Urban Issues

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 »

Something in New York is Dying

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A recent blog post by investor and stand-up comedian James Altucher (mentioned here) arguing that New York is dead forever attracted the hostility of many New Yorkers. Fellow comedian Jerry Seinfeld wrote a New York Times op-ed calling Altucher a “whimpering putz.” Mayor De Blasio, naturally, agrees with Seinfeld.  read more »

Dwellings in Decline as Demographics Drive Demand

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Rarely has the question of where, why and how people will live, work and play been so important, as the impact of COVID-19 begins to transform the demand and supply equation across the Australian property market.  read more »

COVID-19 and Walking: The Great Equalizer

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Walking has been having a moment for a while now. Books and research have been proliferating about the joys and benefits of walking, which include cultural exchange, spiritual enlightenment, and cognitive and creative benefits.  read more »

Subjects:

Lazaretto Dining

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Last week a friend asked me for help in his back garden. This is the first time he’s owned a proper home rather than a condo and he’s not sure how to manage the yard. We’re in a part of the world where it doesn’t rain for most of the year and hand watering gets old fast. I brought over samples of the irrigation tubes and drip emitters I like to use and walked him through the installation process.  read more »

Is it About Black Lives or Is It About Power?

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In 2012 I started my career as a structural engineer in the industrial suburbs of Johannesburg. This was my first job after completing my studies and the only rent that I could afford was a granny flat in the backyard of a property that belonged to an old Zimbabwean couple named Archie and Gayle. They were by then in their late 70s and they were still working to earn a living.  read more »

The Great American Land Rush of 2020

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The Great American Land Rush of 2020 is underway in many metro areas across the country. Large numbers of American workers are untethered from a central office. As a result many are moving to less dense areas with less expensive land (and homes) and more of both. The greater New York City and Los Angeles metros are the hardest hit. Take NYC where single-family residential land per acre is 24 times as expensive in the densest quintile of zip codes as compared to the least dense quintile ($3.06 million vs. $129,000).  read more »

Reform, Not Defunding

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Protests have spread across the United States for months now, along with calls for defunding local police departments. But the movement to defund police has a crucial flaw: the policy that it seeks would harm the minority communities whom the protesters claim to care about. Moreover, those communities don’t even agree with it.  read more »

Subjects:

Three Things Trump is Getting Right and Democrats Ignored

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Right on cue, the country’s dominant political and media voices, after wildly applauding Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, have responded to Donald Trump’s week in the spotlight with laughter, derision and anger for its supposed amateurism, lack of star power, and racism.  read more »

Japan Prefectures: COVID-19 Fatality Rates and Urban Densities

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Japan has done remarkably well in controlling the Covid-19 virus. The nation’s death rate per million population at 0.9, is very low by international standards and the lowest among the G-7 nations. Yet there are significant variations among the prefectures — as elsewhere — by urban densities.  read more »