Geography

Orange County’s Low Hanging Fruit

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There are things that we can do as a society to work through our big structural difficulties at an institutional level. And there are other things that can be done independently at the household level by individuals. I don’t have the technical skills, political skills, social skills, credentials, patience, or desire to engage the large scale systems. To be honest, I don’t think most people do. But there are all sorts of things that ordinary people can and should do on their own that can make a huge difference on the ground at room temperature.  read more »

Anaheim Transit: Suck It Up

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When I was a kid back in 1971 I lived in Anaheim, California where my mom was a waitress at a local amusement park. Exploring Orange County as an adult recently it all felt more or less the same as I remembered – only more so. The primary adjective has always been beige. The last vestiges of orange groves that still lingered in my youth are long gone, but the tidy neighborhoods of modest tract homes, strip malls, and motels are all still there behind the shiny new stuff.  read more »

Where America's Highest Earners Live

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The mainstream media commonly assumes that affluent Americans like to cluster in the dense cores of cities. This impression has been heightened by some eye-catching recent announcements by big companies of plans to move their headquarters from the ‘burbs to big cities, like General Electric to Boston and McDonald’s to Chicago.  read more »

How To Deal With An Age of Disasters

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When Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston, followed by a strong hurricane in Florida, much of the media response indicated that the severe weather was a sign of catastrophic climate change, payback for mass suburbanization — and even a backlash by Mother Nature against the election of President Donald Trump.  read more »

Toward a Science of Cities: "The Atlas of Urban Expansion"

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New York University Professor Shlomo Angel and his colleagues (Alejandro M. Blei, Jason Parent, Patrick Lamson-Hall, and Nicolás Galarza Sánchez, with Daniel L. Civco, Rachel Qian Lei, and Kevin Thom) have produced the Atlas of Urban Expansion: 2016 edition, which represents the most detailed available spatial analysis of world urbanization, relying on a sample of 200 urban areas. It was published jointly United Nations Habitat, New York University, and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and released in conjunction with the Habitat III conference in Quito. The Atlas follows the publication of Angel's Planet of Cities, published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy which was reviewed in New Geography in A Planet of People: Angel's Planet of Cities.  read more »

Amazon’s HQ2 Is a Golden Opportunity for the Heartland

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon is seeking bids for a second headquarters location that will be equal in size to its current Seattle base. (You can read their RFP here). It would ultimately employ 50,000 people in eight million square feet of office space at an average salary of over $100,000.  read more »

The Changing World of Aviation

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Perhaps nothing more illustrates the shifts in the global economy than the geography of the largest airports. In 2000, world air passenger statistics were dominated by high income world economies. Among the 25 busiest passenger airports, 14 were in the United States, five in Europe and five in Asia and one in Canada, according to data from the Airports Council International and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.  read more »

The ‘Not Good’, Bad & Ugly of Mapping

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Today, useful demographic, real estate, and economic information is instantly accessed from your bedroom laptop. A few decades ago you would have to make a trip to city hall and wait for someone to go through hundreds of files.

Information (data) is only as good as the source, hand entered from someone - subject to human error. Yet in reality, after 3 decades of use, mapping software --- used by virtually every city and county agency --- is actually getting worse not better.  read more »

Las Vegas Lessons, Part II

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A couple weeks ago I wrote some thoughts after a recent visit to Las Vegas. Most of what I wrote about concerned the Strip and downtown areas of the city, without question the two most recognizable and most frequently visited parts of the region.  read more »

Las Vegas Lessons, Part 1

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I spent much of last week in Las Vegas for the International Council of Shopping Centers' RECON 2017, the world's largest real estate convention. It's a gathering for developers, brokers, property owners, retailers, architects, landscape designers, construction companies, municipalities and more to get together to discuss real estate possibilities, in the one city that owes its very existence to aggressive real estate ventures.  read more »