Welcome back! Hope you are enjoying your last week of summer.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Amazon is just starting to post job openings for its second headquarters in northern Virginia — and local startup founders are watching with apprehension, Axios' Erica Pandey writes.
The big picture: Amazon HQ2 has the potential to turn the D.C. region into a tech hotspot, but smaller companies are worried that the short-term impact of Amazon coming to town will be a brain drain.
Why it matters: Top-tier tech talent is already more difficult to find in the D.C. area than in tech hubs like San Francisco and New York.
Context: The startup scene in D.C. is nascent compared to that in other metros, but it's growing.
The impact: Now, "the fear is that, at first, Amazon is just going to hire our people, ... and technical workers who are skilled will become more scarce and more expensive," Lewis says. "But most of us feel like, at some point in the future, they'll start to shed talent and wealth."
But, but, but: That shedding might not happen. Amazon's presence in Seattle hasn't spawned a startup wave, like Uber or Facebook have in Silicon Valley, notes Axios' Dan Primack.
The other side: Some D.C. companies are welcoming the arrival of the behemoth.
The bottom line: Eventually, Amazon could be "a magnet for getting people in," says Aberman. "People who might not move to D.C. would move for a Big Tech employer."
A view of homes and apartments in San Francisco. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Some California cities with stricter land-use regulations had lower growth in housing supply, according to a new paper out today from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
The big picture: Cities across the country are wrestling with housing affordability. Minneapolis became the first to scrap single-family zoning, followed by Oregon with the first statewide ban. Meanwhile, Des Moines is moving in the opposite direction with zoning changes aimed at lower density.
What they did: Researchers created an index ranking the level of density restrictions in 265 California jurisdictions using land use survey data and public regulatory data.
What they found: More building restrictions — such as setbacks, parking minimums, minimum lot sizes and height limits — in some cases led to less building and, overall, a significant housing growth deficit. That prevents housing supply from meeting soaring demand, keeping prices high.
What's happening: A number of jurisdictions are trapped between urban growth boundaries, where development is prohibited, and density restrictions, said Salim Furth, one of the report's authors.
"They're frozen in a state of half-suburbanization, a patchwork of farms and subdivision. In some places, you can't build out, but you can build up, and in others, you can't build up, but you can build out. In a lot of California, you can't do either one."— Salim Furth, Senior Research Fellow at Mercatus Center
Yes, but: Furth acknowledged the correlation between regulation and growth surplus is driven by extreme cases. Housing growth happens fastest in places with available land and high demand growth, not necessarily in the least-regulated places.
What to watch: California state Sen. Scott Wiener has proposed a bill that would preempt density restrictions near most transit stations and job clusters, instead allowing more multifamily zoning. But it faces intense opposition and a full vote was punted to 2020.
Facebook local alerts. Photo: Facebook
Facebook is making its local alerts tool available to first responders, such as police and fire departments, to update followers about emergencies.
Why it matters: With the decline of local media outlets as a primary source of community news, local officials are tapping social media to communicate with residents in real time.
How it works: Facebook tested the tool with 350 first responder agencies over the past year.
Yes, but: This system is not meant to replace other emergency alert systems, as not all residents are on Facebook and even those who are may not be following first responders' Facebook pages.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
From Oakland to Chattanooga, city halls are adding tech-focused C-suite roles, Hollie Russon Gilman writes for Axios Expert Voices.
What's happening: The relatively new roles — chief technology officer, chief information officer, chief data officer and chief analytics officer — are carving out different niches.
Between the lines: There is overlap across titles in different cities. For example, some CIO roles closely resemble other CTO roles.
Some cities in the U.S. are experiencing a substantially different diverse makeup than what is seen on the national scale, according to analysis by online tutoring service HeyTutor, reports Axios' Marisa Fernandez.
Why it matters: Projections made by the Census indicate that non-Hispanic white people will make up less than 50% of the population by 2045. This will occur even sooner for the population under 18 years old, with white people estimated to comprise less than 50% of the young population by 2020.
Insights: Diversity in the U.S. stems nationally from Spanish-speaking countries. However, some top diverse cities in the U.S. include major populations from India, Jamaica and Haiti.
How it works: Researchers at HeyTutor analyzed both racial/ethnic diversity and birthplace diversity using the latest data from the Census.
Most diverse cities:
Harlan County, the heart of eastern Kentucky's coal region, has lost nearly half of its population since 1980 primarily due to disappearing coal jobs. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images.
Kentucky coal jobs drop significantly in recent months☝️(Bill Estep — Lexington Herald-Leader)
Where the creative class lives, and where it's growing (Richard Florida — CityLab)
Europe is edging toward making post-car cities a reality (The Economist)
How segregation caused your traffic jam (Kevin Kruse — NYT)
Atlanta refused to give up on homelessness. It's working. (Alex Kellogg — Christian Science Monitor)
Conflicting road rules across cities could be a challenge for autonomous vehicles (Charity Allen — Axios Expert Voices)
Doorbell-camera firm Ring has partnered with 400 police forces, extending surveillance reach (Drew Harwell — Washington Post)
The heavily polluted Ciliwung River at Kuningan, South Jakarta in August. Photo: Donal Husni/NurPhoto via Getty Images.
Jakarta is slowing sinking. So Indonesian President Joko Widodo has announced plans to move its capital city and government operations to the island of Borneo, Bloomberg reports.
“The burden Jakarta is holding right now is too heavy as the center of governance, business, finance, trade and services," Widodo said in a televised speech.
Have a great Labor Day weekend!