Small Cities

Millennials Reinvent Localism in Their Search for Community

workflourish1.jpg

It’s common knowledge that millennials long for "community." What’s less understood is the concrete expression of that longing in cities and suburbs across America, especially now that the older tier of millennials between ages 28 and 34 are buying homes, starting companies, running for office, and throwing around their consumer weight.  read more »

Iowa’s Next Election: Bridging the Urban-Rural and Class Divide

martin.jpg

My home state of Iowa famously gave Barack Obama a convincing victory in the Democratic caucuses in 2008, the first triumph that launched a young U.S. senator from Illinois to become the first African-American president. Obama ultimately won two terms, and each time Iowans favored him by considerable margins. Iowa was also one of several Midwestern states that famously flipped to support Donald Trump in 2016.  read more »

Growth In America Is Tilting To Smaller Cities

Downtown_Provo.jpg

We are often told that America’s future lies in our big cities. That may no longer be entirely true. Some of the strongest job creation and population growth is now occurring in cities of 1 million people or less.  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 »

What the Census Numbers Tell Us

4740549756_9270baae47_z.jpg

The most recent Census population estimates revealed something that the mainstream media would prefer to ignore—the slowing population growth of big cities, including New York. The New York Times, for example, trumpeted Gotham’s historically high population yet failed to mention that the city’s growth is not only dramatically slowing but also, in the case of Brooklyn, declining for the first time since 2006.  read more »

Moving Away From The Major Metropolitan Areas: The 2017 Estimates

1200px-Lakeland_FLAUSA_lake_Mirror.jpg

The new 2017 US Census Bureau metropolitan area population estimates have been published. They show a significant increase in domestic migration away from the largest cities (the major metropolitan areas, with more than 1,000,000 population) toward the metropolitan areas with from 500,000 to 1,000,000 population. The data also shows an acceleration of suburban versus core county population growth within the major metropolitan areas themselves. The data is summarized in the table at the bottom of the article.  read more »

Where Small Town America Is Thriving

Oil workers.JPG.scale.LARGE.JPG

Big city America has long demonstrated a distaste for its smaller cousins. This sentiment has, if anything, intensified with the election of President Donald Trump, whose improbable victory was made possible by strong support in small cities and towns across the country.  read more »

Hamtramck: Scale and Institutional Frameworks

screen-shot-2017-12-08-at-9-12-55-pm.jpg

I recently published an article that explored some of the ways regulations make it difficult for small businesses to get off the ground and function. Among the examples I used from around the country was Bank Suey in Hamtramck, Michigan. My story was subsequently reposted on various other sites which the owner, Alissa Shelton, read and objected to. She felt I hadn’t accurately described her experience as a business owner and that I didn’t present her town in the right light.  read more »

Why Small, Struggling Cities Don’t Need “Talent”

hartford-insurtech-hub.jpg

I recently recorded a podcast with my colleague Steve Eide in which he argued against the idea that attracting high talented people into government is what was needed for smaller, post-industrial cities.  read more »

Subjects: