Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2001 11:15:01 -0400
From: Tom Lowenhaupt 
To: Urban Technology & Telecommunications 
Subject: Re: Impact of Terrorism on Concentration within Firms and Urban
    Areas 

October 9, 2001

Dear Tom,

Have you seen any articles on the military vulnerabilities of a more
dispersed society? Would a 2050 bin Laden resign himself that
America-the-dispersed is invulnerable? Or would she wait for the dispersed
to gather in school, church, shopping malls, and sports arenas?

I presume we could also do away with all mass congregation, stay in our
homes, stick our heads in a fully protected underground shield and say -
thank the lord, I've found security. (I know I'm tempted to do that.)

But what do we loose by living in a dispersed fashion? What are the
political, social, and economic ramifications of dispersion?

As a NYC resident I read your message very carefully. This morning my #2 son
took the subway to high school. Will he come home safely? Has our subway
been dusted with anthrax, smallpox...?

I'm inclined to believe that, until we recognize that we all share one small
planet, and that we are our brother's keeper, dispersal is folly.

Thomas Lowenhaupt


----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom Black" 
To: "Urban Technology & Telecommunications" 
Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2001 9:30 AM
Subject: Re: Impact of Terrorism on Concentration within Firms and Urban
Areas


>
> Wonder if Bell South is having second thoughts after the Sept 11
> attacks.=
>   You may be interested in reading the following:
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Randal O'Toole 
> To: 
> Sent: Monday, 08 October, 2001 14:57
> Subject: Vanishing Automobile update #19
>
>
> > Is Sprawl a Defense Against Terrorism?
> >
> > Since the shock of September 11, almost every interest group in the
> > nation is putting its spin on the terrorist attacks. Automobile
> > opponents such as Gar Smith of Earth Island Journal blame the attacks
> > on U.S. consumption of oil and urge that we give up our use of oil.
> >
> > Following that line of thought, others say that we should build more
> > rail transit and intercity rail lines and promote smart growth. The
> > U.S. "cannot depend on any single mode of transportation," says Mayor
> > John Robert Smith of Meridian, MS.
> >
> > Some urban mayors even hope that the recent tragedy will give urban
> > residents a "sense of community" that will keep them in the cities.
> > Pittsburgh's Mayor Thomas Murphy thinks that installing metal
> > detectors in public buildings and hiring more police will provide an
> > urban atmosphere that is "safe and vibrant" so they won't flee to the
> > suburbs.
> >
> > Environmentalists committed to smart growth feel a moral imperative
> > to maintaining dense inner cities. "The No. 1 environmental concern
> > is that the center holds," says Eric Goldstein, a lawyer with the
> > Natural Resources Defense Council in favor of a "strong central
> > core." Suburbanization, claims Goldstein, would lead to increasing
> > congestion, air pollution, longer commutes, and loss of open space.
> > (Readers of the Vanishing Automobile know that all of these claims
> > are wrong.)
> >
> > Contrary to all these spin attempts, historian Stephen Ambrose points
> > out that the real lesson behind the terrorist attack is, "Don't bunch
> > up." Maintaining a "strong central core" only offers terrorists a
> > better target.
> >
> > "It is no longer necessary to pack so many people and offices into
> > such small spaces as lower Manhattan," writes Ambrose. "They can be
> > scattered in neighboring regions and states, where they can work just
> > as efficiently and in far more security."
> >
> > Even smart-growth advocate James Howard Kunstler has concluded that
> > "the age of the skyscrapers is at an end." As other smart-growth
> > advocates point out, their vision of the future is low- to mid-rise
> > mixed-use housing: Brooklyn, not lower Manhattan. But even that may
> > be too dense for comfort for many people.
> >
> > "The logic of decentralization has never been more clear," argues San
> > Jose Mercury columnist Dan Gillmor. "Safety once resided in large
> > numbers. In tomorrow's world, there will be more safety in spreading
> > out."
> >
> > This lesson should be clear to anyone who watched the horrifying
> > videos over the last few weeks. The World Trade Center compactly fit
> > into just 16 acres, and the terrorists destroyed it and several
> > nearby buildings with two airplanes. The Pentagon, which has about
> > two-thirds of the office space of the WTC, sprawls across 583 acres.
> > With one plane, the terrorists demolished only about 6 percent of
> > that space.
> >
> > (Incidentally, after adjusting for inflation the World Trade Center
> > cost about three times as much to build per square foot of office
> > space as the Pentagon. So much for the "costs of sprawl.")
> >
> > Like sprawl or not, many corporations and individuals will take the
> > "don't bunch up" lesson to heart in the next few months and years.
> > "Executives calculating where to house their employees are factoring
> > in the need not to build something a suicide bomber might be tempted
> > to knock down," writes Holman Jenkins, Jr., in the Wall Street
> > Journal. Many firms whose offices were in the trade center, Jenkins
> > adds, are "rushing to sign leases on nondescript properties outside
> > the city, on terms suggesting no plans to come back."
> >
> > Naturally, this has been a major concern of New York City Mayor
> > Giuliani from the very first. No doubt Chicago's Mayor Daley is
> > similarly worried about the future of the Sears Tower, and San
> > Francisco's Mayor Brown is worried about the Transamerica Tower.
> >
> > Giuliani naturally wants to rebuild the trade center skyscrapers so
> > as to keep businesses in his jurisdiction. New York Senators Clinton
> > and Schumer have promised federal funds to do it. But such
> > construction will be both expensive and unlikely to attract
> > businesses that have learned the lessons of multiple attacks on the
> > old trade center.
> >
> > California sociologist J.F. Scott points out that the idea that
> > financial districts need towering skyscrapers to bring traders close
> > enough together to do their work is refuted by Silicon Valley's
> > financial district in Menlo Park, California. This district, observes
> > Dr. Scott, "consists of low-rise buildings (none over 3 stories) with
> > abundant parking."
> >
> > Economist Paul Krugman frets whether the September 11 attack will
> > "permanently damage New York's position as America's economic
> > capital." While he says, "this is a real question and deserves a
> > serious answer," it is in fact a question of concern only to
> > Manhattan property owners and the City of New York. The rest of
> > America doesn't care whether our economic capital is in New York,
> > Menlo Park, or somewhere in cyberspace (which is probably the safest
> > place for it).
> >
> > Contrary to those who think of the World Trade Center as a symbol of
> > free enterprise, it was actually built by the Port Authority of New
> > York to aggrandize the city and stem the tide of businesses spreading
> > to suburban and other locations. The idea for the center was
> > originally promoted by banker David Rockefeller and supported by his
> > brother, Nelson Rockefeller when he was New York governor.
> >
> > The trade center towers were a financial failure for their first two
> > decades, requiring subsidies from users of airports, bridges, and
> > other Port Authority facilities. During the recent economic boom, the
> > Port Authority managed to convince a developer, Larry Silverstein, to
> > lease the center for 99 years.
> >
> > Silverstein says he wants to rebuild the center, but in the form of
> > four 50- to 60-story buildings instead of two 110-story structures.
> > Shorter buildings would make less of a target, but might not
> > discourage companies from migrating to lower-density areas.
> >
> > The very reason that terrorism is so hard to combat is that
> > terrorists absolutely refuse to bunch up. Though Americans may want
> > to defy the terrorists, the notion that we should all subsidize New
> > York's position as America's economic capital, effectively bunching
> > ourselves up, is absurd.
> >
> > Without trying to put more spin on the situation, it is possible to
> > predict some likely trends. First, companies and individuals will
> > slightly accelerate their move to lower density areas. Of course, the
> > trend to the suburbs is more than a century old. Since 1920,
> > Manhattan's population has fallen from more than 2.5 million people
> > to just 1.5 million today.
> >
> > Mayor Giuliani's recent order prohibiting single-occupant autos in
> > Manhattan during certain hours won't help, since in the long run
> > those who want to drive such vehicles will simply go somewhere else.
> > If Giuliani really wanted to help Manhattan, he would encourage
> > developers to include huge parking garages in any buildings replacing
> > the ones demolished on September 11.
> >
> > Second, the terror will make it harder for sprawl opponents to argue
> > that people should bunch up in compact cities. While the provincial
> > New York Times gave NRDC's claims lots of print space, Ambrose's op
> > ed in the Wall Street Journal will have a greater long-term impact
> > because Ambrose is a popular writer not identified as pro- or
> > anti-sprawl.
> >
> > Third, if increased security measures increase the costs or,
> > especially, the time required to fly, people are going to do a lot
> > more intercity driving. Air service will especially lose market share
>
> > to the auto for trips of 250 miles or less.
> >
> > Fourth, AMTRAK will probably use the increased demand for its
> > services to convince Congress to bail it out for another few years.
> > But unless there are further hijackings, rail will not gain a
> > significant share over air or auto in any market. AMTRAK carries an
> > insignificant share of intercity passenger miles in any case -- less
> > than a quarter of a percent in 1998. Passenger trains are pretty, but
> > outside of the NE corridor not much of a salvation to U.S.
> > transportation woes.
> >
> > Fifth, local pride, the desire to maintain economic supremacy, and
> > billions in federal aid will lead New York to disregard economic and
> > security questions and rebuild new skyscrapers to replace the World
> > Trade Center. Whether they will be 110-stories tall is still open to
> > question, but they will no doubt stand out on the New York skyline.
> >
> > Finally, smart-growth advocates will continue to twist the facts to
> > make their crazy ideas appear reasonable.
> >
> > References and Links
> >
> > Eric Goldstein was quoted in the October 5 New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/05/nyregion/05SPRA.html.
> >
> > Stephen Ambrose's op ed in the October 1 Wall Street Journal is at

