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On Other Blogs Today: Important Graphs and Documentaries

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By Josh Feit August 22, 2014


1. Over at Crosscut, tireless Jeff Reifman, complete with graphs, continues his long-running project peeling back the layers on Microsoft's ability to avoid state taxes.


The bottom line: Reifman writes, "We can conservatively estimate Microsoft’s savings from lobbying and dodging the state royalty tax between 1997 and 2014 at $5.34 billion. If we factor in interest and the Department of Revenue’s typical 25 percent penalty on unpaid corporate taxes, that number jumps to $8.16 billion .

"This is more than enough to fully fund public education under the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision."

2. A counter-intuitive facet of urbanism is that it's kid friendly.

But with all the talk of creative class 20-somethings who want night life, fast bike lanes, and aPodments, how could that be?

Moreover, Seattle, an ascendant urbanist poster child, has lowly households-with-kids stats; 19.2 percent vs. the 30 percent national average.

Well, for starters, as Streetsblog reported this week, Seattle is reversing the trend, while the rest of Washington, including Bellevue, even with those perfect schools, is seeing its kid population decline.

They write: "While all over the country, demographic factors — delayed fertility, lower birth rates, the silver tsunami— are raising the median age, Seattle is unusual in seeing the share of its population under 15 rise — and dramatically." 

And more graphs: 


I wrote about the kids aspect of urbanism in an "Urban Ugrpade" column for the magazine earlier this year where Seattle Planning Commission Director Venessa Murdock spelled out why designing cities for kids facilitates the efficiency principle at the heart of urbanism. 

Designing cities for kids facilitates the efficiency principle at the heart of urbanism. 

“Every backyard doesn’t need a soccer net,” she told me. 

3. Speaking of kids and cities. 

Enough graphs. UrbanResolve posted a mini-documentary film about a first-tier Cleveland suburb where there are no school buses. 

With seven elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school, everyone can walk in what the local Lakewood, Ohio (pop. 52,000, density 9,500 per square mile*) policy planners call the "Neighborhood School Network." 

Watch this sustainability primer on Lakewood's bus-free school district now

*Seattle has about 7,200 people per square mile.


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