Urban Issues

Why Trump's America Will Live On

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Like many, if not most Americans, I am somewhat relieved to see the petulant, nasty and sometimes clearly unhinged Donald Trump leave the White House. Yet for all his antics and vitriol, Trump has left a legacy that will be difficult to ignore and, given the dispensation of his opponents, could shape the future for the next decade.  read more »

Look to Orange County for How to Turn California Purple

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For decades, Orange County was a reliable incubator of conservative politics, and, in the era of Nixon, Goldwater and Reagan, a fairly powerful force in the state and on the national level.  read more »

Ownership and Opportunity: a new report from Urban Reform Institute

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In a new report from Urban Reform Institute edited by Joel Kotkin, J.H. Cullum Clark and Anne Snyder explore what happens when opportunity stalls. Pete Saunders and Karla Lopez del Rio tell the story of how homeownership enabled upward mobility for their respective families. Wendell Cox quantifies the connection between urban containment policies and housing affordabilty.  read more »

Can Ford's Urban Gambit Survive Pandemic?

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Ford Motor Co. unveiled grand plans this week to enhance its investment in the Corktown precinct of Detroit, envisioning creation of a 30-acre “mobility innovation district” around the iconic but crumbling Michigan Central train station that the automaker is restoring to make a hip urban locale for 2,500 engineers and tech people.  read more »

Katowice-Gliwice-Tychy: The Evolving Urban Form

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Katowice-Gliwice-Tychy (hyperlinks are audio pronunciations) is fast-developing Poland’s second largest continuously developed urban area (urban agglomeration), with 1.7 million residents.  read more »

The Black Community Commercial Development Conundrum

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A common question I hear, particularly from middle class Black residents in the Chicago area who grow frustrated with the condition of their communities, is, "why can't we have the amenities that other neighborhoods have?"  read more »

High Density and Sustainability

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The proponents of currently fashionable planning doctrines favouring density maintain, among other factors, that high-density planning is more environmentally sustainable. Policies based on these doctrines are being applied in Australian capital cities--- Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and to some extent Darwin and Hobart.

The assumption that high-density is environmentally superior seems to be based on intuition as no proof is provided to support this claim. Rather, considerable evidence is emerging that this is not the case.  read more »

Hangzhou: The Evolving Urban Form

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Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang Province in China. Hangzhou’s historic core is located approximately 160 kilometers (100 miles) southwest of Shanghai and approximately 1,100 kilometers (675 miles) from Beijing .It is the largest municipality in Zhejiang, having passed Wenzhou within the last decade.  read more »

Coronavirus and the Office Apocalypse

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“We shall never deal with the complex problems of large units and differentiated groups unless at the same time we rebuild and revitalize the small unit. We must begin at the beginning; it is here where all life, even in big communities and organizations, starts.”
— Lewis Mumford  read more »

The Need to Reboot and Rebuild Public Transit

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If you didn’t have time to watch my transit presentation from Milwaukee, I distilled a few of the themes into my October column for Governing magazine. Here’s an excerpt:  read more »