About urbanexus

H. Pike Oliver teaches graduate city planning and real estate courses at Cornell University and directs an undergraduate program in urban and regional studies. He also serves on the board of the California-based Center for Natural Lands Management. Pike has been a principal of his own firms and worked for larger firms, including The Irvine Company. Earlier in his career, he worked for several public agencies, including the City of New York and the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.

Boom-and-Bust Housing Markets

On August 4, 2012, the Sacramento Bee published an article that describes the boom-and-bust nature of that region’s housing market since 1976.  Included, is a graphic (see below) that illustrates the location of the thirty metropolitan areas in the USA with the most and fewest quarters when home prices changed by two percent or more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apple Support Fail Concerning Mountain Lion and Dropbox

It is a good thing for Apple Support that I do not get to grade them. If I did, they would be getting a failing grade. One of their representatives just told me that their senior engineers had determined that Dropbox is not compatible with Mountain LIon (the new Mac OS.) So, I went to the Dropbox website to see what is up and . . .

The Jobs Recovery

The folks at Chart-of-the-Day have created (on August 3, 2012) another great graphic display that compares where we are in the recovery of jobs following the Great Recession with average job recovery of all recessions since 1954 and the jobs recovery following the 2001 Technology Bubble Recession.  Our current jobs recovery since the end of the Great Recession in June 2009 is similar to that of the recovery of the early 2000s but much slower than the average jobs recovery since the mid 1950s.Image

A House Designed to Survive a Fire

When the Bui/Bender residence (pictured below) survived the devastating 1993 fire in the Southern California Coastal town of Laguna Beach, people called it a miracle. The fact that the only damage to the structure was a drainage downspout disloged by a fire hose may have had more to do with the fact that it was designed and constructed in accordance with the principles outlined in this article from Fine Home Building.

Otto Leuschel’s Regeneration of Germantown, NY

On Friday, July 20, 2012, I took several photos on Main Street in Germantown, NY, about 115 miles north of New York City (Manhattan). Two “gems” on this little street are Otto’s Market (established as Central Market in 1927 and reestablished as Otto’s Market in 2006) and the Germantown Variety Store (established 2012.) Both businesses are owned and operated by Otto Leuschel who left an important job at Whole Foods to become the spark plug for the revitalization of this small Hudson Valley town. Otto is doing great work in this little burg.  I did not get a chance to ask Otto who his customers are, but I suspect affluent part-time exurbanites and weekend vacationers from the greater New York area are the source of much of his business.