Geography

Ridership Falls Another 2.9 Percent in June

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June 2019 transit ridership was 2.9 percent lower than in June 2018, according to the Federal Transit Administration’s most recent data release. Ridership dropped in all major modes, including bus, commuter rail, heavy rail, and light rail. Ridership also dropped in 41 of the nation’s 50 largest urban areas, declining even in Seattle, which had previously appeared immune to the decline that is afflicting most of the nation’s transit industry.  read more »

A Blast from the Past in Charlotte and Columbus

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I saw a couple of recent reposts containing very interesting material from several decades ago in Charlotte and Columbus.

The first is a 25 minute TV special from the 1960s looking at a proposal to issue bonds to fund urban renewal in downtown Charlotte. A few things struck me about this.  read more »

America’s Regional Variations Are Wildly Overstated

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The idea of America’s regional fracture has become a widely accepted assumption among the media and academic set. Recent book releases that focus on American divisions such as histories of the south-western El Norte region to the so-called “local, insulated, exceptional, isolationist and provincial “heart land”, as well as books going deeply into the south’s unique history, are regularly on the best-seller tables of bookstores around the country.  read more »

Is It Time To Rethink Density?

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With new forecasts of record population growth across Australia’s major capital cities over the next few decades and affordability remaining a challenge, is it time to reconsider the core principles and policies that guide the management of this growth?  read more »

We Need More Family Friendly Cities

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My latest piece is now online at the Institute for Family Studies. It’s a look at what it would take to make more family friendly cities. Here is an excerpt:  read more »

Passenger Travel in Europe and the US: More Similar than Different

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Probably one of the most enduring myths about the differences between Europe and the United States is that Europeans travel mainly by trains and transit, while Americans cling to their cars and airplanes. This misunderstanding comes in part from what I have called "Louvre Syndrome".  read more »

Stop Bashing the Suburbs as Worst Places for Older People to Live

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Suburbs and automobiles are necessary bedfellows in the United States, but this is why many experts believe that these low density, physically spread-out communities are the worst places for older persons to live. This assessment should be taken seriously. We know that transportation requests are the leading concern of older callers to the Eldercare Locator service funded by the U.S. Administration on Aging.  read more »

Metropolitan America Expands (Especially Where Housing is Expensive)

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Metropolitan America continues to expand, based on the latest Census Bureau population estimates and metropolitan area geographical delineations from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). In 2018, metropolitan areas (including micropolitan areas) contained 94.6 percent of the US population. This is an increase of nearly a full percentage point from the 2010 census, which found 93.7 percent of the US population in metropolitan areas.  read more »

Population Shifting in the Midwest

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My latest post is online at City Journal. I actually wrote it prior to the Indy op-ed I just put up, but for scheduling reasons they came out in the reverse order. This contains some of the background information against which that op-ed was written. It’s about the resorting of population that’s occurring within US states in the Midwest. Here’s an excerpt:  read more »

LSE Economist Paul Cheshire on Urban Containment and Housing Affordability

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Paul Cheshire, Professor Emeritus of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics, has distinguished himself as one of the world’s pre-eminent housing economists. This article discusses his recent interview with Ahir Hites, a senior research officer in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Research Department, reported in The Unassuming Economist Global Housing Watch Newslettter.  read more »