Chicago

Welcome to Park Forest

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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 »

A Walk Around Chicago’s Loop

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Chicago has a storied history in skyscraper development, so much so that it has been called the birthplace of the skyscraper. Nearly all of that history occurred in and around the “Loop,” which is the historic downtown, or central business district (CBD). Recently, I took the opportunity to walk around the Loop, to photograph buildings, old and new.  read more »

Welcome To Ashburn (via WBEZ)

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Some recent pieces I wrote about segregation in the past few weeks got me thinking of how to express a particular feature of segregation I've witnessed in the Rust Belt, what one might call "diversity without integration", plays out in some cities.  read more »

More on Bifurcating Chicago and Detroit

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(Note: this past Sunday I wrote a 20-tweet (!), 657-word (!!) tweetstorm that was largely a response to some things from about a month ago. Yeah, I can hold onto a grudge. Anyway, here I'm offering an expanded version of the content from that tweetstorm, but also some elaborations that can provide more clarity and nuance. -Pete)  read more »

Population Growth Slowing in Largest US Municipalities

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The 2017 Census Bureau population estimates shows that population growth in the nation’s largest municipalities (incorporated cities and equivalent) has declined substantially relative to the healthier gains posted earlier in the decade.  read more »

Chicago, Detroit and the Rust Belt Bifurcated City

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So I got into a rather interesting discussion last week in the comments section of Aaron Renn's Urbanophile website in a piece he wrote about population transformation in Pittsburgh and Chicago. And it led to some, well, interesting points that deserve more comment.  read more »

Population Transformation in Pittsburgh and Chicago

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Out of the 53 metro areas with more than a million people, only four lost population last year. The two biggest losers were Pittsburgh and Chicago.

Both cities are ones where a significant cadre of local boosters brush off population loss, arguing that a closer look shows that they actually are undergoing a demographic transition that is actually putting them in a stronger position. So let’s take a look.  read more »

Chicago Is the American Metropolitan Platypus

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"What the hell is going on in Chicago?"

I must admit, when I first heard that statement from President Donald Trump, it angered me. The Donald has said a lot of cringe-worthy things over the years, but this struck a nerve.  read more »

Chicagoans Are Getting Older And Smarter

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Chicagoans are getting older, as is the rest of the United States. The median age of Chicagoans has increased from 31.5 in 2000 to 34.4 in 2016. What is particularly noteworthy is that Chicago is losing school-age children while it is gaining young college graduates and seniors.  read more »

Chicago's Story Of Population Loss Is Becoming An Exclusive About Black Population Loss

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Population estimates released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau show that Chicago’s population has declined for the third year in row.

According to the latest estimates, Chicago’s population fell by about 350 in 2014, by just under 5,000 in 2015 and by more than 8,600 in 2016. Among the nation’s 50 largest cities, Chicago is the only city to lose population each year since 2013 and for those population losses to worsen each time.  read more »