http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=3D95001245.
> >
> > Dan Gillmor's column in the September 23 San Jose Mercury can be
> > found at 
http://www0.mercurycenter.com/premium/business/docs/gillmor23.htm.
> >
> > Holman Jenkins Jr.'s article was in the September 19 Wall Street
> > Journal, 
http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/hjenkins/?id=3D95001173.
> >
> > Paul Krugman's op ed can be found in the October 3 New York Times at

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/03/opinion/03KRUG.html.
> >
> > An analysis by the Reason Foundation's Sam Staley of the effects of
> > the attack on New York can be found at

http://www.rppi.org/wtc/100501staley.html.
> >
> > Other views:
> >
> > Sam Staley, "What Can We See in Manhattan's Urban Future,"

http://www.rppi.org/wtc/100501staley.html
> >
> > New Urbanists, "Smart Growth Is Still Smart,"

http://www.newcolonist.com/smartgrowth.html.
> >
> > Thomas Bray, "Let Freedom Sprawl,"

http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/tbray/?id=3D95001150
> >
> > Business Week, "The Future of the City,"

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/01_40/b3751726.htm
> >
> > Leonard Gilroy, "Our Relationship with the Built Environment,"

http://www.rppi.org/opeds/092801.html
> >
> > Washington Post, "N.Y. Weighs Its 'Bittersweet Opportunity,'"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17789-2001Oct6.html
> >
> > _________________________________________________________
> >
> > Randal O'Toole                      The Thoreau Institute
> > rot@ti.org                              http://www.ti.org
> >
> > Please feel free to forward or reprint this article with appropriate
> > citation. If you would like to be added to or removed from the
> > Thoreau Institute's urban mobility list, send an email to rot@ti.org.
> >
> > If you do not already have your copy of The Vanishing Automobile and
> > Other Urban Myths, order it now for only $14.95 plus $4 shipping in
> > the U.S. ($7 in Canada and Mexico, $9 elsewhere). You can order by
> > responding to this email with your name and address; we will send you
> > the book with an invoice. For more information, see
> > http://www.ti.org/va.html.
> >
> > Most back issues of Vanishing Automobile updates are posted at
> > http://www.ti.org/vaupdates.html. Also see
> > http://www.ti.org/urban.html for articles and op eds and
> > http://www.ti.org/urbanmobility.html for other analyses of urban
> > issues.
>
> To set DIGEST mode and only receive one list message per day with all the
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>

Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2001 13:41:53 -0700 (PDT) From: Anthony Townsend To: Urban Technology & Telecommunications Subject: Re: Impact of Terrorism on Concentration within Firms and Urban Areas This debate is very US-centric as well, despite the fact that we are only the most recent nation to get acquainted with terrorism. I seriously doubt that the forces driving urbanization in places like China, Indonesia, Nigeria, etc are going to be seriously dampened by security threats. Also, sprawl is a very energy-intensive form of development. Currently, most of that emergy comes from oil. Both through our involvement with oil-producing nations in the middle east and the econmoics of refining and storage of petroleom products, that oil dependency driven by auto use creates a lots of potential targets. --- Tom Lowenhaupt wrote: > October 9, 2001 > > Dear Tom, > > Have you seen any articles on the military > vulnerabilities of a more > dispersed society? Would a 2050 bin Laden resign > himself that > America-the-dispersed is invulnerable? Or would she > wait for the dispersed > to gather in school, church, shopping malls, and > sports arenas? > > I presume we could also do away with all mass > congregation, stay in our > homes, stick our heads in a fully protected > underground shield and say - > thank the lord, I've found security. (I know I'm > tempted to do that.) > > But what do we loose by living in a dispersed > fashion? What are the > political, social, and economic ramifications of > dispersion? > > As a NYC resident I read your message very > carefully. This morning my #2 son > took the subway to high school. Will he come home > safely? Has our subway > been dusted with anthrax, smallpox...? > > I'm inclined to believe that, until we recognize > that we all share one small > planet, and that we are our brother's keeper, > dispersal is folly. > > Thomas Lowenhaupt > > > ----- Original Message ----- > From: "Tom Black" > To: "Urban Technology & Telecommunications" > > Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2001 9:30 AM > Subject: Re: Impact of Terrorism on Concentration > within Firms and Urban > Areas >
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2001 09:10:51 +0200 From: richard-seyler.ling@telenor.com To: Urban Technology & Telecommunications Subject: RE: Impact of Terrorism on Concentration within Firms and Urban A reas Another issue here is that while dispersion is, perhaps, a defence against bombs and such, it is not a defence against biological warfare. There may be some marginal gains in the spreading of viruses in highly concentrated areas such as Manhattan, but while not being an epidemiologist, I would guess that the suburbs provide enough opportunities for contact that a virus could be efficiently spread in such milieus Rich Ling -----Original Message----- From: Anthony Townsend [mailto:townsnda@yahoo.com] Sent: 9. oktober 2001 22:42 To: Urban Technology & Telecommunications Subject: Re: Impact of Terrorism on Concentration within Firms and Urban Areas This debate is very US-centric as well, despite the fact that we are only the most recent nation to get acquainted with terrorism. I seriously doubt that the forces driving urbanization in places like China, Indonesia, Nigeria, etc are going to be seriously dampened by security threats. Also, sprawl is a very energy-intensive form of development. Currently, most of that emergy comes from oil. Both through our involvement with oil-producing nations in the middle east and the econmoics of refining and storage of petroleom products, that oil dependency driven by auto use creates a lots of potential targets. --- Tom Lowenhaupt wrote: > October 9, 2001 > > Dear Tom, > > Have you seen any articles on the military > vulnerabilities of a more > dispersed society? Would a 2050 bin Laden resign > himself that > America-the-dispersed is invulnerable? Or would she > wait for the dispersed > to gather in school, church, shopping malls, and > sports arenas? > > I presume we could also do away with all mass > congregation, stay in our > homes, stick our heads in a fully protected > underground shield and say - > thank the lord, I've found security. (I know I'm > tempted to do that.) > > But what do we loose by living in a dispersed > fashion? What are the > political, social, and economic ramifications of > dispersion? > > As a NYC resident I read your message very > carefully. This morning my #2 son > took the subway to high school. Will he come home > safely? Has our subway > been dusted with anthrax, smallpox...? > > I'm inclined to believe that, until we recognize > that we all share one small > planet, and that we are our brother's keeper, > dispersal is folly. > > Thomas Lowenhaupt > > > ----- Original Message ----- > From: "Tom Black" > To: "Urban Technology & Telecommunications" > > Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2001 9:30 AM > Subject: Re: Impact of Terrorism on Concentration > within Firms and Urban > Areas >
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 14:39:12 +1300 From: Bevis England To: Urban Technology & Telecommunications Subject: RE: Impact of Terrorism on Concentration within Firms and Urban Areas I feel that this posting needs a response, and perhaps some clarification. > This debate is very US-centric as well, despite the > fact that we are only the most recent nation to get > acquainted with terrorism. Yes, the debate is a little US-centric at the moment. For many, the definition of terrorism covers a great many sins -- the violent intervention in another state's business, life and economics, and the killing of many millions of people is not simply the prerogative of this week's or this decade's ideological extremists. Established governments, companies, and ideologies all practice terrorism of one form or another and it is at least arguable that 'the most recent nation to get acquainted with terrorism' might not be the US but the African country that lost many thousands of people to starvation yesterday. But perhaps this is a separate issue ... there is no denying the affront and the tragedy that the events of September 11 afflicted on Americans everywhere. It cannot be easy to have the symbols (and lives) of everything that is held dear removed so suddenly and with such precision. (We in New Zealand experienced the same reactions when terrorists bombed a ship moored in Auckland harbour, sending it to the bottom of the harbour and killing those who could not get out. But in our case the terrorists were the French Government! an organisation that is not, so far, a target for 'Enduring Freedom'.) > I seriously doubt that the > forces driving urbanization in places like China, > Indonesia, Nigeria, etc are going to be seriously > dampened by security threats. One wonders whether the forces driving urbanisation in developing countries can be compared to those driving it in the West. Where the latter is driven by 'efficiency', the former is often driven by the need for jobs, for survival. And to a certain extent it is arguable, again, that urbanisation in both developed and developed countries are but flip sides of the same coin ... But to the nub of the issue: > Also, sprawl is a very energy-intensive form of > development. Currently, most of that emergy comes from > oil. Both through our involvement with oil-producing > nations in the middle east and the econmoics of > refining and storage of petroleom products, that oil > dependency driven by auto use creates a lots of > potential targets. A dispersed city, a dispersed workforce (telework, home offices, etc.), actually reduces oil consumption. Research in the US, in New Zealand, and elsewhere suggests that a dispersed workforce reduces vehicle fuel consumption by between 5 and 50%. Reducing one's dependence on external raw materials (while removing some of the domestic targets) is a valid security objective and could, on a global scale, reduce the need for some of the policies that might have created this situation in the first place. Regards, Bevis England, suffering perhaps from a surfeit of reflection and perspective ...
