New York

Perspective: U. S. COVID-19 Deaths and Urban Population Density

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There is wide consensus that the COVID-19 virus spreads person-to-person, especially in confined spaces that are insufficiently ventilated. It is exacerbated by prolonged proximity, which John Brooks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s chief medical officer indicates is 15 minutes or more of unprotected contact with someone less than 6 feet away.  read more »

Storied Cities

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Athens is the birthplace of Western culture, with the physical ruins of its classical age still visibly present as a perpetual reminder. Virgil composed his epic poem, The Aeneid, recounting the mythic flight of Aeneas from defeated Troy to Italy, becoming the forbear of Rome. New York sees itself as unique center of commerce, founded when the Dutch (not the English) bought Manhattan for beads in the city’s first hustle. Nashville needs no reminder that it’s the center of country music, nor Detroit that it is the Motor City.  read more »

Demographia World Urban Areas, 2020: Tokyo Lead Diminishing

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For the first time in more than six decades the world’s second ranked built-up urban area has reached within 10% of leader Tokyo. The 2020 edition of Demographia World Urban Areas reports that Jakarta has reached a population of 34.5 million, behind Tokyo-Yokohama’s 38.0 million (Figure 1). The report can be downloaded here (Note 1).  read more »

The Urban Project: Urbanization, Urbanisms, and the Virus – A Historical Take

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Observing and writing 20-some years before the oil embargo (1974) and 30 years before the stern Brundtland report (1987), Jane Jacobs (1961) resolved that density comes in “good” and “bad” varieties.  read more »

From tragedy to opportunity: We could live better when today's mayhem ends

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For most people in this locked-down, riot-scarred world, the future beckons unpleasantly. There is a growing sense that, economically, the 2020s may look more like the 1930s than some halcyon post-industrial future. “Dark days ahead,” suggests The Week. “This is what the end of the end of history looks like."  read more »

Economy Loses Jobs Equal to Metro New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and DFW

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Map of counties in the United States that have imposed stay-at-home orders

The economic distress resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and strategies to limit its spread have been substantial. The most intense effects have been inflicted on the estimated 26 million workers who have lost their jobs, either temporarily or permanently. Many businesses may not be able to recover, while others may never be restored to their previous employment, as customer revenues take years to recover.  read more »

Why This New Yorker Returned to the Midwest

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New Urbanism Editor Lewis McCrary's Note: Before the pandemic changed the urban landscape of American life, the last two decades have seen a familiar dynamic: the coastal cities have recorded dramatic increases of wealth as highly-educated workers concentrate in a few major metro areas, including New York, San Francisco, and Washington.  read more »

Dispersion in US Metros Increases Even Before COVID-19: New Census Estimates

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The latest US Census Bureau metropolitan area population estimates (for 2019) were largely lost in the coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.  read more »

Subways Seeded the NYC Epidemic: MIT Economist

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Like so many of us, Bret Stephens, an opinion columnist for The New York Times is stunned at the concentration of COVID-19 virus deaths in New York City, as well as the rest of the metropolitan area. In an April 25, 2019 article entitled “America Should Not Have to Play by New York Rules,” Stephens points out that the “number of Covid deaths per 100,000 residents in New York City (132) is more than 16 times what is in America’s next largest city, Los Angeles (8).”  read more »

The Coronavirus Means You May Have Seen Your Last Skyscraper, New York

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While Gov. Andrew Cuomo has warned that “we are your future,” since “what happens to New York is going to wind up happening to California and Washington state and Illinois” and the New York Times has blared that "This Is Going to Kill Small-Town America," the COVID-19 death rate in the United States appears to be more than twice as high in large urban counties as in high-density suburbs, and nearly twice as high in high-density suburbs than in lower-density ones.  read more »