The 2016 Greater Housing Report Card, released Nov. 29 at an event at The Boston Foundation, presents research and analysis about housing, shifting demographics, and the ripple effects of other trends.
Authors Barry Bluestone, Catherine Tumber, James Huessy, and Tim Davis provide data on the state of the Massachusetts economy and Greater Boston’s housing volume, sales, prices, rents, and permitting, and state and local housing policy.
“In addition, we have introduced two methodological innovations that shed clearer light on our economic and housing challenges: We have added to the mix a more accurate cost of living adjustment that, when taken into account, indicates that our regional poverty rate is much higher than official thresholds suggest (some 57,000 families higher), and we have included population growth projections through 2030 that, because they are expected to escalate, will bring even greater pressure to bear on the housing market in the years to come,” they wrote in the report.
Below are a few key findings:
Read the full report here.]]>
|Daniel Aldrich||Professor of Political Science, Public Policy and Urban Affairs; Co-Director, Masters Program in Security and Resilience||-Bloomberg
|David Lazer||Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Computer and Information Sciences, Co-Director of NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks||-news@Northeastern|
|Brian Helmuth||Professor of Environmental Science and Public Policy||-Smithsonian.com
|Joan Fitzgerald||Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs||-The Boston Globe|
|John Portz||Professor of Political Science; Interim Chair, Department of Political Science||-news@Northeastern|
|Nick Beauchamp||Assistant Professor of Political Science||-CNBC
-New York Daily News
|Michael Dukakis||Distinguished Professor of Political Science||-The Boston Globe
-The Washington Free Beacon
-Morning News USA
-The Boston Globe
-The Boston Globe
|Stephen Flynn||Professor of Political Science; Co-Director, Kostas Research Institute; Director, Center for Resilience Studies||-CNN|
|Barry Bluestone||Russell B. and Andree B. Stearns Trustee Professor of Political Economy, Founding Director and Senior Research Associate of the Dukakis Center||-Daily Express
|Max Abrahms||Assistant Professor of Political Science||-Boston Herald|
|Barry Bluestone||Russell B. and Andree B. Stearns Trustee Professor of Political Economy, Founding Director and Senior Research Associate of the Dukakis Center||-Mass Live
-The Boston Globe
|Catherine Tumber||Senior Research Associate, Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy||-New York State|
|Alan Clayton-Matthews||Associate Professor of Economics and Public Policy; Director, PhD Program in Law and Public Policy; Senior Research Associate, Dukakis Center||-Boston Herald|
|Barry Bluestone||Russell B. and Andree B. Stearns Trustee Professor of Political Economy, Founding Director and Senior Research Associate of the Dukakis Center||-BusinessWest.com|
|Terrorism and National Security|
|Max Abrahms||Assistant Professor of Political Science||-LA Times
|Len Albright||Assistant Professor of Sociology and Public Policy||-FiveThirtyEight|
|Dan Urman||Assistant Teaching Professor; Director, Minor in Law and Public Policy||-news@Northeastern|
|Wendy Parmet||George J. and Kathleen Waters Matthews Distinguished University Professor of Law||-Boston Herald|
|Nick Beauchamp||Assistant Professor of Political Science||-Nature World News|
|Daniel Aldrich||Professor of Political Science, Public Policy and Urban Affairs; Co-Director, Masters Program in Security and Resilience||-Bloomberg
|Data & Urban Informatics|
|James Connolly||Assistant Professor of Public Policy & Political Science||-The Huffington Post|
|Alan Clayton-Matthews||Associate Professor of Economics and Public Policy; Director, PhD Program in Law and Public Policy; Senior Research Associate, Dukakis Center||-The Boston Globe|
|Barry Bluestone||-The Wall Street Journal
-The Boston Globe
Donald Trump has vowed to “rip up” the Paris climate agreement, repeal the Clean Power Plan, and scrap NASA’s Earth science research while reviving the coal industry, approving the Keystone XL pipeline, and expanding offshore oil drilling.
