Piece by Piece, a Factory-Made Answer for a Housing Squeeze – The New York Times
The United States needs new housing, but its building industry isn’t big enough to provide it. The number of residential construction workers is 23 percent lower than in 2006, while higher-skill trades like plumbers, carpenters and electricians are down close to 17 percent. With demand for housing high and the supply of workers short, builders are bidding up prices for the limited number of contractors. Advertisement Construction prices nationwide have risen about 5 percent a year for the past three years……
The global construction industry is a $10 trillion behemoth whose structures determine where people live, how they get to work and what cities look like. It is also one of the world’s least efficient businesses. The construction productivity rate — how much building workers do for each hour of labor they put in — has been flat since 1945, according to the McKinsey Global Institute. Over that period, sectors like agriculture, manufacturing and retail saw their productivity rates surge by as much as 1,500 percent. In other words, while the rest of the economy has been supercharged by machines, computers and robots, construction companies are about as efficient as they were in World War II.
Source: Piece by Piece, a Factory-Made Answer for a Housing Squeeze – The New York Times
A Most Internationally Modernized City – Next City
The New Celestial Empire:
Author’s note: China’s “One Belt One Road” Initiative is an audacious plan to cover half the earth in Chinese-built infrastructure: railways, highways, shipping lanes, and energy corridors. One of the initiative’s marquee projects is a railway that China would like to build from its southern city of Kunming all the way through Southeast Asia to Singapore. Construction has just gotten started, particularly in Laos, the first Southeast Asian country the railway would run through. A poor and extremely undeveloped place, Laos has seen China’s presence grow quickly in recent years. I traveled to Laos in March 2017 while researching a book about the railway to see for myself how the project was coming along. What I found was surreal.
In the remote Laos-China border region, China is turning highland villages into teeming industrial hubs. Engineers have sliced modern highways — the kind you rarely see in Laos — through the jungle. And in one case, Chinese city-builders are resurrecting Boten, a former casino town that had been abandoned years prior, retrofitting it to serve as the railway’s entry point into Laos. This chapter-length excerpt is a snapshot of this isolated region and its dramatic transformation, as China begins its inexorable march with steam shovels, blueprints and big plans for the future.
Artificial intelligence predicted to transform real estate investment by 2022 | News | Institutional Real Estate, Inc.
Two-thirds (64.5 percent) of institutional investors believe that artificial intelligence (AI) will be widely adopted in the real estate sector by 2022, according to a new report by Intertrust, the leading global provider of high-value trust, corporate and fund services. Forty-two percent of those surveyed say the technology will be widely adopted by 2020.
“The use of AI in the industry has become an increasingly hot topic, with many predicting that it will fundamentally transform real estate investment real estate investment within two to three years,” said Jon Barratt, head of real estate at Intertrust.
Despite optimism about the future of AI, 33 percent of respondents said the technology isn’t yet ready for use in the real estate industry. The same proportion believe that this is caused by a lack of investment in AI from companies in the sector.
SO IT WILL IF IT DOES AND WON’T IF IT DOESN’T.
Source: Artificial intelligence predicted to transform real estate investment by 2022 | News | Institutional Real Estate, Inc.
Manhattan Office Rents Increase With Internet Certification | GlobeSt.com
Buildings with high rated internet connections command premium rents. Also interesting is the replacement of FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) by TAMI (Technology, Advertising, Media & Information).
“When tenants pay more for their office space, they expect better internet connections,” Shaw Lupton, senior managing consultant at CoStar Portfolio Strategy, tells GlobeSt.com. In looking at WiredScore rated buildings, on average there was a 6.9% increase in rental properties, between each of the four rating levels.The report found Class B buildings benefitted the most from certification. They commanded rents up to $7.50 more per square foot compared to non-Wired Certified structures, also accounting for distances to subways. “Class B building internet connections are much, much less uniform than internet connections in Class A buildings,” explains Lupton. “For Class B buildings, the wired certification sends a much needed signal to the marketplace about the quality of the connection in that building.”
TAMI (technology, advertising, media and information) tenants are attracted to buildings with strong digital infrastructures. This sector leased 13.3% of the platinum rating buildings compared to 6.9% of unrated buildings.
