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September 21, 2018



University of Illinois Extension Community and Economic Development will host Katy Kraszewska, PhD., Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Layne Knoche, Landscape Design Contractor, Curry and Associates Engineers, Inc. for a live webinar, Public Places for the 21st Century: Using Green Space to Reach the Triple Bottom Line, at noon on Thursday, October 4, 2018. The webinar will cover how cities can incorporate basic ecological functions and resilient design practices for green infrastructure which are also visually appealing. We’ll examine successfully implemented urban greenspaces so that designers, planners, and city officials can see examples of how to increase livability and better serve their city's diverse needs. We’ll discuss the small-town business district streetscape redesign in Gillespie, Illinois to illustrate how green space and infrastructure can improve the aesthetic value, social value, environmental resiliency, and business prospects of a small community. Register for the free webinar HERE.



In most phases of American life, homeownership is more common than renting, but there’s one exception: 20-somethings. As the chart shows, the likelihood of living in an owned home falls in your 20s and then increases as you reach your 30s. The trend isn’t surprising: It takes capital to buy a house, and people in their 20s are more mobile and less likely to be married with children. And while those major life events have shifted a little later in life for Millennials, the general trend holds across generations. However, the effects of income and race are dramatic, and have created a gap in homeownership that has persisted for decades. CityLab’s David Montgomery explains who owns a home in America, in 12 charts.



About half of American adults lived in middle-income households in 2016, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data. In percentage terms, 52% of adults lived in middle-income households, 29% in lower-income households and 19% in upper-income households. The Pew Research calculator, updated with 2016 data, lets you find out which group you are in – first compared with other adults in your metropolitan area and among American adults overall, and then compared with other adults in the United States similar to you in education, age, race or ethnicity, and marital status. The calculator takes your household income and adjusts it for the size of your household. The income is revised upward for households that are below average in size and downward for those of above average size. This way, each household’s income is made equivalent to the income of a three-person household (the whole number nearest to the average size of a U.S. household, which was 2.5 in 2016).



Debate on Sino-American trade relations has focused on China’s hefty share of the U.S. merchandise trade deficit—46% of the $800 billion deficit last year was with China alone—and the national impact of tariffs recently imposed by both countries. Among other parties, U.S. exporters to China are facing the prospect of losing revenue, with the largest effects likely to be felt by states where production of these goods is concentrated. In 2017, the top export category to China was civilian aircraft, at around $16.26 billion, followed by soybeans, at around $12.25 billion. The third-highest export was motor vehicles, at $10.3 billion, and fourth was electronic integrated circuits, at around $5.29 billion. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has published an article addressing  how trade policy may affect overall U.S. exports, the top U.S.-China merchandise export categories and the top producing states for these goods. The article includes a brief discussion of the status of the current U.S.-China trade war and its impact on U.S. exports to China.



September 27 (Webinar) - Municipal Approaches to Solar Energy (Part II)

September 30 (USDA Funding Deadline) - Rural Energy Savings Program

October 4 (Webinar) - Public Places for the 21st Century: Using Green Space to Reach the Triple Bottom Line

October 11 (SEDAC) - Energy Code Workshop