Blogs

New Metropolitan Area Definition Winners: New York, Charlotte, Grand Rapids, and Indianapolis

Metropolitan America continues to expand. The new Office of Management and Budget metropolitan area definitions, based upon the 2010 census indicate that the counties composing the 52 metropolitan areas with more than 1 million population increased by 1.65 million from the previous definition. This includes more than 1.4 million new residents in the previous 51 major metropolitan areas and more than 200,000 in Grand Rapids, which has become the nation's 52nd metropolitan area with more than 1 million population.  read more »

Sydney to Abandon Radical Urban Containment Policy

The New South Wales government has proposed a new Metropolitan Strategy for the Sydney area which would significantly weaken the urban containment policy (also called urban consolidation, smart growth, livability, growth management, densification, etc.) that has driven if house prices to among the highest in the affluent New World (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States) relative to household incomes.  read more »

Wanted: A Reasoned Approach to Dealing with America's Infrastructure Needs

It seems like not a week goes by without fresh warnings about the nation’s”crumbling infrastructure" and renewed appeals to rebuild our aging highways and bridges.  President Obama reinvigorated the campaign with his State-of-the-Union proposal for a $50 billion program of infrastructure investments, $40 billion of which would be devoted to a "fix-it-first" program targeted at urgent improvements such as "structurally deficient" bridges.  read more »

Nerdwallet.com Mixes Apples and Oranges on "Worst Cities for Drivers"

The website nerdwallet.com mixes apples and oranges in producing a list of the 10 worst "cities" for car drivers in the United States. The ratings hardly matter, since the nerdwallet.com score is based on a mixture of urban area and municipality data.  read more »

Top GOP Budget Officials Call for Investigation of Xpress West High Speed Train from Victorville to Los Angeles

Congressman Paul Ryan, chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee and Sen. Jeff Sessions, Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee have expressed serious reservations on the proposed taxpayer loan to the Xpress West high-speed rail line that would operate two thirds of the way between Los Angeles and Las Vegas (from Victorville).  read more »

Texas Two Step

There has been a huge spike in the number of New Yorkers relocating to Texas in recent years, even at a time when fewer city residents were departing for Charlotte, Atlanta, Philadelphia and other traditional destinations.  read more »

Fracktivists for Global Warming: How Celebrity NIMBYism Turned Environmentalism Against Natural Gas

Over the last year, celebrities such as Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Robert Redford, Mark Ruffalo, Mario Batali, Scarlett Johansson, Alec Baldwin, and Matt Damon have spoken out against the expansion of natural gas drilling. “Fracking kills,” says Ono, who has a country home in New York. “It threatens the air we breathe,” says Redford.   read more »

The (White) British are Leaving (London)

As reported in The Evolving Urban Form: London, last July the Greater London Authority (GLA), located inside the Green Belt, grew strongly from 2001 to 2011, though remains well below its peak estimated population in 1939. Substantial domestic migration from the core area to the exurbs was a major contributor to their growth during between 2000 and 2010 (Figure 1).  read more »

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Gas Crushes Coal

Coal electricity declined by 12.5 percent in 2012, mostly driven by the switch to natural gas, which increased by almost the exact same amount (217 terrawatt-hours) as coal declined (216 TWh), according to new annual numbers released by the US Energy Information Administration.

Wind electricity increased as well — by about one-tenth (20.5 TWh) as much as gas. Solar increased a little more than one-hundredth as much as gas (2.5 TWh).  read more »

Churches and Parking

A recent story over at Atlantic Cities got me thinking about a debate that’s heated up over the last few years: urban parking policy for churches.

Per Atlantic Cities, San Francisco has decided to start charging for metered parking on Sundays. This is starting to happen across America. In San Francisco, as in Chicago and elsewhere, the driver (no pun intended) appears to be revenue raising, plain and simple.  read more »

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