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A metro area’s true affordability index should include both housing and transportation costs

People pick where they live based on numerous factors, not the least of which is what they think they can afford. Selecting a neighborhood predominately depends on the prevailing rent or mortgage cost of housing, with the housing’s proximity to employment coming in a distant second.

A more complete way to gauge affordability considers the cost of housing and the impact of the housing location on the commute to employment, servicing shopping needs, and having accessibility to transit.

The Center for Neighborhood Technology computed an “affordability index” for metropolitan areas that includes a multiplicity of housing and transportation considerations. Traditionally, if a resident spent 30 percent or less of income

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Missouri Supreme Court ruling to allow city students to attend public school elsewhere has regional implications

When surveys seek to determine the public’s perception of the major problems of metropolitan St. Louis, the shaky and inegalitarian nature of local public education is nearly always at the top of the list.

What to do about troubled, unaccredited school districts is an ongoing problem, and one that drew the attention of the Missouri Supreme Court on July 16 when it ruled in a 4-3 vote that students who live in St. Louis city or within the boundaries of any unaccredited school district are entitled to attend an accredited school district within that county or in an adjoining county. That means a student living within the bounds of St.

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St. Louis, looking better from afar

In any assessment, an urban area’s status rises or falls depending on the compared-to-what metric. St. Louis often is seen as suffering by comparison, though often unduly so. On the downside, St. Louis is not as trendy as Austin, not as booming as Atlanta or Houston or as cosmopolitan as Toronto. On the upside, St. Louis is not as devastated as Detroit, as beleaguered as Buffalo or as comatose as Cleveland.

Sometimes, however, a view from afar is less harsh as the view from ground zero. On the national website www.urbanophile.com an assessment of St. Louis was entered as a guest posting by Alex Ihnen, impresario of www.urbanstl.com.

Ihnen’s guest

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