5 Lessons Seattle Can Teach Other Cities About Amazon. (The New York Times, 11/16/2017)
- History and geography still matter. A maritime, export-based economy that has long looked more toward Asia and Alaska than to the rest of America was already here when Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, arrived in 1994.
- Amazon wil not be a predictable engine of change. The message to HQ2 cities is clear: What you get now will probably not be what Amazon becomes.
- Amazon will magnify a city's charms and its warts. “Any downturn in Amazon would hollow out the city like the Boeing bust did in the 1970s,” Mr. Martin said.
- New employees will not be like the old ones. Here in Seattle, a city still defined by neighborhoods of single-family homes, about 8,000 new apartments are under construction within walking distance of the Amazon campus and are expected to be taken, the company says, mostly by employees. About 20 percent of the company’s 40,000 workers already do not take any motorized transportation at all — they walk or bike. And more than one in six live and work in the same ZIP code.
- New problems won't be like the old ones, either. Over 11,000 people were homeless in King County on a one-night count this year. Home prices continued their dizzying upward spiral in 2017, nearly twice as fast as the second-fastest appreciating big city.