Suburbs

Europe’s Overlooked Suburbs: Key to EU Election?

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In the run-up to the elections for the European Parliament, The Economist magazine suggests that the old political divisions no longer apply (“Between somewhere and anywhere: The politics of suburbia in Europe,” May 11, 2019). As the chaos of a British Parliament is unable to meet its self-defined Brexit deadline, The Economist observes that “Culture wars have taken hold of European politics and eclipsed the old left-versus-right distinction,” suggesting that the traditional majority social democrats and Christian democrats could find themselves outnumbered after the election:  read more »

Mayoral Mismatch

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Mayors have had little success in becoming president, with only one big-city chief executive, Grover Cleveland of Buffalo, later governor of New York, actually making it to the White House.  read more »

The Once-Lucky Country

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Few places on earth are better suited for middle-class prosperity than Australia. From early in its history, when it was a refuge for British convicts, the vast, resource-rich country has provided an ideal environment for upward mobility, from the pioneering ranches of the nineteenth century to the middle-class suburbs of the late twentieth. Journalist Donald Horne described Australia in 1964 as “a lucky country run mainly by second-rate people who share its luck.”  read more »

Denver’s Subsidized Housing Scheme Gets It Wrong On Affordability

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Thanks to an urban-growth boundary, Denver has a housing affordability problem. Apartment rents have increased by 65 percent in the last decade, while the nationwide cost of living in that time rose by just 18 percent and rents nationwide increased by an average of 28 percent.  read more »

The End of Aspiration

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Since the end of the Second World War, middle- and working-class people across the Western world have sought out—and, more often than not, achieved—their aspirations. These usually included a stable income, a home, a family, and the prospect of a comfortable retirement.  read more »

College Graduates Concentrated in Suburbs, Highest Educational Attainment in CBDs

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The nation’s high-density central business districts of the major metropolitan areas have the largest shares of adults over the age of 25 with bachelor’s degrees or higher, which is consistent with popular perception. At the same time, because such a small percentage of people live in the central business districts, by far the most bachelors degree and higher adults live in the suburbs.  read more »

Millennial Preferences: Not So Different

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Economists at the Federal Reserve Board have published exhaustive research on Millennial spending patterns and generally find that they are similar to those of other generations (See: “Are Millennials Different?,” by Christopher Kurz, Geng Li, and Daniel J. Vine). The research examines Consumer Expenditure (CE) Survey data and the conclusion is summarized by the authors:  read more »

Why Suburbs Need To Be The Next Frontier For Cities Policy

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“Around the world, the vast majority of people are moving to cities not to inhabit their centres but to suburbanise their peripheries. Thus when the United Nations projects the number of future ‘urban’ residents… these figures largely reflect the unprecedented suburban expansion of global cities.”  read more »

Restoring The California Dream, Not Nailing Its Coffin

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Virtually everyone, including Gov. Gavin Newsom, is aware of the severity of California’s housing crisis. The bad news is that most proposals floating in Sacramento are likely to do very little to address our housing shortage.

Newsom has promised to have 3.5 million homes built over the next seven years to solve the problem. That is, conservatively stated, more than 2.6 million that would be built at the current rate of construction.  read more »

Beyond Beer, Bread and Bicycles: The Industrial Return To the City

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In San Francisco, the former site of the Hunters Point shipyard is now being developed with over 10,000 units of housing, 2.6 million square feet of office and R&D space, and about a half million square feet of retail. The project will also include about 75,000 square feet of maker space, or less than 1% of the total building area, most of which will probably go to artisanal firms making food, fashion and furnishing, things like beer, bread and bicycles, sold to the upscale consumers of the region.  read more »