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 11:33:07 -0400 From: Barry Drogin To: Urban Technology & Telecommunications Subject: RE: Impact of Terrorism on Concentration within Firms and Urban Areas The author's spin fails to take into account the one characteristic that distinguishes New York City from all other urban centers - its massive amount of mass transit. The statistics, which I do not have at hand, are amazing. Intermodal travel - subway, ferry, bus, train, taxi - is not a dream but a reality in NYC. Unlike a conventional war, where the enemy tries to kill as many troops as possible to force a surrender, this enemy is not interested in killing as many civilians as possible, but in spreading as much terror as possible. Therefore, the attacks will be symbolic and meant to have the widest impact. An anthrax letter effecting 2 or 3 people at "American Media" rather than trying to destroy CNN or Fox. Kind of obvious, don't you think? And didn't it get massive media coverage? After the initial big attack, should they hit another big city? Well, that will terrify people in other big cities, and make commentators like this pro-suburban sprawl person feel real safe. But how about hitting a small city? Or a residential suburb? Won't that spread the word that no one is safe (even if, statistically, most people are)? I pray that there are no more attacks, and that I am not a predicting Cassandra. But these are clever evil people. What would you do? Barry Drogin
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 11:37:04 -0400 From: Candice Gruver To: Urban Technology & Telecommunications Subject: Re: Impact of Terrorism on Concentration within Firms and Urban Areas The violent intervention of people against people has been going on since human life began. No people are immune to that. It has been called a variety of things, but it is a constant in the human condition. It is also a constant in the animal kingdom though it is more directly correlated to biological needs for food in that realm, although territoriality is dealt with aggressively and often violently there as well. Having both lived in Africa during a massive famine and observed the events in lower Manhattan firsthand, having just dropped off my fiance on Wall Street, I do believe that they are completely separate issues. I witnessed extreme poverty and saw children die from hunger in Africa, and I witnessed, as debris rained down on my car, a plane hit the south tower of buildings holding 50,000 people and watched horrified as people jumped from the 80th, 90th, and 100th stories for their lives. It is different. Many many governments, western democracies certainly not excluded, commit atrocious acts of terror on a dramatic scale, and they have through history. Far from believing that capitalism and western culture are perfect, I have spent the better part of 20 years working to change the system, to advocate justice and peace, to denounce the support of unjust systems and governments, and to promote peaceful, economically sound, just, and environmentally thoughtful solutions to issues at hand. I believe that working towards such goals can make a difference. It remains true that violent intervention has gone on for the history of human life on Earth. Metropolises and urban centers have existed everywhere for centuries. Not just a western phenomenon, they are a phenomenon of the exchange of goods that has been occurring worldwide for ages. The reasons that people in developing countries move to cities also are very much the same for those in developed nations. People move from their hometowns to large metropolises for economic reasons everywhere. Including the United States. Some of my family are farmers in the midwest - I did not grow up there - and they all work another job while farming. It's economically challenging to live outside of major cities everywhere. Urbanisation in the West began as an economic drive and remains one. Certainly the economic situations the U.S. and Europe have are different than those of many African and Asian countries. They are still economic situations rather than efficiency situations. The people working in the WTC and elsewhere were and are working to provide for their families just as folks moving from rural China to Guangzhou are trying to provide for theirs. The world evolves and evolves and evolves. Thank the gods or the humans or the environment or whatever you choose to thank because if it didn't evolve, we would still be in caves with no means of communication - or possibly not be here at all. Things would be stagnant and boring. Humans could not share with one another or exchange ideas or provide support to each other or offer unrequested kindnesses or analyze things in all of the ways that we do now. The values that we hold dear and think to be unarguably THE CORRECT WAY, may in two hundred years be seen as foolhardy and backwards. We won't know. That is because in the interim so many people will be able to exchange thoughts and ideas that new things will be learned and new ideas brought up and evolution will continue at all levels. Part of the reason that this is possible, and certainly the reason this list-serv is possible, is due to communications systems developed largely by the evil western conglomerate itself. There are all kinds of changes happening every day at every level of our biosphere and beyond. We can control what kind of changes we make as individuals and can determine how we respond to those changes. I'm glad that, at least until now, my government has been part of the reason that I am able to express publicly and without much retribution what I think to be the right course of action to take. I plan to continue to use that freedom. On 10/10/01 9:39 PM, "Bevis England" wrote: > I feel that this posting needs a response, and perhaps some clarification. > >> This debate is very US-centric as well, despite the >> fact that we are only the most recent nation to get >> acquainted with terrorism. > > Yes, the debate is a little US-centric at the moment. For many, the > definition of terrorism covers a great many sins -- the violent intervention > in another state's business, life and economics, and the killing of many > millions of people is not simply the prerogative of this week's or this > decade's ideological extremists. Established governments, companies, and > ideologies all practice terrorism of one form or another and it is at least > arguable that 'the most recent nation to get acquainted with terrorism' > might not be the US but the African country that lost many thousands of > people to starvation yesterday. > > But perhaps this is a separate issue ... there is no denying the affront and > the tragedy that the events of September 11 afflicted on Americans > everywhere. It cannot be easy to have the symbols (and lives) of everything > that is held dear removed so suddenly and with such precision. (We in New > Zealand experienced the same reactions when terrorists bombed a ship moored > in Auckland harbour, sending it to the bottom of the harbour and killing > those who could not get out. But in our case the terrorists were the French > Government! an organisation that is not, so far, a target for 'Enduring > Freedom'.) > >> I seriously doubt that the >> forces driving urbanization in places like China, >> Indonesia, Nigeria, etc are going to be seriously >> dampened by security threats. > > One wonders whether the forces driving urbanisation in developing countries > can be compared to those driving it in the West. Where the latter is driven > by 'efficiency', the former is often driven by the need for jobs, for > survival. And to a certain extent it is arguable, again, that urbanisation > in both developed and developed countries are but flip sides of the same > coin ... > > But to the nub of the issue: > >> Also, sprawl is a very energy-intensive form of >> development. Currently, most of that emergy comes from >> oil. Both through our involvement with oil-producing >> nations in the middle east and the econmoics of >> refining and storage of petroleom products, that oil >> dependency driven by auto use creates a lots of >> potential targets. > > A dispersed city, a dispersed workforce (telework, home offices, etc.), > actually reduces oil consumption. Research in the US, in New Zealand, and > elsewhere suggests that a dispersed workforce reduces vehicle fuel > consumption by between 5 and 50%. Reducing one's dependence on external raw > materials (while removing some of the domestic targets) is a valid security > objective and could, on a global scale, reduce the need for some of the > policies that might have created this situation in the first place. > > Regards, > Bevis England, suffering perhaps from a surfeit of reflection and > perspective ... >
