Lee Kwan Yew, one of the great political architects of our time, died a year ago, but the regime he established in Singapore remains entrenched in power. In fact, the parliamentary elections last year—to the surprise and consternation of Lee’s critics—enlarged his People’s Action Party (PAP) majority in Parliament from a record low of 60 percent to close to 70 percent. Despite talk of a “new normal” defined by more competitive politics, the city-state’s norms remain very much as they have been for the better part of a half century. read more »
My recent post on counting the long term costs of building rail transit got a lot of hits – and as expected a lot of pushback.
There are a lot of people out there that are simply committed to the idea of rail transit, no matter how unwarranted a particular line or system might be. read more »
As last week's US Census Bureau population estimates indicated, the story of population growth between 2014 and 2015 was largely about Texas, as it has been for the decade starting 2010 (See: “Texas Keeps Getting Bigger” The New Metropolitan Area Estimates). read more »
From 2009-11, Americans seemed to be clustering again in dense cities, to the great excitement urban boosters. The recently released 2015 Census population estimates confirm that was an anomaly. Americans have strongly returned to their decades long pattern of greater suburbanization and migration to lower-density, lower-cost metropolitan areas, largely in the South, Intermountain West and, most of all, in Texas. read more »
The United States Census Bureau has just released its 2015 population estimates for metropolitan areas and counties. Again, the story is Texas, with the Bureau’s news release headline reading: Four Texas Metro Areas Collectively Add More Than 400,000 People in the Last Year. The Census Bureau heralded the accomplishment with a ”Texas Keeps Getting Bigger” poster, which is shown below. The detailed data is in the table at the bottom of the article. read more »
The Washington Metro system was shut down completely for a day recently to allow crews to inspect all of the power cables in the system. They found 26 cables and connectors in need of immediate repair.
This is just the latest in a series of safety problems and breakdowns that have plagued the system.
Metro has a large unfunded maintenance liability. This doesn’t surprise us because we expect American transit systems to have a backlog. read more »
Journalists in older cities like New York, Boston or San Francisco may see the role of rail transit as critical to a functioning modern city. In reality, rail transit has been a financial and policy failure outside of a handful of cities. read more »
Headlines were recently made recently as Japan finally experienced a long predicted official decline in population. This is widely expected to be the beginning of a long decline in population, which the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research has projected will drop Japan’s population from its present 127 million to 43 million by 2100 (Chart). read more »
The first knock on Walmart was that it gutted the mom-and-pop businesses of small-town America. So what happens to those towns when Walmart decides to leave?
What is the future of American retail? The keys might be found not only in the highly contested affluent urban areas but also in the countryside, which is often looked down upon and ignored in discussion of retail trends. read more »