Asia

Demographia World Urban Areas, 2020: Tokyo Lead Diminishing

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For the first time in more than six decades the world’s second ranked built-up urban area has reached within 10% of leader Tokyo. The 2020 edition of Demographia World Urban Areas reports that Jakarta has reached a population of 34.5 million, behind Tokyo-Yokohama’s 38.0 million (Figure 1). The report can be downloaded here (Note 1).  read more »

Culture and Coronavirus: Pohang Journal

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Korea’s success, to date, in limiting the spread of the new coronavirus without extensive lockdowns has been widely acknowledged. A May 6, 2020 Atlantic article provides an excellent description of the “trace, test and treat” system employed here. The text messages used to trace new infections are even more detailed than described.  read more »

Viral Politics

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Long after the pandemic has receded, its long-term impact on our society and political life will continue. Just as plagues past have reshaped the trajectory of cities and civilizations, sometimes with fearsome morbidity, COVID-19 is already having a profoundly disruptive impact on our political future.  read more »

Home Ownership: Cornerstone of Singapore’s Housing Policy

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The following is the Introduction to the 16th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, which rates housing affordability in more than 300 metropolitan markets in eight nations in the third quarter of 2019. This Introduction relies on Internet and academic sources and information from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) of Singapore.  read more »

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Manila's Decade Volcano

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The 25 million residents of the world’s fourth largest city (urban area) can rest a bit easier, as the Taal volcano has become less threatening in the last few days. But there is still severe disruption, especially for the many people who have been forced to evacuate.

This article includes a brief description of the developments since the January 20 eruption and compares Manila to other major metropolitan areas also threatened by dangerous volcanoes (Seattle and Naples).  read more »

Standard of Living Crisis Evident in New Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

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One of the principal advances of the past two centuries has been the drastic reduction in poverty and the rise of a large middle-class, a process expertly detailed by economists Diedre McClosky and Robert Gordon.  read more »

Australia's China Syndrome

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Australia continues to benefit from China’s rise, though few countries are more threatened by its expanding power. Once closely tied to the British Commonwealth, and later to the United States, the Australian subcontinent, with only 24 million people, now relies on China for one-third of its trade—more than with Japan and the U.S. combined. Australia’s major economic sectors rely on Chinese support; investors poured in $17.4 billion in 2017.   read more »

Extreme Geographies of the Pacific: Honolulu, Tokyo, and Alaska

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The strange but true geography of the Pacific Ocean has the Tokyo and Honolulu metropolitan areas outer island exurbs more than a thousand miles (1,600 kilometers) away from their urban cores, and a distance between the westernmost and easternmost points in Alaska of more than 2,000 miles (3,200 km), most of it open ocean waters and overlapping most easterly points in the United States.  read more »

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A Clash of Values

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Most American concerns with China revolve around economic issues, and, for some, the threat posed by that country’s expanding military. But China’s real existential challenge is not over market shares or submarines, but in a battle of values. Right now, it does not seem we are certain to win.

China presents the most profound challenge to liberal values since the end of the Cold War, a development that has caught our consistently lame political establishment by surprise. The leaders of both parties, and much of the corporate America, never saw it coming.  read more »

Energy to Synergy: the Policy Plight of Resource-Dependent Cities

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The Green New Deal, an ambitious US congressional resolution introduced in 2019 that met substantial political pushback and failed to gain official approval, proposed among other things to provide housing, health care, and jobs via an economic stimulus package targeting green technology.  read more »