Neal Peirce

Columnist Neal Peirce is chairman of the Citistates Group, a network of journalists and speakers who believe that successful metropolitan regions are today's key to economic competitiveness and sustainable communities.

Articles by this author

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Monday, December 19, 2011 - 9:48am
President Obama's Puzzling Silence on Marijuana Policy
WASHINGTON — "Dance with the One that Brought You" is the title of a well-known song. But the Urban Dictionary offers a deeper meaning: "The principle that someone should pay proper fealty to those who have gone out of their way to look after them." Barack Obama should pay attention. In 2008, young voters were enthused and turned out for him by the millions.
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Sunday, July 3, 2011 - 11:47am
Seven Billion Souls and Counting: the Perils of an Overpopulated Planet
WASHINGTON — The population of Planet Earth is now projected to pass the 7 billion mark this October — up from just 2.5 billion in 1950. One study shows that if today's explosive birthrates in developing nations continue, the African continent alone, by the end of this century, could have 15 billion people — more than twice the population of the world today. This won't happen. As populations age and urbanize, today's fertility rates — in many poor nations an average of five, even six children for every woman — are bound to recede.
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Sunday, May 22, 2011 - 3:36pm
Misguided U.S. Policies Fuel Mexican Drug Wars
For most Americans, the recent news of popular demonstrations in Mexico was probably a small diversion from the daily tide of bloody global reports from such faraway hot spots as Pakistan, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and Bahrain. Why worry, most of us likely concluded, if thousands of Mexicans are marching in the streets, protesting the horrific violence and high death toll in their nation's raging drug war? Isn't that their problem?
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Sunday, January 2, 2011 - 7:22pm
It's Time to Return to a Robust Urbanism
WASHINGTON - "Urbanism" isn't a word that races many people's motors. But think again. It might just be the key - not only to enrich community life but to achieve a safer energy future as well as efficient and livable metro regions, and to ensure our place in the larger world. That's the case that famed New Urbanist architect Peter Calthorpe lays out in his book "Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change," just published by Island Press.
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Sunday, August 22, 2010 - 12:22pm
Public Libraries: Enablers of Americans' Dreams
America's public libraries, fast turning themselves into "one-stop shops" for digital job searches, appear to be staging one of their great historic transformations.
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Sunday, November 23, 2008 - 12:24pm
Maybe It Takes a Community Organizer to Lead a Country
Barack Obama's history in grass-roots organizing got its first real blast of national attention from the Republicans. Rudy Giuliani, keynoting the GOP's convention in St. Paul, provoked a wave of snickers and catcalls by sneeringly asking, "What's a community organizer?" Sarah Palin followed with a dig of her own.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008 - 4:29pm
As the Nation's Top Metro Regions Show, It's Time to Reinvent Our Energy Future
As greenhouse gases increasingly warm the globe, which of America's metro areas are the "cleanest" and which are the "dirtiest" in carbon emissions? And what are the most obvious steps that could be taken to protect the planet's future? A first-ever study of the climate footprint of America's top 100 metro regions starts to tell the story. Based on 2005 figures calculated by the Brookings Institution, each region's carbon emissions caused by cars and trucks, plus power supplied to residences, is reported.
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Monday, November 5, 2007 - 3:58pm
Fire, Water and Denial
Could there be a pattern here? The San Diego and Los Angeles areas are hit by a raging series of high-impact wildfires - the worst in the state's history. Many of the blazes coincide with areas already scorched in 2003 by fires that themselves were declared California's worst ever.
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Monday, July 16, 2007 - 3:29pm
Plan For Growth -- or Get Swamped
BELLAGIO, Italy - Will Planet Earth be able to handle the mega-surge of people pouring into the cities of Africa, Asia and Latin America? Back in 1950, there were 2.2 billion of us, mostly spread across the world's rural areas. Today the United Nations estimates world population at 6.6 billion. Half live in cities, where an accelerating human flood of rural people - many desperately poor - generates slums, endangers water and sewage systems, and breeds local misery and potential pandemics.
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Monday, April 16, 2007 - 4:39pm
Pedal Pushers Making Headway
Are we ready to go bicycling? Could these times of climate change, gas-price inflation and bulging waistlines be prepping us for new waves of weekend biking adventures? Maybe even to leave cars parked and cycle to work daily? Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson is one of a growing coterie of city leaders who believe the moment is ripe. Keynoting this year's National Bike Summit in Washington, Abramson described how an early 2005 Louisville gathering of cycling enthusiasts has changed his city's focus.
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