Blogs

The Economist Indicts Urban Containment "Fat Cats"

"Free Exchange" in The Economist has come down strongly on the side of economics in a review of housing affordability.  read more »

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Rio Among the Most Dangerous Cities?

The travel website escapehere.com has published an article with a list of the world's "10 most dangerous cities to travel." I was obviously interested, but was soon deterred by advertisements that kept popping up and a web architecture intended to ensure that for every city viewed another ad would be placed in the way.  read more »

Urban Containment: Land Price Up 5 Times Income & Smaller

The shocking extent to which urban containment policy (urban consolidation policy) is associated with higher land (and house) prices is illustrated by a recent press release from RP Data in Australia. The analysis examined the vacant building lot prices for the period of 1993 to 2013.
During the period, the median price of a vacant lot rose 168 percent after adjustment for inflation. This is nearly 5 times the increase in the median household incomes of the seven largest capital cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Sydney).  read more »

Texas & Oklahoma Dominate Metropolitan Economic Growth

Texas metropolitan areas continue to dominate economic growth, according to the latest Metro Monitor, produced by the Brookings Institution. The four top metropolitan areas in overall economic growth through the recession and "recovery" (our parentheses) have been:  read more »

Watch Chicago’s Middle Class Vanish Before Your Very Eyes

Note: I owe both the concept for this measurement of income segregation and much of the actual data – all of it, except for 2012 – to Sean Reardon andKendra Bischoff, who wrote a series of wonderful papers on the subject and then were kind enough to send me a spreadsheet of their data from Chicago a while ago. The maps, however, are mine, as is all the data from 2012, and any mistakes in them or in the interpretation of the data is entirely my responsibility.

I think one reason I’ve felt less than compelled by Chicagoland, CNN’s reasonably well-made documentary series, is that its tale-of-two-cities narrative is so worn, so often repeated, that it’s become a little dull. Not the actual fact of inequality – which only seems to cut deeper over time – but its retelling.  read more »

Growing Traffic Threatens Sydney

In the "letter of the week" in The North Shore Times, Save Our Suburbs President Tony Recsei decries the rising traffic congestion that is occurring in Sydney from the densification policies. Urban planners had misled residents into believing that higher population densities would reduce traffic congestion as more people shifted to mass transit.  read more »

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High Frequency Trading Is Not Fast Enough

A new book by the original yellow journalist of Wall Street, Michael Lewis, initiated global coverage about the flaws of American capitalism. The culprit in Lewis’ new book is High Frequency Trading or “HFT.” There is no doubt that US capital markets are imperfect.  read more »

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More Criticism of the Mythical Shift to Transit

There has been additional attention to the exaggeration of transit ridership trends claimed by the American Public Transit Association. Writing in The Washington Post, David King of Columbia University.  read more »

Portland Light Rail Revolt Continues

In a hard fought election campaign, voters in the city of Tigard appear to have narrowly enacted another barrier to light rail expansion in suburban Portland. The Washington County Elections Division reported that with 100 percent of precincts counted, Charter Amendment 34-210 had obtained 51 percent of the vote, compared to 49 percent opposed.  read more »

The Limits of Portland's Craft Economy

Charles Heying, the author of Brews to Bikes: Portland’s Artisan Economy, covers Portland’s indie fashion, book and music sector, its recycling/reuse businesses, craft businesses, bike sector, technology businesses and non-profits.  read more »