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Around the Block: Brainiac Edition

What makes a city “Smart”? As more and more folks begin to embrace the urban lifestyle, IBM looks into the idea of a “Smart City“. Smokestacks, skyscrapers, public parks and public transit – this series delves into what we need to make cities smart, sustainable and livable.

Neighborly Competition According to a recent survey released by Urban Land Institute, 60% of home builders are shifting to pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use neighborhoods in order to stay competitive.

Waiting for the Bottom to Drop New home sales are at a 15-year low. Some economists predicted home sales would dip briefly after the home buyer tax credit expired and rebound soon after. But, in the after math of July’s 27.2% drop in home sales, economists are now wondering how low does the market need to go for the rebound to kick in?

Why Fix It If Isn’t Broke There seems, for the moment, to be a consensus reached about what to do with the mortgage giants. The consensus revolved around a hybrid model in which private banks would decide which mortgages would get the government guarantee. But Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, argues that if we want a cheap and efficient way of sustaining the secondary mortgage market, then keeping Fannie and Freddie as government-owned companies would be the way to go.

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