Segregated Schools; Stadium Boondoggles and Trump State Park: Urban Insights From Around The Web

INSIGHTS :  Sep. 11, 2015

Ryan Holeywell | September 11, 2015A new feature highlighting the week’s interesting, important and downright weird news about cities.

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A new feature highlighting the week’s interesting, important and downright weird news about cities.

The Never-Ending Stadium Boondoggle

Richard Florida at City Lab says the kickoff of the 2015 NFL season should serve as a reminder of the huge amount of public money -- $12 billion over the last 15 years -- our country has put into sports stadiums. Florida rightly notes there's little evidence that stadiums provide any kind of economic boost to communities. He says it's time for the federal government to step in, since state and local governments are unwilling to rein in the madness.

Why Houston's Gifted and Talented Classes Are Considered 'Segregated'

A Vanderbilt University professor says students of color in HISD are less likely to be enrolled in talented and gifted classes than their white peers. The disparity is so profound, she said, “it's a clear case of segregation.”’ The problem is that the system used to identify gifted students has culture biases against students who are racial minorities. Impressively, HISD's leaders acknowledge they need to improve.

If You Build It, They Will Come ... Won’t They?

Schools often look to athletics, high-profile professors or sleek on-campus amenities like dorms and gyms to raise their profile and draw students. But University of Cincinnati is trying a radically different approach. It’s betting that innovative (and expensive) architecture can help give its profile a boost, the New York Times reports.

Price Soars For Key Weapon Against Heroin Overdoses

The cost of Narcan, a key drug used to reverse the effects of overdose, is soaring at a time when the country faces a worsening heroin epidemic, NPR reports. From February to July, the price of a dose has nearly doubled, city health officials in Baltimore say. Public officials are blaming the drug's manufacturer for the spike, but the company attributes it to rising labor and materials costs.

More Than Just a Bench
Boston and several other cities are debuting "smart benches" that give pedestrians access to charging outlets powered by solar panels, Governing reports. Soofa, the bench's maker, says cities are attracted to the idea of being early adopters. “Your cell phone doesn’t just make phone calls,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said. “Why should our benches just be seats?”

Donald J. Trump State Park is a real thing, and just as pathetic as its namesake

When a planned golf course project failed, Donald Trump donated the land to the state of New York. What he didn't donate was a endowment to assist with upkeep. Eventually, the park closed. Today, its plants are overgrown and its buildings are crumbling following years of neglect, Grist reports.

Ryan Holeywell


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