We asked Jennie Stephens, Dean’s Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy at Northeastern’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, to weigh in on what the nation’s environmental agenda might look like under Trump’s leadership.
On the campaign trail, Trump outlined his “America First Energy Plan” promising energy independence by getting “bureaucracy out of the way of innovation so we can pursue all forms of energy.” He has made claims that accelerating extraction of fossil fuels will create millions of new high-paying jobs. He has focused primarily on fossil fuels with plans to reduce regulations for shale gas extraction and advancing clean coal, but he has also mentioned “renewable energies and technologies of the future.”
If the president-elect really wants to prioritize energy independence and creating energy-related jobs, then advancing renewable energy is essential. Renewable energy offers so much potential because harnessing the perpetual and abundant energy from the wind, sun, and water offers benefits that can be distributed around the country. But it is not yet clear whether those connections are yet being made within the incoming administration.
Some of Obama’s actions have been executive orders, so those can be easily changed with new executive orders. But other Obama administration policies and initiatives are more complicated and would involve complicated action to change.
The reality is that the world is gradually transitioning away from fossil fuels toward more renewable-based energy systems. If the new administration does not support that transition in the United Sates, our country will fall farther and farther behind and lose global competitiveness, but the rest of the world will continue. And cities and states throughout the country are not going to halt the rapidly accelerating deployment of renewable energy that brings so many benefits to communities throughout the country. The practical challenges of being a laggard rather than a leader on climate change at the international level will result in a whole host of political hurdles that could temporarily set us back in other areas too.
Even before the election, it was often hard to maintain optimism about the future health of the environment. And now it is even more difficult because many environmental protections—that so many people and organizations have worked so hard to develop and implement over the past 50 years—appear to be at risk of being reversed or weakened. In my courses I encourage students to consider their own level of optimism versus pessimism with regard to environmental degradation and the future. A critical point that I always emphasize is that it is often under duress, hardship, and negative situations that human resilience is demonstrated and our collective ingenuity is sparked. So despite a bleak outlook, it is an exciting time for creative and potentially radical social change.
For concerned citizens who want to get involved, here are six specific principles that we can advocate with the new administration and within our own communities: (1) make America a clean energy leader; (2) reduce carbon pollution and America’s reliance on fossil fuels; (3) enhance climate preparedness and resilience; (4) publicly acknowledge that climate change is a real, human-caused and urgent threat,; (5) protect scientific integrity in policy-making; and (6) uphold America’s commitment to the Paris climate agreement.
With the negative national-level landscape, grassroots local, city, state, and regional action is more important than ever. Actions of resistance to fossil fuel expansion, including the Standing Rock protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the fossil fuel divestment movement, are growing in numbers and significance. We are also seeing new coalitions emerge that are bringing together environmental activists, human rights activists, social justice activists, Black Lives Matter activists, and others. New synergies and critical connections are being made that will empower change. Environmental issues in general and climate change in particular have historically often been too isolated from other issues, so I feel some optimism about how the new political landscape is resulting in new alliances and a broader recognition of interconnections among the many challenges currently facing humanity.
During the past week, I have had a few experiences that made me feel very grateful for the opportunities I have been given as a student in Boston. I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but hey, if we can’t be corny during Thanksgiving, when can we?
I attended a lecture by Senator Bernie Sanders. I have no intention at all to write political posts, so I am not going to discuss the content of his speech. However, I think that you all understand how incredibly cool it was to see someone who ran for president give a speech. I also think it’s needless to say how interesting it was to listen to what he had to say given the outcome of the November 8th election. I found remarkable the solidarity of the people attending the event. It was something I noticed not only during Senator Sanders’ speech, but also in the aftermath of the election day. No matter what political party you might support, I think it is extremely fascinating how all the people stand united behind their party and act as if they are one huge group of friends.
