5 Cool American cities to live in.

  1. Miami, Florida  430,000   5,564,000

 

Nice urban districts – Wynwood, Allapatah

The median home value in Miami is $290,800. Miami home values have gone up 5.9% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will fall -1.4% within the next year.

Nice suburbs -Miami Beach, Miramar, North Miami Gardens,  North Miami Beach,Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, Lauderhill, Weston (Broward County is fastest growing county for Blacks)Kendall

Upper Class Places – Miami Beach $416,000, Palm Beach,

Ghettos – Overtown, Liberty City

Interesting facts – 1. Second most visited international city. 2. Home to more international companies than any other city in America. 3. Biggest cruise port. 4. Miami Beach is second most densely populated area in America after Manhattan. 5. More Black people are moving to Broward County than any other county. 6. Florida has second highest amount of Black owned Businesses and the highest earnings out of all States.251,216

Negative things about Miami – 1. Highest unemployment rate, 2. Worst drivers in America 3. Highest insurance rates.4. Highest AIDS rate 5. Low salary 6. Highest percentage of people renting

Universities in Miami- University of Florida Miami  $44,000, Florida International University   6,700 In state out of state 18,000

How much money you need to live here -Income needed: $77,057

  • 50 percent for necessities: $38,529
  • 30 percent for discretionary spending: $23,117
  • 20 percent for savings: $15,411

2.. New York, New York   8.6 million metro 24 million

Nice urban districts – Cambria Heights, Queens; Sugar Hill, Harlem; Western Nassau County

The median home value in New York is $614,500. New York home values have gone up 8.6% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 3.2% within the next year.

Wealthiest-Westchester County-Scarsdale,The Hamptons,Fairfield County

Nice areas and suburbs –  Hempstead, Uniondale, Valley Stream, Southeast Queens

Ghettos – Brownsville, East New York, Bronx, Parts of Harlem,

Universities in New York City- Columbia University, Fordham University, New York University

How much money you need to live here – $87,446

  • 50 percent for necessities: $43,723
  • 30 percent for discretionary spending: $26,234
  • 20 percent for savings: $17,489

3. Washington, D.C  660,000   6,000,000

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Nice urban districts – Shaw, Columbia Heights

The median home value in Washington is $500,200. Washington home values have gone up 5.2% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 2.6% within the next year

Wealthiest suburbs-Loudon County,Tavilah,Potomac,Bethesda

Nice suburbs – Prince George County, Silver Springs, Maryland, Arlington, Virginia, Alexandria, Woodbridge, Dale City, Fairfax County,

Ghettos – Anacostia (Southeast D.C)

Universities- Georgetown University, Howard University, American University,

How much money you need to live here -$83,104

  • 50 percent for necessities: $41,552
  • 30 percent for discretionary spending: $24,931
  • 20 percent for savings: $16,621

 

4.  Houston  2.1 million  Metro 6,977,000

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Nice urban districts – Riverside

The median home value in Houston is $144,900. Houston home values have gone up 6.8% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 3.1% within the next year.

Nice suburbs – Missouri City, The Woodlands

Ghettos – 3rd Ward

 

Universities in Houston – Rice University   , University of Houston

How much money you need to live here – $60,795

  • 50 percent for necessities: $30,397
  • 30 percent for discretionary spending: $18,238
  • 20 percent for savings: $12,159

5. Atlanta, Georgia  447,000 metro 5,522,000

Nice urban districts – Buckhead,

The median home value in Atlanta is $182,700. Atlanta home values have gone up 9.1% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 5.9% within the next year.

Nice suburbs – Vinings, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody,Stockbridge, Marietta,

Ghettos – SWAT, Decatur, College Park

Universities in Atlanta – Emory University, Georgia Tech University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Georgia State University, Clark Atlanta University

Interesting facts -1. State with with the highest number and Percentage Black owned Businesses. 256,848

Negative things -Longest average commute.

Income needed: $60,285

  • 50 percent for necessities: $30,143
  • 30 percent for discretionary spending: $18,086
  • 20 percent for savings: $12,057

The Fastest gentrifying cities in America

The Land that Black people in America is generally the cheapest

 

 

1. Portland, Ore. (53.1 percent of eligible neighborhoods gentrified)

 

2. Washington, D.C. (51.9 percent)

Recent conversations around gentrification in D.C. have taken a familiar turn, with some arguing that it has, in fact, been a good thing for the region’s original residents. NPR claims that gentrification not only doesn’t increase the likelihood that lower-income occupants will move out of a neighborhood, but that those who do stay reap benefits, ranging from “new parks” and “safer streets” to higher credit scores.