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 09:53:18 -0700 (PDT) From: Anthony Townsend To: Urban Technology & Telecommunications Subject: RE: Impact of Terrorism on Concentration within Firms and Urban Areas --- Bevis England wrote: > I feel that this posting needs a response, and > perhaps some clarification. > > > This debate is very US-centric as well, despite > the > > fact that we are only the most recent nation to > get > > acquainted with terrorism. > > Yes, the debate is a little US-centric at the > moment. For many, the > definition of terrorism covers a great many sins -- > the violent intervention > in another state's business, life and economics, and > the killing of many > millions of people is not simply the prerogative of > this week's or this > decade's ideological extremists. Established > governments, companies, and > ideologies all practice terrorism of one form or > another and it is at least > arguable that 'the most recent nation to get > acquainted with terrorism' > might not be the US but the African country that > lost many thousands of > people to starvation yesterday. > > But perhaps this is a separate issue ... there is no > denying the affront and > the tragedy that the events of September 11 > afflicted on Americans > everywhere. It cannot be easy to have the symbols > (and lives) of everything > that is held dear removed so suddenly and with such > precision. (We in New > Zealand experienced the same reactions when > terrorists bombed a ship moored > in Auckland harbour, sending it to the bottom of the > harbour and killing > those who could not get out. But in our case the > terrorists were the French > Government! an organisation that is not, so far, a > target for 'Enduring > Freedom'.) > i did not mean the terroism debate, i meant the end-of-the-city-due-to-terrorism debate > > I seriously doubt that the > > forces driving urbanization in places like China, > > Indonesia, Nigeria, etc are going to be seriously > > dampened by security threats. > > One wonders whether the forces driving urbanisation > in developing countries > can be compared to those driving it in the West. > Where the latter is driven > by 'efficiency', the former is often driven by the > need for jobs, for > survival. And to a certain extent it is arguable, > again, that urbanisation > in both developed and developed countries are but > flip sides of the same > coin ... > my point exactly. even if it is true that western cities need to sprawl or decentralize as a security issue, the debate cannot generalize this analysis and solution to all cities everywhere. in fact, US urban development is a very special case. > But to the nub of the issue: > > > Also, sprawl is a very energy-intensive form of > > development. Currently, most of that emergy comes > from > > oil. Both through our involvement with > oil-producing > > nations in the middle east and the econmoics of > > refining and storage of petroleom products, that > oil > > dependency driven by auto use creates a lots of > > potential targets. > > A dispersed city, a dispersed workforce (telework, > home offices, etc.), > actually reduces oil consumption. Research in the > US, in New Zealand, and > elsewhere suggests that a dispersed workforce > reduces vehicle fuel > consumption by between 5 and 50%. Reducing one's > dependence on external raw > materials (while removing some of the domestic > targets) is a valid security > objective and could, on a global scale, reduce the > need for some of the > policies that might have created this situation in > the first place. > where do you get these numbers? no respectable research i have ever seen supports this claim and much refutes it. i think that the general consuensus among people who actually study theses things is that higher population density (and less auto use) saves energy in heating and transportation costs, except when you get to exceptional desnities like Manhattan or Hong Kong.
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 10:07:18 -0400 From: Chris Zegras To: Urban Technology & Telecommunications Subject: dispersed cities and vehicle fuel consumption Sorry, if this is slightly off topic, but Bevis England writes: "A dispersed city, a dispersed workforce (telework, home offices, etc.), actually reduces oil consumption. Research in the US, in New Zealand, and elsewhere suggests that a dispersed workforce reduces vehicle fuel consumption by between 5 and 50%." could you please provide some references for that work? I'd be very interested in seeing it. Cheers, CZ ------------------------------------------------- Christopher Zegras Research Associate MIT * Laboratory for Energy & the Environment * Room E40-468 1 Amherst Street * Cambridge, MA 02139 Tel: 617 258 6084 * Fax: 617 253 8013
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2001 11:53:29 +1300 From: Bevis England To: Urban Technology & Telecommunications Subject: RE: Impact of Terrorism on Concentration within Firms and Urban Areas Anthony Townsend wrote on Friday, October 12, 2001 5:53 AM > i did not mean the terroism debate, i meant the > end-of-the-city-due-to-terrorism debate I apologise Anthony, I shouldn't have misdirected the discussion -- my excuse is recent over-exposure to writings in a number of American and European papers. > even if it is true that western > cities need to sprawl or decentralize as a security > issue, the debate cannot generalize this analysis and > solution to all cities everywhere. in fact, US urban > development is a very special case. Accepted. > where do you get these numbers? See separate email >no respectable > research i have ever seen supports this claim and much > refutes it. US Federal research and pilot studies are I think respectable and CADET is, I believe, highly respected globally. We can debate the provenance of the other examples cited but I think the point is at least well enough supported for us to apply research to projects that might meet our specific objectives. > i think that the general consuensus among > people who actually study theses things is that higher > population density (and less auto use) saves energy in > heating and transportation costs, except when you get > to exceptional desnities like Manhattan or Hong Kong. Yes, I can see how that operates where home and work are very close, and where effective alternatives to vehicle use and oil consumption are available. But I question the logic where home and work are distant from each other -- as soon as a trip longer than a walk or a cycle is required, fuel consumption climbs. The Federal Puget Sound case study assessed this directly. Regards, Bevis England.