At the end of the event everyone got a copy of Senator Sanders’ book. When I got on the train, I noticed that people started talking to each other because they had all been to the lecture. Witnessing people feeling so strongly about a politician is quite new for me. In Belgium, we don’t get so passionate about the elections, mostly because we have a coalition government. The fact that I could witness how people feel and how they team-up because of politics, is a fascinating experience one can’t acquire by just reading articles on the elections.
The other phenomenal experience I had this week was my first American Thanksgiving. Full disclosure: I did not have a Thanksgiving in the traditional sense of the word, but I did have two very nice ‘friendsgivings’. The first one was the Sunday before Thanksgiving. I was invited to a friend’s house and we all had to bring some food. Since I don’t know how to cook, I took care of the wine. I was lucky the other guests were excellent chefs, so the dinner table was stacked with all the traditional Thanksgiving food: turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, and stuffing. At the same time, a few international students brought some of their traditional holiday food. Thus, we had a delightful mix of a traditional American dinner with some Indian and Chinese additives.
One of the American guests explained the story behind the holiday, and before we ate, we all shared what we were thankful for this year. I really liked being surrounded by all these different, interesting and friendly people, and I felt very welcome here in Boston.
On Thursday, I had a less traditional Thanksgiving meal with my roommate. We made pasta. However, we also shared what we were thankful for. Afterwards we went for a drink downtown, but not before we admired the beautiful Christmas tree near Faneuil Hall.
As you can see, I had some very enriching experiences last week on all levels: intellectual, cultural and social. I enjoyed having such a good week before going into social isolation with final exams coming up.
A late happy Thanksgiving to everyone, and good luck with the finals!]]>
The end of the semester is nearing for all of us. While I can’t speak for you, I can guarantee I totally enjoyed my stay in Boston for the past couple of months. The classes I took were extremely interesting (Cities, Sustainability and Climate Change; 21st Century City and Ecological Economy) and I enjoyed getting to know my classmates and professors. While the semesters are a couple of weeks shorter than the ones back home, the amount of work we receive does not follow the same pattern. Normally, I’m not used to doing a lot of assignments and homework during the year, so as the procrastinating man I am, my weeks now are cramped with working for school. While one of the three big assignments I had to make has already been completed, two deadlines are yet to come. Therefore, I’m spending my Thanksgiving week and weekend behind my computer. That’s kind of a bummer as I wanted to experience the real American feel of Thanksgiving. But I can’t complain as I already had the honor of spending Election Day here.
To get ready for this hectic last sprint to the finish line, I went out this weekend. Friday evening, I went to an all-you-can-eat Brazilian Steakhouse in Back Bay. Needless to say, I nuked my stomach and was sick for the entire evening. Nevertheless, the meat was excellent and so was my evening! Although I enjoyed the dinner experience, it left me to wonder if it is a sustainable way of eating out. In class we have focused somewhat around the issue of food-security and how overconsumption of meat gravely affects our carbon footprint. This is, I think, a perfect example of how we should not indulge ourselves in the excesses of our current system.
The following day, me, my roommate and his friend went to a frat party at Harvard University. This was the first time I saw the prestigious university as well as my first time at an American frat party. I do feel like Harvard has a more “campus” experience than Northeastern. But that could also be because I live off-campus and thus never spend much time at Northeastern, apart from going to class. Harvard was pretty close to what we are used to seeing in movies. I had a great time and I also met some very interesting people there. I’m very sorry, but I can’t provide a picture of this marvelous event because the camera of my cell phone broke down a couple of weeks ago. But for the foreign students, it’s quite an experience. So, if you ever get the chance to do this, you should!
After the frat party, we went on a party bus that took us to a club downtown. Normally I’m not really fond of going to these establishments, but that night I really enjoyed myself. Quite possibly due to the fact that I knew the amount of work that was waiting for me at home! Spending my Saturday evening clubbing is quite different from what a normal day out in Belgium would look like. If I go out in my hometown, I normally go to the same two bars every week. When I’m out in Leuven—the city where I study—it’s practically the same thing, but like a pub crawl. Going out in Boston was an awesome experience and probably not many Belgians have had that honor. All in all, it was a totally different experience from what I’m used to. As the weekend came to an end, I spent my Sunday having ear-troubles and watching the Patriots game. Needless to say, it was a good afternoon!
