suburbs

How Cities Grow: Dispersion, not Densification

Analysts occasionally note that urban areas ("cities") are becoming larger and denser. This is only half right. It is true that most of the world's urban areas are becoming larger, with megacities like Delhi, Jakarta, Shanghai, Beijing and Manila adding more than five million people in the last decade and most other urban areas are growing, but not as fast.  read more »

Final Census Results: Core Cities Do Worse in 2000s than 1990s

Based upon complete census counts for 2010, historical core municipalities of the nation’s major metropolitan areas (over 1,000,000 population) captured a smaller share of growth in the 2000s than in the 1990s.  read more »

Major Metropolitan Areas: Summary of the First 20

Data is now available for 20 of the nation’s 52 metropolitan areas with more than 1,000,000 population. The early results indicate a pattern of accelerating dispersion of the population to the suburbs as is indicated in the table below. Thus far, historic core municipality growth has been approximately one-half the 1990s rate. During the 2000s, the historic cores have accounted for 8.8 percent of metropolitan growth, down nearly one-half from the 1990s rate.  read more »

A More Objective Attitude Toward the Suburbs (Almost)

It is always encouraging to see greater objectivity in the treatment of the suburbs. In fact, the urban form includes not only the urban core, but also the suburbs and economically connected rural areas and exurban areas that are beyond the urban footprint. This fact has often been missed by some urbanologists who imagine no city extends beyond the view on the foggiest day from a central city office tower.  read more »

A New Word in Development

In the old days a "blurb" was a positive promotional recommendation statement on a book jacket. I have done a few myself. Now we are informed by the developer of Civita, an urban infill project in San Diego, that "blurb" really means a cross between suburban and urban.

Are they going to put a picture of it on a book jacket?  read more »

Home Sweet McMansion

Is the new American house, with three-car garages and laundry chutes like Olympic ski runs, an improvement over the old ones that were limited to a cozy dining room, a den, and a kitchen that held a small round table on which was kept a toaster?

The size of the American house tracks the evolution of the budget deficit and national debt. Think of McMansions as you would the Federal Reserve Bank—an imposing edifice with the contents of the garage pledged to Household Finance, if not the Chinese.

Many neighborhoods have become the United States of Gatsby.  read more »

Subjects:

Satellite Cities for Beijing? Yes, But....

China Daily ran an article on the continuing urbanization of Beijing. In Build upward or outward: City’s growth dilemma, Daniel Garst notes that Beijing is not as centralized as other urban areas, with its multiple business districts and comparatively low density in its inner areas.  read more »

Year 1959

Get a glass of wine. Then click on this link, which plays a video called Community Growth, created in 1959.

Once you've seen the video, read on…

You're probably sitting with a puzzled look – 1959? Aren’t these the exact same issues that are plaguing us today? Don’t those 1959 developments look like many of today’s latest developments? Even the way they bulldozed through the land and stick-built the homes looks just like the methods used today!  read more »

Misunderstanding the Bubble and Burst in Sacramento

An opinion piece in the Sacramento Bee by Sean Wirth of the Environmental Council of Sacramento could not have been more wrong in its characterization of the causes of the housing bubble in Sacramento.

The article starts out promisingly, correctly noting that:  read more »

  • The housing bubble spawned the Great Recession
  • Demand exceeded the inventory of houses in the Sacramento area
  • Sacramento prices "soared sky high"

Vancouver: Moving to the Suburbs

A few weeks ago, The New York Times touted purported savings that a household would save by living in the core city of New York (in Brooklyn) instead of the suburbs (South Orange, New Jersey). The article downplayed the 1,000 fewer square feet the money bought in Brooklyn and did not consider the 40% higher cost of living.  read more »