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2001 11:53:33 +1300 From: Bevis England To: Urban Technology & Telecommunications Subject: RE: Impact of Terrorism on Concentration within Firms and Urban Areas Candice wrote: on Friday, October 12, 2001 4:37 AM > The violent intervention of people against people has been going on since > human life began. But still I'd like to think there was an alternative -- even a lateral one. > Having both lived in Africa during a massive famine and observed > the events > in lower Manhattan firsthand,.... It is different. Granted. There is a certain shocking and personal immediacy to the latter. And it can be difficult to comprehend the father of six jumping to his death from his high-rise window because he can't afford the medicine his children need and to understand the less immediate causes of such action (and the years of hardship that led up to it). And perhaps this is a separate issue to where we started from -- my fault, I apologise. > Far from believing that capitalism and western culture are perfect, I have > spent the better part of 20 years working to change the system, > ... I believe that > working towards such goals can make a difference. .... As I have done and still do also -- hence my ongoing interest in looking for a better way, a better city, a better work- and life-style. > Metropolises and urban centers have existed everywhere for centuries. Not > just a western phenomenon, they are a phenomenon of the exchange of goods > that has been occurring worldwide for ages. But perhaps now this exchange of goods and services no longer need rely on our proximity to each other. >The reasons that people in > developing countries move to cities also are very much the same > for those in > developed nations. ... They are still economic situations rather than efficiency > situations. I understand what you're getting at but I have heard urban planners argue that crowding people into single buildings is an efficient means of making a city culture economic. I still think that this is different to the phenomena of urban drift seen in under developed countries globally. And I have heard urban planners complaining about the problems this urban drift creates in both urban and 'rural' societies. > The world evolves and evolves and evolves. .... Part of the reason that this is > possible, and certainly the reason this list-serv is possible, is due to > communications systems developed largely by the evil western conglomerate > itself. And perhaps, now, these communications systems and the rethinking they make possible (require?) have provided a framework within which the next evolutionary step can be taken. The question remains, what should the role of the City be in our evolving world? Isn't there now a Darwinian driver for us to consider alternatives? Regards, Bevis England
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2001 11:53:31 +1300 From: Bevis England To: Urban Technology & Telecommunications Subject: RE: dispersed cities and vehicle fuel consumption > From: Chris Zegras wrote, on October 12, 2001 3:07 > Sorry, if this is slightly off topic, but Bevis England writes: > "A dispersed city, a dispersed workforce (telework, home offices, etc.), > actually reduces oil consumption. Research in the US, in New Zealand, and > elsewhere suggests that a dispersed workforce reduces vehicle fuel > consumption by between 5 and 50%." > > could you please provide some references for that work? I'd be very > interested in seeing it. I agree with Anthony that there has been some contradictory research in the field. But without getting too academic about it: ask yourself -- if you did not HAVE to travel to work, to shop, or to access information and if your local community could answer your requirements for social interaction and entertainment, how many trips would you have to make in an average week? How much fuel would you save? If we conscientiously sought to move only the lightest objects (information not people, many people or parcels at once not individual people or parcels, for example) how much energy would we save? Among the statistics that I based my original comment on are the following: - An Auckland Regional Council research report (1998-99): 9.50% reduction in trips (4.67% for single occupant car trips); 10% reduction in time spent commuting (5.55% for SOC); and 9.87% reduction in kilometres travelled (5.68% for SOC). More background on this exercise is available at www.telework.co.nz/sarcreport.htm. - A Wellington Regional Council report (2000-01) that reported similar figures. - a CADET report on US Federal Government telecommuting trial in Puget Sound that said a 10% reduction in net energy consumption was produced (incorporating home heating, vehicular travel and all other energy forms). - Conducted in 1989-90, a telework pilot in California reduced car usage by 22%, with employees working only 1.5 days a week at home. (The home work affected non-work car usage as well as the new life style led to better efficiency.) - Federal Department of Transportation Report 1993: Based on a projection of 7.5 to 15 million teleworkers by 2002 (5.2% to 10.4% of the labour force) -- savings of 17.6 to 25.1 million vehicle miles travelled, 2.3% to 4.5% in commuting VMT, 0.7% to 1.4% in total passenger VMT, 840 to 1,679 million gallons of gasoline, 1.1% to 3.4% in noxious emissions, and 826 to 1,652 million hours. It's worth noting that the latest figures had about 19 million teleworkers in the States (2000) and Gartner Group predicted that there would be 30 million by 2003. - Research by Management Technology Associates in the UK, based on National Transport Survey data concluded that if the top 15% of car commuters (in terms of mileage) switched to telework, it would halve the UK's total car commuting miles, petrol use and congestion. Fuel consumption is driven not only by distance travelled but also by the congestion suffered. And the relationship between congestion and consumption is not linear: small reductions in congestion produce large reductions in consumption. A 5% reduction in congestion could save between 5% and 20% (or more) in consumption, depending on the road network and other factors. If our motivation is to change our cities for the better shouldn't we be looking at how we can reproduce these results and not at whether we can disprove them? (Of course we should base our actions on research, but this research should be applied to what we intend to; not drawn from potentially unrelated examples.) There are a number of approaches (not all technological or expensive) that we could take -- and they would reduce our need to construct highly dense urban environments (targets) where all workers HAVE to be (we can choose whether to go to the ball park) and our reliance on external oil supplies. (Although not directly relevant: the Henley Centre for Forecasting in the UK, reporting in 1989: 17% of all accidents happen while commuting If there were 20% less cars on the road, 185 lives could be saved every year (in the UK) with 2000 fewer being injured. STG93 million would be saved in medical costs and lost working days. If 20% of the London workforce moved home, the price of a city home would drop 15% to around STG60,000 while the price of homes outside the city would rise 50% to STG67,000 within three years. A nation-wide increase in productivity of the order of 1% (equivalent to the saving in travel time only, made possible by telecommuting) would mean an immediate drop of 0.7% in the rate of inflation.) Much urbanisation was driven initially by the need to keep paper information and thus workers together, by the need to deliver products and service to these people, by the need for these people to be in a face-to-face environment, or by the need for those seeking employment to move to such concentrations. Technology and related approaches can make it possible to access information anywhere with minimal infrastructure (what is the oil cost of a wireless network?), to purchase products and access services without travelling to shops or government offices, and to deliver employment to remote environments, it should have a profound affect on our urban environments. (As people begin to experience the use of such technologies and approaches, the need for face-to-face contact also declines markedly.) I'd like to think that the comments made above could lead us to think a bit more laterally about the role of our dense urban environments and the problems they can create. There are alternatives. Regards, Bevis England Auckland
