Tolerance—the third of my 3Ts of economic development—provides a critical source of economic advantage that works alongside Technology and Talent. Places that are open to new ideas attract creative people from around the globe, broadening both their technology and talent capabilities, gaining a substantial economic edge.

The map above shows how metros across the U.S. score on the Tolerance Index, as it ranks U.S. metros according to three key variables—the share of immigrants or foreign-born residents, the Gay Index (the concentration of gays and lesbians), and the Integration Index, which tracks the level of segregation between ethnic and racial groups.

Even more than natural resources and native ingenuity, what has stood at the heart and soul of U.S. prosperity historically has been its openness to hard working, ambitious, and talented immigrants of all stripes—doctors, engineers, and uneducated laborers alike. Roughly half of Silicon Valley start-ups have a foreign-born person among their founding team, according to several recent studies. Careful studies by the economist Giovanni Peri of the University of California at Davis have found that immigrants add rather than detract from American prosperity, for the simple reason that "the skill composition of immigrants is complementary to that of natives." A "more multicultural urban environment," Peri concludes, "makes U.S.-born citizens more productive."

Openness to gays and lesbians similarly reflects an ecosystem that is open to new people and new ideas. It’s amazing how consistently people have misconstrued what my colleagues and I have had to say about the connection between gays and economic growth. They miss the point. A strong and vibrant gay community is a solid leading indicator of a place that is open to many different kinds of people. Ronald Inglehart, who has studied the relationship between culture and economic growth for some four decades, has noted that the lack of societal acceptance of gays is the most significant remaining bastion of intolerance and discrimination around the world. Accordingly, communities that have long been more accepting and open to gay people have an underlying ecosystem which is also more likely to be accepting of new ideas and different types of people, including the eggheads and eccentrics who invent new things and start new enterprises. As Bill Bishop put it, "where gay households abound, geeks follow."

Tolerance affects economic growth by shaping the flow of technology and talent. Most economists tend to see technology and talent as fixed stocks, like raw materials or natural resources, but the reality is that they are flows. Unlike seams of coal or natural harbors, talented people are mobile factors—they can and do move around. Of course talented people come from different racial and ethnic backgrounds - a substantial share of Silicon Valley startups were founded by people who hail originally from outside the United States - as well as different sexual orientations.The fact that some places are better attracting this flow of talent is associated with how open to different kinds of people they are.

Economists frequently note the importance of industries having low entry barriers, so that new firms can easily enter and keep the industry vital. Similarly, a place can benefit from low entry barriers for people—where newcomers from different backgrounds are accepted quickly into all sorts of social and economic arrangements. All else being equal, such communities have an advantage in attracting and retaining the diverse and different types of people who power innovation and growth.

Click HERE to Read the Full Article on The Atlantic Cities! 


The Cities With The Highest Income Adjusted For Cost of Living


When we think of places with high salaries, big metro areas like New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco are usually the first to spring to mind. Or cities with the biggest concentrations of educated workers, such as Boston.

But wages are just one part of the equation — high prices in those East and West Coast cities mean the fat paychecks aren’t necessarily getting the locals ahead. When cost of living is factored in, most of the places that boast the highest effective pay turn out to be in the less celebrated and less expensive middle part of the country. My colleague Mark Schill of Praxis Strategy Group and I looked at the average annual wages in the nation’s 51 largest metropolitan statistical areas and adjusted incomes by the cost of living. The results were surprising and revealing.

One major surprise is the metro area in third place: Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich. This can be explained by the relatively high wages paid in the resurgent auto industry and, as we have reported earlier, a huge surge in well-paying STEM (science, technology, engineering and math-related) jobs. Combine this with some of the most affordable housing in the nation and sizable reductions in unemployment — down 5% in Michigan over the past two years, the largest such drop in the nation. This longtime sad sack region has reason to feel hopeful.

No. 3:
Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI
2011 Adjusted Annual Wage: $57,016
Average Annual Wage: $53,424
Unadjusted Rank: 17

Click HERE to read the full article on Forbes (dot) com! 

Nothing’s going to stop the 2012 Chevrolet Rockin’ on the Riverfront! The GM Riverfront stage will continue strong with the renowned band Starship featuring Mickey Thomas on July 20. The concert presented in partnership with Detroit’s Classic Rock Station 94.7 WCSX-FM and the new Soft Rock 105.1 FM will rock the riverfront stage starting a 7:30p.m.

Forming in the early 1980s, Starship scored major hits across the U.S.Lead singer Mickey Thomas made a name for himself in the 1970s with duel solo albums and collaborations with many rock and roll legends including his role as lead vocalist for The Jets. However, Mickey’s best-known achievements come from his harmonies with the Elvin Bishop Group; specifically, “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” a No. 3 single in 1976.

