Urban Issues

May Transit 59.5% of Pre-Pandemic Levels

TransportMay2022.jpg

Transit ridership remained below 60 percent of pre-pandemic levels in May 2022, according to data released by the Federal Transit Administration recently. This was only a slight improvement over April’s 58.7 percent despite average fuel prices climbing from a little over $4 in April to more than $4.50 in May.  read more »

Densification in Toronto: The Evolving Urban Form

Absolute_Towers_Mississauga.jpg

Like many of the world’s largest cities (Note 1), public policy seeks to densify Toronto, which is already the densest urban area (the international term) or population centre (the Canadian term) in North America (as used here, north of Mexico). An urban area is continuously built up urbanization and is routinely at the core of a metropolitan area (in Canada, a Census Metropolitan Area, or CMA).  read more »

Deteriorating Housing Affordability in Canada

suburban-vancouver.jpg

The Frontier Centre for Public Policy has released the 2022 edition of Demographia Housing Affordability in Canada.  read more »

Why Many Poor Neighborhoods Fear Development

williamsburg-brooklyn_ny.jpg

I remember being very surprised the first time I read about activists in poor communities opposing investment in their parks. I had always thought of such activists as lobbying for public investment into their communities.  read more »

Subjects:

The Bureaucratization of American Leadership

chicago-skyline.jpg

In newsletter #63 I discussed the managerial revolution, or the way that we transitioned from an entrepreneurial capitalist system dominated by owners to a bureaucratic system dominated by managers and technocrats spanning the public and private sectors.  read more »

Korea: Moving to the Suburbs of Seoul

Anyang_city.jpg

The Seoul metropolitan area (also called the Seoul Capital Area) has continued its strong population growth over the past decade, with the 2020 census indicating an annual increase of 1.0%.  read more »

New Suburbanism

new-suburbanism_report.jpg

New Suburbanism advances a set of ideas to deepen the conversation about the synergistic relationship between core areas, suburbs, and rural areas. It challenges the prevailing ideology that density is a virtue. It appeals for an update of planning practice, given the pandemic push and new technology pull. A set of actionable ideas referred to as the Elements of New Suburbanism are presented.  read more »

Inflation Eats Infrastructure Bill

RoadConstruction.jpg

In addition to restoring allegedly crumbling highways and transit lines, the 2021 infrastructure bill was supposed to provide tens of billions of dollars for building new infrastructure.  read more »

Chicago's Density in 2020

CC_east_hyde_park_.jpeg

I was playing around with Chicago population figures by community area (the 77 officially designated "communities" established in the 1920s) and ended up with a map you might find interesting. Check it out:  read more »

Engineered California

LostHills-NaturalGasWell.jpg

Nothing so illustrates the mindset of green politics, particularly in California, as the word “natural,” which is taken to mean unspoiled, pure, and better than the workings of man. Yet few places are as fundamentally artificial, if measured by its dependency on human intervention, as California.  read more »