So, this is how I spent my weekend, unwinding for the “hard” times to come.
Jennie Stephens, Dean’s Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy, traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark, to discuss renewable energy transition in the United States at the Danish Technical University’s Engineering Management Department.
During her talk on Nov. 22, Stephens focused on the social, institutional and cultural change involved with transitioning toward more renewable-based energy systems and moving away from fossil fuel reliance.
Stephens also gave presentations on Nov. 21 at Stockholm University in Sweden and the Uppsala Association of International Affairs.
Earlier this month, she presented at the Arab-American Frontiers of Science, Engineering and Medicine Symposium (Nov. 5-7) at the Masdar Institute for Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi. Stephens discussed integrated urban management of energy and water, and energy system transitions.
I think it is no surprise that the biggest events in my past week are related to the November 8 election. It’s needless to say how interesting it was to live in Boston as a foreigner and experience a historic election with an even more historic reaction. I could tell you how people in Belgium reacted, how I felt when I find out who won, how people around me reacted, and what it was like to witness the rallies, but I believe there are more suitable people out there who can discuss all of this. And I also think a lot of people don’t feel the need to continuously talk about the elections. It is time to take a break from all the buzz. That is why my post this week covers how I fill my free time when I am not in class.
Of course, before I can do relaxing activities, I must finish my schoolwork, especially with the exams just around the corner. Most of my time is spent on academic activities. I just finished a policy memo for my class in education policy, for example. I wrote a research paper on citizen participation within the city’s climate action plans and I’m working with a fellow student on another policy memo on how to make the Department of Homeland Security react to climate change in a resilient way. Even though it is a lot of work, I am very glad I’m doing so many things I will need when I start looking for a job within the public policy field.
However, I believe it is equally as important to plan breaks. I like to enjoy my free time doing three things: meeting up with friends, working out and discovering the city.
Upon my arrival in Boston, I decided to take on a new hobby to combine the first two aspects of my free time: stay in shape and meet some new friends. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of group sports offered at Northeastern. Since I wanted to try something completely new, I enrolled in yoga classes. I never thought of myself as a yogi, but it turns out I look forward to both the classes and the people. Not only did I manage to get in better shape (or at least, that’s what I like to believe), but I also met some great people. Even though the yoga class finished last week, I am still hanging out with my yogi friends.
Besides spending my time in yoga, I also like to discover the city. I created a rule for myself: To go somewhere new in the city (or in the surroundings) every week. So, this weekend, I explored the Boston Public Library. When I arrived at the library, I was amazed at how beautiful it is! I took a tour of the building and enjoyed being a tourist. Afterwards, I switched back to student mode and read some articles in the impressive reading area of the library.
So, now you know how I kept my mind off the elections and how I reward myself after some hours of writing papers!
This summer, students have the opportunity to study in Japan with professors Christopher Bosso and Thomas Vicino and learn about the politics, culture and globalization of Japan, with a particular focus on the dynamics of urban life in Tokyo and Kyoto. They will also participate in a cultural dialogue with students from Meiji University while staying three days at a traditional guesthouse near Mt. Fuji, developing strong bonds with students who will join the Dialogue for most of the experience.
Students can also take courses in London with professors Jordan Fox Kemper and Lori Gardinier where they will study the role of social services and nonprofit organizations in one of the most diverse, global and dynamic cities in the world. This experience will challenge students to consider how well developed and resourced urban areas are addressing social and economic injustices. Students will explore the historical roots of social welfare in the U.K. and the ways in which they informed responses to social problems in the United States.
