Urban Issues

Old Infrastructure, New Infrastructure

Forge_Hill_Road_bridge_washout.jpg

My latest column is now online at Governing and is about >how our infrastructure problem is in large part age related. It hits on themes I’ve talked about before, but since little ever changes in the American infrastructure debate, we always seem to end up repeating ourselves a bit. Here’s an excerpt:  read more »

Subjects:

Jim Crow Returns to California

Los-Angeles-Homeless-Encampment.jpg

California’s leaders might see themselves as a vanguard of progressive and eco-friendly values. But in reality, their draconian climate policies have created a racially segregated state more akin to the pre-Civil Rights era South.  read more »

The Failure of Dallas TOD

transit-oriented-dev.jpg

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), the transit agency serving Dallas and a dozen other cities, is proud of the fact that it has built the longest light-rail system in the country. It is almost as proud of the many transit-oriented developments (TODs) built near light-rail stations.  read more »

Greater Manila 2020: The Evolving Urban Form

manila-uza-20210823.png

In 2021, the Manila built up urban area is estimated to have a population of 24.0 million, making it the fourth largest urban area in the world, according to Demographia World Urban Areas, covering 873 square kilometers and with a population density of 12,801 per square kilometer (33,135 per square mile). Only Tokyo, Jakarta and Delhi have larger populations. By comparison, the 2021 population of the New York urban area is 20.9 million.  read more »

Will Emigres from the Coasts Change Us -- Or Are They Like Us?

coastal-emigres.jpg

Florida and Texas are experiencing dramatic results from the covid-induced diaspora of many thousands of Americans from the coasts to the American heartland. Gaggles of disenchanted New Yorkers are flocking to Florida these days, and legions of tech workers from Silicon Valley are disembarking for Austin.  read more »

Grandpa's Basement House

grandpas-basement-house.jpg

My mother-in-law was born in a small town in rural Nebraska in 1941. Her father was oversees fighting World War II for the first few years of her life, so she and her mother lived on her grandparents’ farm in a society absent of young men.  read more »

A COVID Postcard from Australia

33968005221_e1b1cb1b4a_c.jpg

Australia’s response to Covid-19 has quickly turned from laudable to laughable. For a nation which only a few months ago seemed to be the toast of world leaders for having so effectively limited the spread of the virus and still growing its economy, to a nation now lagging on vaccination and struggling with lockdowns, the turnaround has been dramatic.  read more »

It's All About the Money: Who's Not Working?

jane-wells-investigates-job-market.png

— 3.9 million people quit their jobs in June.

— “We’re seeing the craziest counter-offers I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” says a recruiter.  read more »

Changing Boundaries, Changing Perceptions

suburbia-anchors-urban-core.jpg

What if I told you that Chicago is a midsized, dense urban hub of 800,000 people, surrounded by more than 400 suburbs anchoring a large metro area of 9.5 million? Or that Indianapolis reached its peak population of 476,000 in 1960, and has slipped below 300,000 for the first time since 1930? Or that New York City reached its population peak of 3.4 million in 1950, lost nearly a million people to fall to 2.6 million by 1980, and once again crossed the 3 million person threshold just this past decade?  read more »

Garcetti's Legacy

garcetti_eric.jpg

President Joe Biden has nominated Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti as ambassador to India. Assuming the Senate confirms him, Garcetti, who would leave office early (his second term ends in December 2022), might find India familiar in certain respects. Like Mumbai or Delhi, Los Angeles now has massive homeless encampments throughout the city  read more »