Of course, it stands to reason that those who can afford to stick around as an area gentrifies are richly rewarded. But even if this were the case across the board, we should be concerned that the most dependable way to ensure economic and infrastructural investment in struggling, low-income and, most importantly, black neighborhoods (such as Anacostia, Deanwood and Columbia Heights) is to have white people with money move into them.

Where are they going : PG County

3. Minneapolis, Minn. (50.6 percent)

4. Seattle, Wa.  (50 percent)

A small act of civic defiance occurred in Capitol Hill this February. A pair of masked individuals blocked a Microsoft employee bus on its way to the office, brandishing a sign that read “Gentrification stops here.” The move came in response to a pattern that’s defined the city for years, according to the Seattle Times: With a home price turnaround rate of 55%, the Pacific Northwestern metropolis was the second most drastically gentrified city in the U.S. between 2000 and 2007.

Neighborhoods from Ballard in the north to Delridge in the south have seen dramatic shifts of late. Law professor and longtime Seattle resident Henry W. McGee Jr. specifically articulates the fate of the Central District, once home to Seattle’s small black population, where in 2000 the number of white residents surpassed the number of black residents for the first time in 30 years.

“What is clear is that thousands of African-Americans have been displaced from the city’s oldest identifiably African-American community,” he writes.

The reasons are multipronged, but the fact that black applicants in Seattle are 2.56 times more likely to be denied a conventional mortgage loan than whites, in addition to being more likely to pay higher rates, isn’t helping.

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5. Atlanta, Ga. (46.2 percent)

 

Where are they going : South Fulton County

 

6. Virginia Beach, Va. (42.1 percent)

Virginia Beach, VA
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7. Denver, Colo. (39.7 percent)

Denver, CO
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8. Austin, Texas (30 percent)

Austin, TX
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9. Sacramento, Calif. (29.8 percent)

Sacramento, CA
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10. New York, N.Y. (29.3 percent)

Perhaps no city more thoroughly dominates modern conversations around gentrification than New York. Whether it’s Spike Lee bemoaning the sudden influx of resources into neighborhoods like Harlem, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights since white people moved in, or new Fort Greene residents complaining about homeless people being mean to their dogs in the local park, gentrification stories ranging from bad to awful abound. Today, New York City is the most expensive metropolitan area in the U.S.

 

Where are they going: The Bronx

 

Why

Longer Work longer hours

 

One of the simplest ways to control commuting is to live close to work, which for skilled workers may mean the city center. There, by definition, land is scarce and higher demand translates into higher land rents. In time, local amenities adjust, boosting the attractiveness of the locality, further fueling the gentrification process.

In the 1950s and 1960s, when a man with a good job probably had a wife at home with the kids, the commute to the suburbs wasn’t such a big deal. If dad had to stay late at work, or wanted to stay in the city for a drink after work, mom would be home with the kids. These days, it’s more likely that both parents are at work, which makes it more important that home is close to work.

The authors also found that skilled workers are more likely to work in the central business district of a city, while “unskilled jobs, on the other hand, are more dispersed and increasingly so.” The poor, displaced by increasing rents, are moving to the suburbs. Some are finding jobs there, others are forced to deal with the commutes that the rich have rejected.

This is primarily a story about time: Skilled workers, somewhat paradoxically, areworking more than their unskilled counterparts. So gentrification becomes about moving to try to maximize the leisure time they have in the fraction of their lives that isn’t spent sitting at a desk.

But this is also a story about transportation and density, two things that American cities are notoriously poor at managing. If we built higher, more people could live closer to work for cheaper (empty foreign real estate purchases in New York aside). Similarly, if there were better public transportation from the city peripheries, there would be less need for the wealthy to crowd into the city centers.

The authors suggest this might be why Japan and South Korea, despite having a lot of the same working conditions, haven’t seen a lot of urban gentrification.

Then again, maybe the key to stemming gentrification is just for everyone to agree to work less.

 

 

 

 

 

Ghana Has Become a Hub for Budding Architects

 

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It used to be that Ghanaians who wanted to study architecture picked a school in Europe or the United States. Returning, they’d bring foreign techniques, import foreign materials, and create foreign buildings, mainly in the Bauhaus style that dominated thrifty post-war Europe.

