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About the Author

Jonathan D. Miller

Jonathan Miller is a partner and co-owner of Miller Ryan LLC, a strategic marketing communications consulting firm to the financial services and real estate industries. Miller has more than 25 years of communications and marketing experience in the real estate industry, counseling many leading executives. For the past 15 years he has also authored Emerging Trends in Real Estate, the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) premier annual industry forecast and speaks extensively on suburban and urban issues. He is also author of ULI's Infrastructure 2008: A Global Perspectives, a major analysis on the looming changes facing the


U.S. on infrastructure and land use issues. He has led marketing/communications teams at Equitable Real Estate, Lend Lease, and GMAC Commercial Mortgage (Capmark Finance), overseeing re-branding programs for those firms as well as for COMPASS, Boston Financial and Amresco when they were acquired by Lend Lease. He has extensive crisis communications and corporate-change experience. Miller graduated with honors from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism and earned a law degree cum laude from American University. Contact Jonathan Miller.

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Exactly! High-speed rail, small city center to major city center for all of them. As in Europe, the rail moves people cheaper, more conveniently and faster than flying. Taxes pay, as they do for roads and airports.
Posted by comment_user_455080 | Wednesday, March 04 2009 at 11:30PM ET
The same things can be said about most every port in the south, both air and seaports. Savannah has I-95 and Atlanta nearby. Jacksonville has I-95 and I-10 and a large city to feed. Both have a strong quality of life. Then there is Charleston, or Norfolk, or Kansas City with it's link to Mexico. Let's throw up a high speed rail line for all those cities. I'm still not sure who will use these lines or what kind of cargo will be running on them, or the biggest question, who will pay for them?
Posted by comment_user_455079 | Wednesday, March 04 2009 at 10:54PM ET
Nice article, and spot-on. Mobile is precisely the kind of community that gives a great economic return on an investment in high-speed rail. Its port (the U.S.´s 11th largest), unparalleled logistics infrastructure and new container terminal serve growing regional steel, auto, health care, high tech and aerospace industries. I-65 connects it to the Great Lakes and I-10 to the Atlantic and Pacific. It offers an optimal blend of commercial opportunity and quality of life to attract and nurture the kind of vibrant and cosmopolitan culture that sustains this country´s only competitive advantage - entrepreneurism. It´s not about today; it´s about tomorrow and 30 years from now.
Posted by comment_user_455080 | Wednesday, March 04 2009 at 6:13PM ET
I agree that prospects for the South look better than those of the Midwest or Northeast, but what exactly is a high speed rail line through Mobile going to offer the surrounding area of Mobile? The cost would be enormous. Who will foot the bill? Who will ride the train? Autoworkers? Unlikely, there is plenty of land to build new homes next door to all the new industry. Outsourcing of jobs from the Midwest and Northeast to the South will continue, and likely pick up in pace, over the next 10 years, however, there is no utopia created by high speed rail lines and condos in downtowns just because developers throw them up and ULI leaders sing their praises. What Mobile and other southern cities need is better local infastructure and better, more intelligent, government leaders that force smarter growth. Sprawl, in and of itself, is not the problem, not everyone wants a condo downtown overlooking the city, some people actually want to live in a suburb. So, leaders need to find better ways to plan to allow for this growth in the South. Running a high speed line from Atlanta to Houston with a stop in Mobile might make a ULI zealot, or consultant for that matter, overjoyed, but really, we could spend the billions elsewhere and create much more liveable, sprawling communities.
Posted by comment_user_455079 | Tuesday, March 03 2009 at 7:08PM ET