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APA Dateline August 19, 2002


A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Dateline: August 19, 2002

-- The Rich Get Rich, and the Poor Get ... --
Over the past 10 years, all Chicagoans have either gotten richer or they haven't - depending on which of the city's two daily papers you're reading. Both papers reported on the
release of census figures on per capita income in Chicago from 1989 to 1999. The Chicago Sun-Times front page reported: "Boom Shared by All Races in Chicago." The Chicago
Tribune said: "Rich '90s Failed to Lift All." According to the Tribune: "The economic boom of the 1990s bypassed poor minority communities in the city, as many predominantly
black neighborhoods on the South and West Sides remained mired in poverty as deeply entrenched as a decade earlier, according to 2000 census data released Tuesday." The
Sun-Times relied for its optimism on a new report from the Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research. According to the Sun-Times, that report concluded that:
"Significant income gaps between racial groups remain, but racial groups in metropolitan Chicago were moving in the right direction economically."

Read the Tribune story: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-0208200185aug20.story

Read the Sun-Times account: http://www.suntimes.com/output/census/cst-nws-censide20.html

-- In Praise of Non-Competitive Building Design --
Urbanist Witold Rybczynski argues that architectural competitions don't produce the best buildings, in "The Bilbao Effect," in the September issue of Atlantic Monthly. Ryczynski
outlines the non-competitive creation of several striking modern buildings and concludes: "I have no objection to architects' duking it out, and I think it's great that architecture is
attracting so much attention. But I am skeptical that designing in the full glare of public competitions encourages architects to produce better buildings. The charged atmosphere
promotes flamboyance rather than careful thought, and favors the glib and obvious over the subtle and nuanced."

Read the article: http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2002/09/rybczynski.htm

-- U.S. and Canada Cleaner But Still Polluting, Report Says --
Thirty years of environmental history in the U.S. and Canada shows that North American success in improving water and air quality and creating open space has "come at the
expense of global natural resources and climate." That conclusion comes from the report, "North America's environment: A thirty-year state of the environment and policy
retrospective," published by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in collaboration other environmental institutes. "For example," says the report, "each Canadian and
American consumes nine times more gasoline than any other person in the world. With only about 5 percent of the world's population, both countries accounted for 25.8 percent of
global emissions of heat-causing carbon dioxide." The report lauds the environmental strides made by Canada and the U.S., but urges both countries to make substantial
changes toward use of more fuel-efficient automobiles and toward urban development strategies that curb urban sprawl.

Read the report: http://newsroom.wri.org/newsrelease_text.cfm?NewsReleaseID=127

-- Editorial: Passenger Rail Needs Federal Cash --
The New York Times urges Congress and the White House to provide struggling Amtrak with an adequate operating budget. A recent Times editorial details the railway's recent
woes, including continuing mechanical problems with the high speed Acela trains in the Northeast. "[Congress and the White House] must also establish a permanent, dedicated
source of funding for rail infrastructure -- principally to build designated high-speed corridors across the country -- akin to the trust funds that pay for highways and aviation
projects," urges the Times. "Once that is accomplished, passenger rail need not be synonymous with Amtrak. Private train operators may eventually be allowed to compete on
certain routes, a scenario that will become increasingly attractive if Amtrak cannot improve its record."

Read the editorial: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/16/opinion/16FRI2.html?tntemail0

Dateline is based on reports from Internet sources and public and private organizations. For more information, contact sources mentioned in the news item. If you have
suggestions or corrections for Dateline, contact Ralph Jassen at mailto:rjassen@planning.org or Cynthia Cheski at mailto:ccheski@planning.org.