After a run on his own and with The Jets, Mickey joined both previous band mates and new additions to form Starship. They went on to perform several duets with Grace Slick, ultimately gaining greater influence in the band. Starship’s hit songs “We Built This City” and “Sara” from the album Knee Deep in the Hoopla reached No. 1 in 1985. Featured in the film Mannequin, Starship’s 1987 song “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” also reached No. 1.

Local band Solid State will open the evening at 7:30 p.m. and Starship will rock the stage at 9 p.m.

Rockin’ on the Riverfront, spanning six consecutive Friday evenings beginning July 13, offers more than free concerts. Located in the heart of the city, between the GM Renaissance Center and Detroit River, the event has become a summer destination for dining and entertainment in Detroit. Upcoming shows include: Ace Frehley on July 27; Lou Gramm of Foreigner on August 3; The Sweet & The Tubes on August 10; and Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad and Marshall Crenshaw on Aug. 17.

Admission to the concerts is always free and no advance tickets are necessary. Viewing space is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. In addition, boaters on the Detroit River are welcome to anchor near the riverfront and enjoy the shows from the water.

Andiamo Detroit Riverfront will provide refreshment and food concessions at several locations across the plaza. Outside food, beverages or coolers will not be permitted. Andiamo Detroit Riverfront and Joe Muer Seafood will accept dinner reservations before and after the concert and both restaurants offer outdoor patios overlooking the Detroit River and Rockin’ on the Riverfront stage.

Convenient parking is available for $5 per vehicle, starting at 5:00 p.m., at the GM surface lot at the intersection of St. Antoine and Atwater streets, adjacent to the GM Renaissance Center.

The Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center is offering two viewing packages. The Andiamo Riverfront package includes a four-course dinner and overnight accommodations. The Joe Muer Seafood package includes a four course dinner, overnight accommodations and breakfast at forty-two degrees north. For reservations specify the package and call 1-800-352-0831 or visit detroitmarriott.com. Use promotional code D60.

Fans are invited to watch FOX2 in the Morning every week to enter a FOX2 EXPOSED contest for a chance to win a VIP prize package, which includes two (2) VIP access wristbands and lanyards with front row seats, dinner for two (2) at Andiamo Detroit Riverfront in the Rockin’ on the Riverfront VIP section (the evening of the concert only), overnight accommodations for two (2) at The Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center (the evening of the concert only), free parking in the Beaubien Garage located on Beaubien Street (the evening of the concert only) and a band meet-and-greet (if available). To enter, access the online contest entry form on the MyFoxDetroit.com and follow instructions. Questions for the Starship contest will be read on Monday, July 16.

The 2012 Chevrolet Rockin’ on the Riverfront concert series is sponsored in partnership with Detroit Classic Rock Station 94.7 WCSX-FM, the new Soft Rock 105.1 FM, Volunteer Energy, Belle Tire, Quicken Loans and WJBK FOX2.

For updates and information, visit www.facebook.com/RockinontheRiverfront and www.facebook.com/GMRenCen or www.gmrencen.com.

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) announced today that it will continue its new Mix @ The Max series with “Sin Hielo” on Thursday, August 9 at 7 p.m. Sin Hielo, a pairing of metro Detroit electric and acoustic guitarists Wayne Gerard and Sean Blackman, combines Detroit's grit and modern jazz with the heaviness of Flamenco and rock to form a Detroit jazz world music hybrid. Rick Beamon will accompany on percussion as well as other special guest performers.

Hosted in the intimate Music Box space within the Max M. Fisher Music Center, the performance features cabaret-style seating, a cash bar, and complimentary snacks provided by local food and beverage vendors. Mix @ The Max, premiered in April to a full house, is composed of concerts targeting a new generation of patrons. Acts could include music of any genre, including classical, contemporary, jazz and more.

Tickets to Sin Hielo are $25 in advance and $28 at the door, and may be purchased at the Max M. Fisher Music Center box office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit); by calling (313) 576-5111; or online at www.dso.org. Seating is general admission.

About Sin Hielo

Detroit-based musical greats Sean Blackman and Wayne Gerard are individually wildly successful.

But just last year, the two talents joined together to create a unique, powerful Latin/rock/jazz project titled Sin Hielo (pronounced "Sin Yellow”) - and the name represents both the hot sound they have created and the sexy clientele that has jumped on the band's massive touring party vardo. Sin Hielo is joined by world music percussionist Rick Beamon, known as the best in the business.

Blackman is the household name among music lovers in Detroit. In fact, he's so popular that when he played his sold-out show at Orchestra Hall, he received a standing ovation before even playing a single note. He's an award-winning, world music acoustic guitarist who has made his Latin sounds so popular that his concerts sell out based on his name alone.