“Functional, buildable and economical,” is how Akosua Obeng, a Ghanaian architect at Orthner, Orthner & Associates, describes the style.

“Which is not a bad thing,” he adds. “It’s just that creativity maybe sometimes suffers.”

Concrete may still dominate as a building material, but construction trends are changing in Accra, Ghana’s capital. Now, local architects are just as likely to study from within their home country. With a new wave of talent emerging, so too is distinctly Ghanaian architecture.

And rather than be constrained by designs of the past, newly-minted architects are out to prove that they can be both practical and creative.

Ghana’s two architectural colleges are keen to impress upon its students the country’s rich building heritage.

“You learn a lot about traditional architecture,” says Obeng, “and you realize that we have a lot of good stuff that we didn’t develop somehow; we left it by the roadside.”

Local knowledge is informing the design work of local architects today, from color palettes to the types of materials used. One major change is the resurgence of wood — mirroring a Western trend, but from distinctly Ghanaian roots.

“Wood is actually our material… we are in the forest belt,” Obeng explains. “Wood is in abundance, [and] we are known as a timber exporter. But the weird thing is that the knowledge to build in wood has disappeared,” she says.

“From the colonial times we started building with concrete and block work… we just don’t know how to do it any more.”

By designing wooden structures, Obeng is reviving these lost skills. On one of her projects — a block of townhouses with a wooden facade — the architect has drafted in a retired German woodworker who Obeng says is “helping the locals and passing on the knowledge, bringing us back our wood knowledge.”

“Many people think building a house with wood is impossible,” says timber construction supervisor Latif Falicu. “This building has changed the architectural thinking of Ghana.”

Meanwhile, other architects are taking “home-grown” literally.

Frances Buckle-Thompson’s sixth floor garden atop the World Bank in the capital is Ghana’s first example of a green rooftop.

“It’s amazing,” she says, “we get to keep it green [and] you get to enjoy the scenery of Accra from this height.”

Not merely an aesthetic choice, Obeng explains that the roof “nullifies the heat island effect of the building… absorbing sunlight and cooling [it]. It’s also providing insulation for the roof at the same time … it’s just amazing.”

Home-grown everything

Ghana’s two architectural colleges are keen to impress upon its students the country’s rich building heritage.

“You learn a lot about traditional architecture,” says Obeng, “and you realize that we have a lot of good stuff that we didn’t develop somehow; we left it by the roadside.”

Local knowledge is informing the design work of local architects today, from color palettes to the types of materials used. One major change is the resurgence of wood — mirroring a Western trend, but from distinctly Ghanaian roots.

A lesson in ancient architecture

A lesson in ancient architecture 06:38

“Wood is actually our material… we are in the forest belt,” Obeng explains. “Wood is in abundance (and) we are known as a timber exporter. But the weird thing is that the knowledge to build in wood has disappeared,” she says.

“From the colonial times we started building with concrete and block work… we just don’t known how to do it any more.”

By designing wooden structures, Obeng is reviving these lost skills. On one of her projects — a block of townhouses with a wooden facade — the architect has drafted in a retired German woodworker who Obeng says is “helping the locals and passing on the knowledge, bringing us back our wood knowledge.”

“Many people think building a house with wood is impossible,” says timber construction supervisor Latif Falicu. “This building has changed the architectural thinking of Ghana.”

Meanwhile other architects are taking “homegrown” literally.

Frances Buckle-Thompson’s sixth floor garden atop the World Bank in the capital is Ghana’s first example of a green rooftop.

The World Bank in Accra, Ghana

“It’s amazing,” she says, “we get to keep it green (and) you get to enjoy the scenery of Accra from this height.”

Not merely an aesthetic choice, Obeng explains that the roof “nullifies the heat island effect of the building… absorbing sunlight and cooling (it). It’s also providing insulation for the roof at the same time… it’s just amazing.”

Read more: Do these buildings represent freedom?

Read more: How Africa is giving fast food a new spin

How history is shaping Ghana's urban transformation

How history is shaping Ghana’s urban transformation 08:28

Economical and sustainable, these techniques, from urban greening to building with wood, are not without purpose.

“This is what we want our young architects to design with,” Obeng argues. “This is what tropical architecture is all about!”

 

Read more at www.cnn.com