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2001 13:38:24 From: Joshua Drucker To: Urban Technology & Telecommunications Subject: RE: dispersed cities and vehicle fuel consumption Again, I think it should be emphasized that there has been a lot of contradictory research on this topic - a good portion of which I reviewed for a paper presented at the Transportation Research Board conference in 2000 (US-specific), including what I believe is a later follow-up to the CalTrans pilot study mentioned in the last message. Besides the current reality that many jobs and many employers do not permit telework, and that many professions allow for only occasional telework, there are also confounding factors to reduced travel: e.g., loss of carpooling and ridesharing options, non-work trips or multiple-stop trips increasing, and increased distance traveled on commuting days (the possibility of telework opens up choices of home and work locations to greater commute distances). In addition, the crucial distinction between a dispersed city and a workforce engaged in telecommuting remains. Only very small proportions of the workforce currently engage in telecommuting in the States, and most of those only part-time. I imagine the numbers are slightly higher in countries on the western side of the Pacific, yet most people still commute to a place of work on a regular basis. The great preponderance of evidence supports the contention that with current workforce commuting habits, workplace and residential dispersion tend to increase average vehicle miles traveled, and thus travel time, emissions, energy consumption, accidents, etc. (though there is a school of contention, based mainly with Gordon & Richardson at USC that argues that decreased average distances and reduced congestion may result from LA-style dispersion).
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2001 16:27:31 -0400 From: Chris Zegras To: Urban Technology & Telecommunications Subject: Subject: RE: dispersed cities and vehicle fuel consumption I agree with the potentials that teleworking (or tele-tripping in general) has for reducing transportation fuel consumption. However, there are at least two important points to make here: 1. We were talking about dispersed cities and fuel consumption. Teleworking does not require dispersed cities - i can just as easily do it from a dense city, where previously i may have walked or biked to work. 2. The jury is still out on the net effects of teletravel possibilities on overall urban travel activities and the activity space (i.e., urban form). An interesting and useful way to think about it is within the framework of constant travel time budgets (money and time). Considerable (though, not necessarily irrefutable) empirical evidence suggests that - **on average** - humans spend a constant amount of travel time (~1.1 hours/day) and dedicate a relatively constant portion of disposable income to travel (aprox. 15%). This theory dates back to work by Zahavi in the 1970s and more recently has been refined by Schafer (see, for example http://www.sciam.com/1097issue/1097schafer.html) who has been doing much work lately analyzing travel surveys from around the world. Anyway, the point of all this is the following. If, without constraints, we tend towards a constant amount of travel time and constant travel budget, then any trips I substitute with ICTs, I will compensate for by making additional and/or longer other trips. This is akin to the so-called "rebound effect" - we re-invest some of our fuel savings from more efficient vehicles into more or longer trips. There is, of course, the possibility that the trip substitution possibilities of ICTs may fundamentally alter our human activity patterns, specifically this apparent constant travel time and money budgets - but that is still an area not yet touched by research that I know of. It does seem apparent that the *still preliminary* results in from the telecommuting pilot projects that have been done indicate that telecommuting does reduce an individual's trips and distances traveled on *days when that individual telecommutes*. This is important for possibly reducing congestion (since, work trips are typically peak period) and environmental effects (i.e., excess pollution due to vehicular cold starts). BUT, we don't know if these people might increase their total travel (and thus energy consumption). Furthermore, since the concept of latent demand is well-known and documented in transportation research, there is a good possibility that the teleworkers simply free up road space for others that previously stayed out of the travel "market" due to congestion....The jury is still out. Furthermore, and getting back to the original point of dispersed cities - there is evidence that less dense cities do have higher per capita transport energy consumption (Newman and Kenworthy produced the famous - controversial and highly debated - curves showing the negative correlation b/w urban density and per capita transport energy use; the World Bank has shown similar results to be true using residential floor area per capita (what they call "residential crowding")). This seems to be true, in aggregate, across cities; but of course, it does not include all the other factors of potential influence - wealth, fuel prices, etc. That said, if tele-travel options might lead to more urban dispersal (I know that this is an open debate on this list and in these circles in general - but see, for example: http://globaltelematics.com/dispersal.htm) then this urban dispersal will likely lead to an overall net increase in per capita transport energy use. Of course, most of this is completely conjectural, clearly there is considerable room for more research...... Cheers, CZ -------------------------------------------------- Christopher Zegras Research Associate MIT * Laboratory for Energy & the Environment * Room E40-468 1 Amherst Street * Cambridge, MA 02139 Tel: 617 258 6084 * Fax: 617 253 8013
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2001 11:54:44 +1300 From: Bevis England To: Urban Technology & Telecommunications Subject: RE: dispersed cities and vehicle fuel consumption Hi all, In response to both Joshua's and Chris's recent postings I think we need to draw a line between what is and what we think might work out better. It is probably accurate to suggest that if we stick with the status quo, i.e. do not promote and increase teletravel adoption and use, retain our existing city forms, roads, and travel perquisites, and do not take control of how our environments develop, the future for trip reduction from teletravel options is not all that bright. However, if we look to change the status quo and develop new forms that might work better in the future (for whatever reason) then we can directly influence how well approaches such as teletravel will work for us. Teletrips will not be as effective as they could be if we are constrained within the present urban design parameters (dispersed cities such as LA, Auckland, and others excluded). But if we took the potential seriously, we could be rethinking the way we lay out cities and living environments, changing the parameters. As Chris suggests, there is considerable scope for more research but if this focused on the role of teletrips within existing urban design parameters it might not be all that helpful. I'd like to see research applied to specific initiatives that aim to realise the potential that appears possible. What happens if we change the parameters? Perhaps we should treat most present research as a baseline study for a particular setting and then do some conditional analysis to assess the real potential. For example, suburb x has y hundred teletrippers, saving z trips, fuel, etc. and has the following problems. That is the baseline. If we promoted more teletrips and made it easier, if we changed the urban layout, or if we did any of a number of other things, what would be the impact? Could it solve the problems? Would making such things possible be the most cost-effective means of solving the problems? Could a proactive approach yield significant benefit and change our cities for the better? Existing reactive planning (embedded in the status quo) does little to advance our objectives. Common sense suggests that a trip avoided is a fuel saving, an environmental saving, and could help us reshape our urban environment. My response is to look at what we could do to avoid this trip, assess the feasibility, and do it. I am already active in three projects that aim to change our urban parameters to better reflect the potential benefits of telecommunications technology. Is anyone else working in this field? Regards,    Bevis England, Telework New Zealand Box 60-469, Titirangi, Auckland. Ph: +64-9-811 8024 bevis@telework.co.nz  . . . . .   www.telework.co.nz  