Blackman has attracted international headlines - from Belgium to Colorado and in-between - as the visionary, composer and leader for the stunning 18-piece theatrical world music production In Transit, Travel the World Through Music & Dance that mixes traditional Brazilian, Armenian and Senegalese sounds with Detroit jazz and funk.

He is known for jaw-dropping, sultry, mesmerizing stage performances, National Geographic documentary compositions, and recently was invited for an exclusive private concert at the US embassy in Berlin.

Electric guitarist Gerard, whose extensive resume includes composing the full score for the motion pictures 'Waiting On Alphie', 'Dream House', 'Flowers for Norma' and 'The Verdict', is now writing for the new motion pictures 'Warsaw', which is in post-production and 'Audition', a comedy for director Juan Reinoso.

Gerard is an accomplished, respected, in-demand recording artist – with his ear to the ground in all new musical sounds, the top names in jazz are constantly seeking his musical expertise, as they together pioneer new sounds. He has recorded dozens of projects and tours regularly nationwide. His solo performances are so strong that he grabs standing ovations from audiences even when legends such as Stevie Wonder and Bob James share the stage with him. Also, an Internet musical pioneer, Gerard was one of the first artists to ever gain more than one million downloads on MP3.com His solo performances stun even the hardest-to-please jazz and rock fans.

Blackman & Gerard's Sin Hielo is unveiling glimpses of their new album during their summer tour - original pieces of Latin jazz, a unique version of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" and a few other interesting inventions and reinventions. These shows are where the crowd is on their feet dancing to the sexy, summer sounds. www.facebook.com/sinhielo
Segways2U is proud to announce their newest rental location in the heart of Detroit at the GM Renaissance Center. Founded by Detroiters Maureen Kearns and Keith Steele, Segways2U provides a unique way for people to get around Detroit.

Visitors and residents can easily zip along the Riverwalk, roll past the shops and restaurants, glide along the historic streets, or take a specially guided tour around Detroit.

A segway is a two-wheeled transportation device that operates on gyroscopic and fluid-based motion sensors, allowing the operator to control the device by leaning forward and back. The vehicle first appeared in the early 2000s.

"Our professional instructors give each rider thorough instructions on how to use their segway,” said Maureen Kearns, co-owner of Segways2U. “Each instructor is very patient, so that every level of segway rider feels comfortable and safe, while enjoying a great ride around the City.”

Throughout the summer months and into October, Segways2U will offer segway rentals by the hour or half-day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Tours and private rentals are also available with reservation. For more information, call 855-U-SEGWAY or visit their website at www.segways2u.com.

For Keith Steele and Maureen Kearns, co-owners of Segways2U, the adventure began in 2009 with the purchase of 11 Segway PTs and a vision to provide people with a different way to explore the Motor City. The devices were purchased to be operated through Inside Detroit, the Detroit-centric tour nonprofit Kearns created back in 2006. When she moved on from the organization, Kearns and Steele decided to join forces and created Segways2U.

“We are pleased to welcome Segways2U as our newest tenant,” said Todd Pardon, Asset Services director for CBRE at the GM Renaissance Center. “Their presence will add more summer fun along the riverfront, starting at the GM Renaissance Center.”

For updates and information, visit www.segways2U.com, www.facebook.com/segways2u, or email info@segways2u.com.

Convenient parking and valet services are available at the GM Renaissance Center. For a complete list of parking locations, visit www.gmrencen.com/directions/valetparking.axis.

Segway® PTs do have some limitations, and each rider must meet the following requirements before registering: be at least 16 years old (a guardian may ride with children); weigh between 100 and 260 pounds; may not be pregnant; wear closed-toe flat shoes; and be capable of climbing a flight of stairs unassisted.

Take a hot dog from New York's famed Coney Island, throw in plenty of Greek immigrants and a booming auto industry, add some chili sauce, a steamed bun, chopped onions, mustard and an epic sibling rivalry and you've got the makings of a classic American melting pot story.

That story is told in Coney Detroit, a new book that serves as paean for what's become the quintessential dish of the Motor City. Coneys — a name that designates not just the dogs but the diners that serve them up — dominate the Detroit landscape. Where many other cities offer the chance to navigate by national chain (turn right at the third Starbucks), in Detroit, directions come in Coneys.

"I'm comfortable saying there are about 500 Coneys at any given time," in the Detroit region, says Coney Detroit co-author Joe Grimm, who has done some serious investigative digesting on the project — including visiting 100 Coneys in 100 days. (Proceeds from the book will go to Detroit's Gleaners' Food Bank.)