TAMI tenants took up an average of 8.4% of the buildings with the certified, silver and gold level designations.
Source: Manhattan Office Rents Increase With Internet Certification | GlobeSt.com
Memorial in Alabama acknowledges violence against African Americans
A memorial and museum dedicated to the legacy of racial violence and injustice in America are set to open in Montgomery, Alabama. The National Memorial for Peace and Justice was designed by Boston-based Mass Design Group and set up by Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) – a non-profit organisation that works to advance national reconciliation around race. Described as the first of its kind in the country, the memorial is intended to help acknowledge past and present discrimination against African Americans
Source: Memorial in Alabama acknowledges violence against African Americans
Something delicious is growing in the ‘sustainability underground’ | GreenBiz
This urban hydroponics farm is in refurbished WWII bunkers just 100 feet under the swarming, grubby streets of Clapham, in South London. Next time I hear that 1970 Motown line, “War, what is it good for?” followed by the response, “Absolutely nothing,” some part of my brain will protest: “Hydroponics!” In effect, what Growing Underground does is to flip vertical farming on its head. Instead of going up, it goes down. With U.K. supermarkets recently forced to ration vegetables in the wake of poor harvests…………
The headline: “Paris to turn a third of its green space into urban farms.”
The piece continued, “It all started when the city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, who was elected in 2014, declared her intention to make Paris a greener city. The Paris government responded to her call in 2016 by launching Les Parisculteurs, which aims to cover the city’s rooftops and walls with 247 acres of vegetation by 2020. A third of the green space, according to its plan, should be dedicated to urban farming.”
The city’s deputy mayor, Pénélope Komitès, noted, “Paris not only intends to produce fruit and vegetables but also (plans to) invent a new urban model. … We have seen a real craze among Parisians to participate in making the city more green. Urban agriculture is a real opportunity for Paris. It contributes to the biodiversity and to the fight against climate change.”
Source: Something delicious is growing in the ‘sustainability underground’ | GreenBiz
An Infrastructure Plan That Would Actually Work by Willem Buiter & Dag Detter – Project Syndicate
The total value of commercial assets owned by state and local governments is sure to be of the same magnitude, or larger. After all, local governments own and operate most airports and ports, as well as utilities such as water, sewerage, and electricity – all of which are in desperate need of funding. But real estate comprises the bulk of public commercial assets. By some estimates, publicly owned assets account for as much as one-quarter of the total market value of real estate in a city or county. At the same time, many localities need additional funding for affordable housing.
All told, this public wealth represents a substantial opportunity for investors, local governments, and society as a whole. If professionally managed, the yield from such a vast portfolio of commercial assets could fund not just critically needed infrastructure investments, but also any other public goods and services that are in demand.
Source: An Infrastructure Plan That Would Actually Work by Willem Buiter & Dag Detter – Project Syndicate
Bringing Some New Ideas to an Older Part of Amsterdam – Next City
By night, Reguliersdwarsstraat is one of the busiest streets in central Amsterdam. A hub for the city’s LGBTQ community, its restaurants, bars and clubs attract large numbers of locals and tourists alike. By day, however, the picture is markedly different. Despite being just steps away from Amsterdam’s famous floating flower market, the area has struggled to attract the daytime crowds. Related Stories Bronx Worker Cooperative Plans to “Compost Capitalism” Baltimore Businesses Team Up to Address
Source: Bringing Some New Ideas to an Older Part of Amsterdam – Next City
Trump Buried OMB Report That Undermines Entire Premise of His Deregulatory Agenda
As the OMB report’s first graph illustrates, while the regulations during the analyzed decade cost industry at most $128.5 billion—in 2015 U.S. dollars—the estimated benefit for the public was estimated to be $930.3 billion. OMB estimate of costs and benefits
Source: Trump Buried OMB Report That Undermines Entire Premise of His Deregulatory Agenda
What Land Will Be Underwater in 20 Years? Figuring It Out Could Be Lucrative – The New York Times
Real estate industry is starting to ask location, location, climate change.
Warehouse developer asks if site or roads will be flooded in 10 years and new consulting firms try to answer.