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2001 10:42:8 From: Joshua Drucker To: Urban Technology & Telecommunications Subject: RE: dispersed cities and vehicle fuel consumption Kudos to Bevis for pointing out what is hopefully the real function of research - to enact meaningful improvements. Unfortunately, the reality of urban planning in the United States is that it is almost everywhere a reactive and incremental approach. There are many reasons for this, including its position at the local level of government and the strong support for individual property rights throughout the country. This is one of the things that has impressed me most about planning in Australia - its ability to act in a coordinated and proactive manner (and presumably this is true in New Zealand as well). Despite the fact that telework research is by necessity conducted upon existing urban form (the lack of control groups is a major frustration of social and economic research!), some of the results may be useful in planning, implementing, and assessing projects to alter urban form. For example, the arguments raised concerning latent demand (decreased trips by new teleworkers encouraging new trips by others) and individual rebounding (decreased work trips encouraging increased non-work trips) will apply to alterations of urban form as well as to current city layouts. Hopefully, people with reduced work trips that choose to travel the same amount anyway by increasing non-work trips or commuting distance will choose alternatives to private motorized vehicles, but this is dependent upon preferences as well as availability and convenience through urban design. One other quick note for anyone that is interested: the original Newman and Kenworth article (_Gasoline Consumption and Cities, A Comparison of U.S. Cities with a Global Survey_, APA Journal, Winter 1989) did indeed demonstrate a negative correlation between urban density and per capita transportation energy use. Most of the debate engendered by this article has been heated, but the fundamental flaw in their original article is largely unrefutable - a serious mathematical error. Basically, Newman and Kenworthy researched the relationship between y/x and z/y, where x is area, y is population, and z is transportation energy usage. Since the variable y, population, is in both expressions, ANY SET OF DATA will show a negative correlation NO MATTER what X and Z are since y is negatively correlated to 1/y. This has been explained better and in much more detail - I recommend reading the short article by Brindle, _Lies, Damned Lies, and 'Automobile Dependence'_, in Australian Transport Research Forum, Vol. 19, 1994. Newman and Kenworthy have in the succeeding 12 years produced much less striking yet much more fundamentally sound research on the topic, but it remains their original article that receives the most attention.
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2001 08:29:02 +1300 From: Bevis England To: Urban Technology & Telecommunications Subject: RE: dispersed cities and vehicle fuel consumption Joshua Drucker wrote on October 15, 2001 10:00 AM > This is one > of the things that has impressed me most about planning in > Australia - its > ability to act in a coordinated and proactive manner (and presumably this > is true in New Zealand as well). Yes, it does seem possible for local government here to target specific improvements, at a strategic level, and to implement changes through a number of means. Gradual changes in land use regulations, while not interfering with existing land ownership, can create new urban forms over time. Councils also work directly with developers to create these new urban forms on empty land (with, perhaps, higher density). Thirdly, some local government bodies are required to enact strategies for environmental and regional traffic improvements. They get national funding and can work directly to promote alternatives. These three means are all being used in some areas to encourage trip reduction and trip elimination measures -- to achieve environmental and congestion improvements. But my understanding is that similar tools are available in the States, along with some we cannot use yet -- the clean air ordnances in LA and SF in the early/mid 90s for example. Has the impact of these or the more recent Telework!VA campaign been academically researched? Early assessments seemed to show a drop in car usage among affected commuters (in California). > Despite the fact that telework research is by necessity conducted upon > existing urban form (the lack of control groups is a major frustration of > social and economic research!), some of the results may be useful in > planning, implementing, and assessing projects to alter urban form. For > example, the arguments raised concerning latent demand (decreased > trips by > new teleworkers encouraging new trips by others) and individual > rebounding > (decreased work trips encouraging increased non-work trips) will apply to > alterations of urban form as well as to current city layouts. Latent demand is a problem with any change to traffic systems. Research by KPMG (I think) suggested that increasing roads to accommodate existing congestion increased the number of trips by 18% in an area in Auckland. Although teletrip approaches might release latent demand, I don't think it's any thing like the same scale -- particularly as these latter approaches can be coupled to changing land use and attitudinal change, making non-travel more accepted. (Particularly applicable to 'rebounding' teleworkers.) In urban planning it is rarely sufficient to change only one factor but multi-dimensional approaches can be productive. This is true also, I think, of the dispersed workforce approach to energy and security issues. Simply promoting telework might have benefits, but these will be multiplied with additional supportive changes. Ensuring important destinations are nearby (walking distance?), providing electronic access to other 'destinations', as well as encouraging a reduction in commuting, and doing this within a teletrip promotion campaign could be one form of such a multi-dimensional campaign. But as Joshua suggests, there are no controls or examples where the planners have got all of this right (because the holistic approach is yet to be taken?) so conditional rather than academic research might be the only way forward ... Regards,    Bevis England, Telework New Zealand Box 60-469, Titirangi, Auckland. Ph: +64-9-811 8024 bevis@telework.co.nz  . . . . .   www.telework.co.nz  
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2001 14:54:46 -0400 From: Tom Black To: Urban Technology & Telecommunications Subject: Real Estate Market Effects of Recent Terrorist Attacks Came across two articles today addressing the longer term effects of the terrorist attacks. Here are quotes from and the links to the articles: "Corporations will be less likely in the future to lease large blocks of space in downtown office towers and more likely to spread their employees around several suburban locations. So says Owen D. Thomas, managing director of Morgan Stanley Realty, who came to Capitol Hill to brief the Congressional Real Estate Caucus on how the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center will change the industry." From: "Now, New Yorkers are asking whether the forces of dispersion will gain the upper hand, just as gravity seized its chance when the Twin Towers were weakened by air attacks. "Terrorism is posing a threat to the fundamental character of cities such as New York," says Mitchell L. Moss, director of the Taub Urban Research Center at New York University. "It's going to be more difficult, more costly, and more time-consuming to do business here." ...tb