Chicago

Work Trips in the CSAs with the Largest CBDs

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This article describes the reduction in work visits, by counties within the six combined statistical areas (CSAs), also called commuting zones, that include the nation’s six largest downtown areas (central business districts, or CBDs) by employment. CSAs are combinations of adjacent metropolitan and micropolitan areas that have strong work trip commuting connections, but not as strong as within metropolitan areas (MSAs).  read more »

Are Great Lakes a Big Economic Advantage?

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Denizens of the Great Lakes watershed long have looked at those five vast, deep, shimmering pools not only as an unmatched economic and cultural resource but also as the ultimate trump card.  read more »

The Black Community Commercial Development Conundrum

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A common question I hear, particularly from middle class Black residents in the Chicago area who grow frustrated with the condition of their communities, is, "why can't we have the amenities that other neighborhoods have?"  read more »

The Limits of Rhetoric

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Deep-blue cities and states are eager to declare their social-justice credentials.  read more »

Two Decades of Interstate Migration

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America is still a mobile nation. Back in the 2000-2010 decade, 12.9 million people moved interstate, nearly five percent of the total population. In the 2010s the population has been a bit less mobile, with net domestic migration of 11.7 million residents, slightly under four percent. Nonetheless, 11.7 million is a large number. This is nearly equal to the population of Ohio, with only five states being larger  read more »

The Heartland's Revival

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For roughly the past half century, the middle swath of America has been widely written off as reactionary, backward, and des­tined for unceasing decline.  read more »

The Twilight of Great American Cities is Here. Can We Stop It?

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The dreadful death of George Floyd lit a fire that threatens to burn down America’s cities. Already losing population before the pandemic, our major urban centers have provided ideal kindling for conflagration with massive unemployment, closed businesses and already rising crime rates.  read more »

COVID Work Trip Reduction Estimates: CSAs with Transit Legacy Cities

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America’s elite central business districts have symbolized the ascendency of big cities, epitomized by soaring office towers. But today, due the COVID-19 pandemic, so much office work performed in these CBDs can be done remotely, that their future seems far less towering than in the past. In contrast, less dense areas, notably exurbs, appear to have suffered less loss in their employment patterns.  read more »

In Praise of Streetcar Suburbs, Defined and Illustrated

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If there is a single American development pattern or style that I love most, it is the streetcar suburb.  Bringing more of this pattern back to our cities would be a great thing.  read more »