is the rationale for a formal planning process where a variety of experts are consulted and the public informed and consulted about the proposal. 

It is much difficult to build consensus among people for a given proposed improvement. It requires substantial consideration and public review before a decision is reached to build a new major public work.


Crime Rates

"For years, experts have maintained that crime rates increase with rising unemployment and poverty rates. Yet data released earlier this year from the FBI show a marked decrease in the national violent crime rate between 2005 and 2010 even as unemployment and poverty have continued to skyrocket. Experts are stumped. Using the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports database, 24/7 Wall St. has identified the 10 metropolitan areas where violent crime rates decreased the most."

Read: Cities Where Violent Crime is Soaring

Read: Cities Where Violent Crime is Plummeting

Happy Thanksgiving


Video: ULI Building Cities

"America’s central cities are using land use planning and economic development initiatives to improve the quality of life that cities can offer residents and businesses and to be more competitive in the 21st Century,"

Click to go to the Urban Land Institute Web Site


Columbia, Illinois Social Marketing

The City of Columbia, Illinois does a fine job marketing their community on the Web through social marketing. Congratulations to Community Development Director Paul Ellis and the rest of the City staff for their efforts.


Click to Read Their Magazine

Chicago - A Great City


Iowa’s New Economic Development Entity

The newly formed Iowa Economic Development Authority (formerly IDED) will use the best aspects of the public and private sectors to create a dynamic, results-driven partnership with programs and incentives that will meet the needs for business growth. 

This model marks a new direction in economic development for the state and consists of two arms – the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Iowa Innovation Corporation.

The authority is a quasi-government agency that replaces the existing Iowa Department of Economic Development and will perform its current duties. The authority will have a more focused set of incentives, providing maximum flexibility to meet the needs of potential employers.

The second entity, the Iowa Innovation Corporation, will serve as the private sector side of the economic development equation and will work to attract investors and investment capital. A non-profit, the IIC will solicit funds for various sources in the private sector to be used for its job creation efforts.

Iowa has set bold economic development goals for the coming years: Create 200,000 private-sector jobs and raise family incomes by 25 percent. This new approach to economic development will focus on innovation and growing high-paying jobs that will support Iowa’s future.

Advanced Manufacturing On The Rise

One key economic cluster that will help the state reach these goals is the advanced manufacturing industry.  Newly released numbers by the Battelle Memorial Institute, reveal that advanced manufacturing employs 13 percent of all Iowa private-sector jobs. It also accounts for 33 percent of Iowa’s private-sector economic output and generates 78 percent of its patents. During 2009, advanced manufacturing employed around 156,000 people.

The report also identified biosciences and information technology as key areas for the state.  

Included below are some additional data points from the report:

  • Iowa's advanced manufacturing sector remains diverse, and not overly dependent on any one sector for its economic fortunes. Containing 18 subsectors, the advanced manufacturing sector in Iowa demonstrates regional specialization in fully 14 of these.

  • During the recession, Iowa's advanced manufacturing sector shed 11% of its jobs; somewhat less than the national sector which dropped by nearly 12%.

  • Average wages for the state's advanced manufacturing sector and all of its major subsectors are greater than those for the average private sector worker. The average wage is $50,669 which is 40% higher or more than $14,000 greater per year.  Among the major subsectors, aerospace has the highest average wages at $71,313 per year.

  • The expanding biobased products sector and the need to find biobased alternatives to foreign energy imports is a good subsector in which to leverage strengths and holds promise for future employment growth.

  • The "emerging potential" subclusters, that are gaining employment but have not yet reached regionally-specialized levels include "research, engineering and industrial design services" and "human biosciences"—areas that are actually supported by the other Iowa clusters of IT and bioscience.

Thanks and best,

Juan NiƱo
Burson – Marsteller


Wind Turbines as Art

Wind Turbines are being installed all over the world. The German artist Horst Glasker is painting the ho-hum white turbines fantastical colors and patterns that are impossible to ignore, turning the green energy system into public art. Very interesting.

Read more: Horst Glasker Transforms Drab Wind Turbines Into Inspiring Works of Art | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World 

How Green is Your Community?


Main Street Face-Lift ICMA

Main Street Face-Lift

As downtown areas strive to engage in renovation, local governments have stepped in to make large improvements with huge results.

Click to Read the ICMA Article


Retail in a High Tech Incubator

A coffee shop. A dry cleaner. A hair salon.

Not the types of businesses normally associated with a high-tech business incubator. But to Wayne State University's TechTown, these low-tech companies are considered a vital part of the mission.

"It's a chicken or the egg thing," said Leslie Smith, TechTown's president and CEO. "In order for people to live in a place, they have to have access to the services they need -- a place to get a cup of coffee, a dry cleaner, a place to get their hair cut."


Good News For America

The article on the link below indicates great economic news for America. Nice to see some positive scoop when we have had so much negative news over the past few years.

"World power swings back to America

The American phoenix is slowly rising again. Within five years or so, the US will be well on its way to self-sufficiency in fuel and energy. Manufacturing will have closed the labour gap with China in a clutch of key industries. The current account might even be in surplus."

Click to Read.

Amazing Acrobatic Bike Ride in Scotland

Click to See the Video


The Best Cities to Live in Car Free

We recently traveled to Europe. They rely on bikes and transit much more then we do in America. And it shows - the average European appears to be in much better shape then Americans.

Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal.

"Several factors make a city easy to live in without a car. The most important one is a widely available and efficient public transportation system. Another is having daily amenities, such as groceries, shopping, schools and entertainment, nearby and within easy reach on foot or by bicycling. The best cities have both features and 24/7 Wall St. has identified the ten best ones to live without a car."

Read more:

 The Best Cities to Live in Car Free - 24/7 Wall St. http://247wallst.com/2011/11/01/the-best-cities-to-live-in-car-free/#ixzz1cexgo7s6