Planning

Big in Japan

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Well, it’s big in Japan.

That is what proponents of California’s high speed rail project say when asked about the whys and wherefores of the system. In other words, if it works somewhere else it will work here.  read more »

The Future of Cities: The Future of the Big American City Is Not Bright

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As COVID-19 begins to wane and become endemic, the question for policymakers, theorists, and Americans at large is: What is in store for our nation's big cities?  read more »

Welcome to Austin

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I'm going to make a little deviation from the bulk of the "Welcome to..." stories you see below, which mostly focus on South Side Chicago neighborhoods (the exceptions are Rosemont, in Chicago's northwest suburbs, and Park Forest, in the south suburbs).  read more »

Let Cities Be What They Want to Be

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An on-line site called the Dumber, er, I mean Intelligancer says that, for cities to survive, developers must be allowed to convert office buildings into housing.  read more »

Washington, Colorado, and Oregon: The Next Domestic Outmigration Wave?

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The newly published US Census Bureau state and District of Columbia population estimates contain some surprises about changing growth and net domestic migration (movement between states) patterns.  read more »

Home Building and Developing in The New Normal

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In a recent YouTube video Avoid These Cities (Housing Crash 2022) EPB Research provides an analysis of the national market. In general, West Coast is bad and East Coast is OK, especially the southeast. The overly regulated western states with higher raw land prices and huge city fees result in higher home prices.  read more »

Density and the Fertility Trap

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Yesterday, Tyler Cowan mentioned in the Marginal Revolution blog that he wished books on urban areas “would spend more time discussing whether dense urban areas are simply a fertility trap.”  read more »

Low Speed Fail

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Curiouser and curiouser, said Alice as she grew taller and taller in Wonderland.

Curiouser and curiouser, said everyone paying even the slightest attention as the high-speed rail fantasy grew bigger and more expensive and further behind schedule and more incomprehensible and more ludicrous and now, yes, even possibly taller and taller in California.  read more »

A Better Future

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In earlier times, even with a soaring population, Americans knew how to accommodate housing demand. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries we built cities from scratch along the frontier. The existing major urban centers—Boston, New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia—all expanded rapidly, both by density and expansion into land on the periphery.  read more »

Housing Affordability in California: Part 3 — A Way Forward

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Urban containment has significant costs. In commenting on the association between London’s urban growth boundary,1 and the higher costs of housing, The Economist said: “Suburbs rarely cease growing of their own accord. The only reliable way to stop them, it turns out, is to stop them forcefully.  read more »