Blogs

Canada’s Changing Income Patterns

Statistics Canada’s newly released National Household Survey indicates changes in the distribution of median household incomes among the provinces and territories. The new data is for 2010, and indicates that an increase of 13.9 percent per household at the national level from the 2005 data collected in the 2006 census.  read more »

Urban Core Boomer Populations Drop 1 Million 2000-2010

This may be a surprising headline to readers of The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, which reported virtually the opposite result in their August 19 editions.  read more »

Wall Street Journal Reports Reverse of Boomer Moving Trend

An article by Nancy Keates in today’s The Wall Street Journal indicates that more than 1,000,000 baby boomers moved to within the downtowns of the 50 largest cities between 2000 and 2010. The article quoted Redfin.com as the source for the claim.

In fact, the authoritative source for such information is the United States Census. The Journal’s claim is at significant variance with Census data.  read more »

Will Obamacare Bail Out Cities?

When Rahm Emanuel was Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff, little did he know he’d be helping craft a law that would help him as the future Mayor of Chicago. Many American cities failed to put away enough money for current and former government workers.  Rahm Emanuel and powerful Democratic Party interest groups would like the federal government to bailout their pensioners.  read more »

Portland’s Transit Halcyon Days?

For more than a quarter century, the leaders in the Oregon portion of the Portland metropolitan area have sought to transfer demand for urban travel from automobiles to transit. Six rail lines have been built, five of which are light rail and bus service has been expanded. If their vision were legitimate, transit’s market share should have risen substantially and automobile travel should have declined. Neither happened.  read more »

Detroit Bankruptcy: Missing the Point

Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman tells us that “sprawl killed Detroit” in his The New York Times column.

The evidence is characterized as “job sprawl” – that a smaller share of metropolitan area jobs are located within 10 miles of downtown Detroit than in the same radius from downtown Pittsburgh (see Note on Decentralization and “Job Sprawl”). It is suggested that this kept the city of Pittsburgh out of bankruptcy.  read more »

The Diminishing Returns of Large Cities: Population Growth Myths

One of the big myths of the twentieth century is that large American cities are necessary and inevitable. Yet in reality growth has been dispersing to suburbs and smaller cities for the last two decades. As the decline of Detroit, once the country’s fourth largest city, reveals in all too harsh terms, being bigger is not always better.  read more »

Suicide: Sprawl Not Guilty

Atlantic Cities reports on research indicating an association between suicide and lower density, in an article entitled “The Unsettling Link Between Sprawl and Suicide.” Actually, there’s no reason to be unsettled, at least with respect to urban areas and their densities. The conclusions apply to rural areas, not urban areas.  read more »

Moving from Travis County (Austin) to Williamson County

In an article entitled, “The People Moving to Austin and ‘Ruining It’ are from Texas,” the Austinist notes that more people are moving to Austin from neighboring Williamson County than from Los Angeles County.

The article has the potential to mislead in two ways.  read more »

London Mayor: High Speed Rail Cost £70 Billion Plus?

In a Daily Telegraph commentary, London Mayor Boris Johnson expects the proposed high-speed rail line from London to Birmingham (HS2) to cost £70 billion (approximately $105 billion). This is two thirds more than the most recent estimate of £42 billion (approximately $63 billion), which includes a recent increase in costs from £32 billion (approximately $48 billion) for the 140 mile long first segment.  read more »