And students have the option to join professor Gardinier in a one-month program that introduces them to social change theories and social organizations in Lusaka, Zambia. Attention is given to the political and economic forces that influence non-government organizational development, behavior and operations. Students will analyze and compare popular preventative and reactive interventions for change including public health approaches, the use of aid, micro-lending and other sustainable development efforts. Particular attention will be giving to issues of addiction and recovery, HIV and inadequate employment opportunities and their impact on community development.
Elections are quite possibly the most basic and important elements of democracies all over the world. Elections in the United States are quite possibly the most important elections in the world. People everywhere are looking towards the big nation across the ocean (for me it is). I have always been very interested in what happens across the big pond, and this year it is no different. As part of my education as a political scientist, and later as I specialized in international politics and relations, my interests in American Politics have grown through the years. But it is only in the last two years that my understanding of the system has really grown. Now, by staying in Boston for a prolonged period of time, I have the perfect onset to test my knowledge on what happened earlier this week.
Normally it would be hard for me to follow the presidential debates due to the time difference. But thanks to the opportunity to study at Northeastern I was able to watch the debates live. I watched them all with great interest but I was kind of disappointed. (As I have read online and heard from my fellow students, I was not the only one who felt that way). I feel the debates lacked some essentials. Not all topics were covered, and when they did the candidates never elaborated on the policies they were going to undertake. This is quite essential for a student in public policy. The reasons why these debates were mediocre at best have already been extensively covered by various newspapers, blogs and television shows. Nevertheless, I am grateful to reside in the United States during these glorious times for democracy.
As an unknowing European, I had expected that the election would be expressed more openly. This is how we perceive it from the media and movies. But, in Boston, I find that’s not really the case. Maybe it’s just because of the strangeness of these elections were negative campaigning and scandals have reached unknown heights that people want to distance themselves from it. This is a sad statement to make, because people should be proud of the democratic processes of their country. It remains to be seen if the election in about four years will be of the same caliber.
What happened Tuesday night was something the majority of people did not see coming. During the day people from back home kept asking me how things were going here, which shows again how much everybody else is preoccupied with how these elections unfold. After class, I went to Scholars downtown with fellow students to follow the elections. I was kind of disappointed about how few people were on the streets or in public places to watch the results. As the evening grew late and the chances of the Democratic candidate lessened, more and more people started leaving. It was not exactly what I expected of witnessing the elections in the U.S. People back home were still following the results pouring in or were getting out of bed early to watch the ending, while constantly asking me for details. When Donald Trump won Florida, it became clear that he was to be the 45th president of the United States of America. I guess a lot of people were struck by this because I saw a couple of people crying. In the meantime, most of the Europeans I know back home were expressing that they wanted to know what effects this could have on our continent. What the future holds we cannot say. But what we do know is that these elections have repercussions for the entire world. So, I hope this was the right choice.
By Christopher Bosso
In perhaps the most stunning election outcome in modern U.S. political history, New York businessman Donald J. Trump has won enough electoral votes to claim the presidency of the United States come January 2017.
Trump’s narrow victory over former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was fueled by the votes of white working class voters, who responded enthusiastically to his themes of economic populism, law and order, and nationalism. Republicans, aided by the surge in Trump voters, also retained majorities in both the House and the Senate, giving them control of the presidency and Congress for the first time since the presidency of George W. Bush in 2005-07.
While how this plays out in policy terms is yet to be seen, at minimum it is likely to mean a concerted effort to repeal or dramatically reshape the Affordable Care Act, reduce or eliminate a range of income and estate taxes, scale back federal regulations, and refocus U.S. trade and foreign policy priorities. Retention of the Senate also has important implications for the future direction of the federal judiciary, the Supreme Court in particular. As Trump’s voters clearly expect, elections will have consequences.
Christopher Bosso is professor of public policy and director of the Master of Public Policy Program. Join Bosso, Michael Dukakis, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and former governor of Massachusetts, and professors Nick Beauchamp and William Mayer on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at the Myra Kraft Open Classroom as they analyze who won, who lost, and what immediate insights can be gleaned from Election Day 2016.