Demographics

Neat, Plausible, and Wrong

14236386367_db2de9e767_z.jpg

The Antiplanner is frequently reminded of H.L. Mencken’s statement that “there is always a well-known solution to every human problem: neat, plausible, and wrong.” Millennials, for example, blame baby boomers for ruining the world. Most of the mistakes that baby boomers made were in adopting simple and plausible but wrong solutions to complex problems.  read more »

Eyes From the Street – The Neighbourhood Fabric That Matters

Centretown,_Ottawa_(20130831-DSC04278).jpg

In the 50 plus years since Jane Jacobs coined the phrase “eyes on the street”, most planners have taken it as an article of faith. After all, some argue, it is common sense. But as we found out when looking at complex, self-organising systems such as cities, common sense is woefully inadequate to explain, let alone predict, outcomes.  read more »

World Megacity Growth Lags – Smaller Cities Grow More

IMG_0297.JPG

Never in history have so many people lived in urban areas (that is, outside rural areas). There are now 37 megacities (urban areas with more than 10 million residents) in the world, according to the 14th Annual Demographia World Urban Areas. This represents a substantial increase over the past century. But most urban growth, contrary to popular belief, is not taking place in megacities but in large urban areas that have not achieved megacity status.  read more »

Shovel Ready

screen-shot-2018-03-18-at-11-57-48-pm.jpg

Many years ago I remember a television commentator saying more Americans have outhouses than computer connections. This was in the early days of dial up modems. He seemed to suggest that household computers were little more than Japanese video games, which was actually true at the time. Well, thirty years have passed and this afternoon I received a package for one of my neighbors. Evidently he ordered a shovel on the interwebs.  read more »

Future Hubs of Africa and Asia

2014_Tinubu_Square_Lagos_Nigeria_14640600637.jpg

On UN projections between 2015 and 2050, the world population will grow by nearly 2.38 billion people, from 7.35 billion to 9.73 billion. Although this 32% growth is a big increase, it marks a slowdown from the 66% growth rate recorded in the preceding 35 years (1980-2015). Total Fertility Rates (TFRs) have come down all over the world and are expected to continue falling.  read more »

Nashville’s Hopeless Rail Transit Proposal

nashville.png

Nashville is the 36th largest metropolitan area in the nation, having long since passed historic Tennessee leader Memphis. Nashville was the 10th fastest growing major metropolitan area in 2017. At the current growth rate Nashville will reach 2 million residents by the 2020 census and seems likely to pass slower growing San Jose soon after.  read more »

Boomers: Meet the Plurals

1200px-March_for_Our_Lives_Washington_DC_2018_-_Signs_and_Marchers_68.jpg

America is fascinated by the skill, pluck, and personal composure of the students from Parkland, Florida who survived the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day. Their initial quick success in getting the recalcitrant Florida legislature to make some modest changes to one of America’s loosest set of gun laws brought a ray of hope to a nation depressed by the inability of its civic institutions to accomplish just about anything.  read more »

World Urban Areas: 1,064 Largest Cities: 2018 Update

portrait 2018 cover.png

This year, as in 2017, there are 37 megacities --- urban areas estimated to have more than 10 million residents. The 20 largest urban areas are indicated in Figure 1. Tokyo-Yokohama continued to be the largest, as it has been for more than six decades. Second ranked Jakarta and third ranked Delhi continue to edge up on Tokyo-Yokohama. Even if their much faster growth were to continue at the current rate, neither would assume the top position over Tokyo-Yokohama until after 2030.  read more »

Deconstructing “Yimbyism”

4th-and-Folsom-Street-Site.jpg

California’s housing crisis has emboldened grandstanding Sacramento politicians who measure their own “success” by the number of bills they can pass with their own names attached.

We now have Scott Wiener’s SB827, a bill which would use “mass transit” (defined as four buses an hour during rush hour) to eliminate local governments’ ability to zone single-family housing and to replace locally crafted General Plans with increased density levels dictated by Sacramento politicians.  read more »

The Urban Containment Effect (Zoning Effect) on Australian House Prices

DSCF5534.JPG

In delivering the Annual Report of the Bank to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, Finance and Public Administration on August 18, 2006, (now former) Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Ian MacFarlane expressed concern about Australia’s house prices, which had escalated severely in relation to incomes.  read more »