Geography

Methodist Urbanism: Ocean Grove

screen-shot-2018-09-19-at-1-58-44-pm.jpg

Here’s the ubiquitous American landscape with a dash of central New Jersey local color. It’s not the rain and dark skies that make it look so bleak. No amount of sunshine can brighten this much asphalt, synthetic stucco, and vinyl siding. There’s no point in complaining about any of it. It exists and will continue to do so for the duration. Shrug.  read more »

Job Dispersion Eases Growth In Australian Cities

Picture2.png

American cities have long been known for their dispersion of employment, moving from mono-centricity, to polycentricity (and edge cities) to, ultimately, dispersion. This transition was documented by Bumsoo Lee of the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) and Peter Gordon of the University of Southern California (USC) using 2000 Census data (Figure 1).  read more »

Autonomous Cars Are Our Real Future

16294467119_bf089b5136_z.jpg

Long a hotbed of new technologies, California insists on seeing its transit future in the rear mirror. Rather than use innovative approaches to getting people around and to work, our state insists on spending billions on early 20th century technology such as streetcars and light rail that have diminishing relevance to our actual lives.  read more »

Highest Fertility & Gains Concentrated in US Midwest and South

626px-Stork_with_new-born_child.png

The plunging of birth rates has emerged as one of the most significant demographic trends. For the first time, there appears to be the prospect of nations that will become materially smaller in population as a result. For example, the latest projections from the Japan’s National Institute of Population and Social Security Research are that by 2115, the population will be only 50.5 million, down 60 percent from the present 126 million.  read more »

The Sacred Cul-de-Sac: Lakewood

screen-shot-2018-09-17-at-10-19-10-pm.jpg

In 1901 John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil (now ExxonMobil) began purchasing hundreds of acres of land around the town of Lakewood, New Jersey an hour and a half south of New York. He then built a thirty bedroom, twenty bathroom country estate. Lakewood was a prosperous year round vacation destination complete with swimming, tennis, golf, and ice skating, as well as numerous hotels, fine restaurants, a theater, and many large elegant homes.  read more »

Summer Travel Offers Insights Into What Drives Economic Growth

shutterstock_786312625.jpg

Why do we travel? Alain de Botton suggests in his engaging meditation on this question, The Art of Travel, that it’s the human craving for variety that impels us to leave home and incur the headaches of exploring the world.  read more »

Subjects:

Edge Cities in China: Suzhou

suzhou cultural centre.PNG

Nearly three decades ago, journalist and educator Joel Garreau coined a new term, “Edge cities,” to describe the rise of commercial centers outside the downtowns (central business districts or CBDs) largely of the United States (Note 1).  read more »

Welcome to Park Forest

1962 PARK FOREST CENTRE ILL.jpg

Recently a follower sent me an interesting e-mail. He said he recently re-read The Organization Man by William Whyte, originally published in 1956. The suburban Chicago village of Park Forest, IL, about 30 miles directly south of the Loop, figured prominently in the book, as an example of the kind of Levittown-style suburban development that was taking America by storm at the time. In checking in about Park Forest today, he found that yesterday’s model of white middle class and middle management homogeneity is now a black-majority community.  read more »

Ten Years After Lehman Collapsed, We’re Still Screwed

800px-London_-_Lehman_Brothers_-_3868.jpg

The collapse of Lehman Brothers 10 years ago today began the financial crisis that crippled and even killed for some the American dream as we had known it. Donald Trump might be starting to change that, at least for Americans who aren’t determined to remain in our bluest and priciest cities.  read more »

“Middle America” in America’s Urban Century

tnac medium cover.jpg

In the late 1990s and the early Aughts, when the last Gen Xers and the first Millennials were launching into their adult lives, “Urban America” was a very different place. On many fronts, the choices young ambitious graduates had were fast becoming limitless, save on one key front: the cities where they could reasonably want to live.  read more »