The history of Detroit Coneys harks back to the early 20th century, when thousands of Greek immigrants were streaming into the city's burgeoning Greektown. But first, they had to stop at New York's Ellis Island — not too far from the famed amusements of Coney Island, where Nathan Handwerker was already peddling his famous hot dogs.

Patrons pack in at American Coney in this undated photo. No one knows for sure who brought the Coney to Detroit, Grimm says, but everyone knows who made it famous: William "Bill" and Constantine "Gust" Keros. Nine decades ago (the exact date is in dispute), the two Greek brothers opened their hot dog joint, American Coney Island, in the heart of downtown Detroit — at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Lafayette Boulevard, where it still sits today.

Click HERE to read the full article on NPR (dot) org!
Calvert Lithographing Co. in Detroit in 1895

Zak Pashak had heard a lot of negative stories about Detroit. Still, for some reason, the Canadian entrepreneur felt compelled to check out the city for himself. And after he visited in October 2010, Pashak realized that he really liked this place -- so much so that he picked up and moved from Calgary the following July.

And once he got here and bought a home in Boston Edison, his next challenge was even more radical -- opening a bicycle manufacturing plant in the city.

Now his business, Detroit Bikes, is poised to become more than an idea. On Monday Pashak closed a deal for a 50,000 square foot factory on the city's west side. He's put $500,000 of his own money into the venture and is excited about getting to work.

"I definitely want to get started as soon as possible," Pashak told The Huffington Post. "We're going to be making 50 bikes in the next month or so and giving them out to local Detroiters. They'll be testing them and giving out feedback."

Pashak's background is in the music industry, not manufacturing. He ran music venues in Vancouver and his hometown of Calgary and began Canada's popular Sled Island Music Festival. His interest in bicycling began when he ran for Calgary's City Council, when Pashak began investigating how alternatives to cars could benefit the city.

Ultimately, Pashak decided to start making bicycles because he couldn't find the type of bicycle he wanted -- one built for casual city use at a reasonable price.

His target customers are people who aren't hardcore cyclists but are still interested in bikes.The model he plans on producing in Detroit will be a lightweight steel three-speed with a tire that's thicker than those used for racing bikes. The bike will come in one color -- black-- and sell for a little under $500.

Click HERE to read the full article in The HuffPost Detroit!

The Detroit Institute of Arts is working to persuade voters to authorize a tax to support the cultural institution, promising free admission and expanded programming if it passes while raising the possibility that the museum would be a shadow of its current self if it's rejected.

The Aug. 7 vote follows last year's shuttering of the nearby Detroit Science Center after the educational attraction's appeal for a cash infusion fell flat and comes as museums around the country learn to survive without support from state or local government budgets.

The Detroit Institute of Arts is asking voters in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to approve a 10-year tax that works out to $20 per year on a home worth $200,000. It would raise an estimated $23 million a year, nearly as much as the museum's current annual operating budget.

"The DIA will have the kind of financial stability it hasn't had for 40 years," said Graham W. J. Beal, the museum's director.

The museum would get a decade to focus fundraising efforts on building its endowment, Beal said, with the long-term goal of becoming financially independent. If the proposal fails, however, he said the museum would be forced to cut its hours, opening only two or three days a week. Some galleries would close to the public, and the museum would no longer have special exhibitions that routinely draw big crowds.

The museum has appealed to voters using TV ads and yard signs, as well as a busy spring and summer of events.

Click HERE to read the full article in the New York Times!


The map above charts the creative class across U.S. cities and metro regions. Nationwide, the creative class totals more than 40 million workers, more than a third of the total workforce, including professionals in the fields of science and technology, design and architecture, arts, entertainment and media, and healthcare, law, management and education.

This list of top-tier metros belies the fatalistic notion that geography is destiny. It includes many northern Frost Belt locations, among them Ann Arbor, in the very shadow of Detroit. Greater Detroit, on the other hand, scores a surprisingly high rank of 53rd, which bodes reasonably well for its future. Some of Detroit’s suburbs have among the very highest concentrations of the creative class in the nation.

The geography of the creative class has become more uneven over the past decade. Back when I did the initial metro rankings using 1999 data, the highest share of the creative class was about 35 percent. Today, it's pushing 50 percent. There are a dozen metros where it is 40 percent or more, and 34 more where it is 35–40 percent of the workforce. There are 105 metros where the creative class accounts for between 30 and 35 percent of the workforce and 162 where it makes up between 25 and 30 percent of the workforce. On the flip side, there is one metro where the creative class makes up less than 20 percent of the workforce and 48 where it accounts for between 20 and 25 percent.

Click HERE to read the full article on The Atlantic Cities (dot) com!