Urban Issues

Demographia World Urban Areas: 2019: Population, Land Area & Urban Densities

world ua 2019.JPG

The 2019 update of Demographia World Urban Areas, just released, provides population, urban land area, and average urban density estimates for the known 1,072 urban agglomerations with 500,000 or more residents (called “larger urban areas: in this article). The report can be downloaded here.  read more »

Driving Is Growing But Growth Is Slowing

1200px-2008_07_16_-_6010_-_College_Park_-_I95-495_(3293505639).jpg

Late last month, the Federal Highway Administration reported that Americans drove a record number of miles in 2018: 3.225 trillion miles in all. While the Department of Transportation heralded this as a sign of a “robust economy,” detailed data show that driving grew by only 0.38 percent over 2017.  read more »

Subjects:

Changing the Chicago Way?

Chicago_sunrise_1-300x95.jpg

My latest piece is online at City Journal, and is about the election yesterday of Lori Lightfoot as Chicago’s next mayor:  read more »

Killing the California Dream

344949287_f791d2cec5_o.jpg

Californians need to give up on their dream of a “ranch-house lifestyle” and an “ample backyard” and the state should become “more like New York City,” writes LA Times columnist George Skelton (reprinted in the Mercury-News and East Bay Times in case you run into the LA Times paywall). After reading his article, the Antiplanner has just one question: Why?  read more »

What Can We Do For America's Most Challenged Cities?

640px-Flint_River_in_Flint_MIchigan.jpg

My latest Manhattan Institute study was just released, discussing the particular difficulties facing America’s most distressed cities. Post-industrial metro areas with less than one million people that have experience significant decline are in a different category than other places.  read more »

The Captain Hindsight Award

screen-shot-2019-03-07-at-10.03.43-am.jpg

A reader recently made a comment I took seriously:

I am certainly not here to try and refute much of what you have brought to light, only to suggest that your comments are not in the least bit constructive on the whole. That is why I have decided to pin you with the prestigious “Captain Hindsight” award.

This post is my response.  read more »

California Using Band-Aids for Homeless Wounds

1200px-Homeless_people_sleeping_in_Pershing_Square_in_Downtown_Los_Angeles_(DTLA)_13.jpg

The problem with the California economy is not greenness. It’s homelessness. Get these people off our streets first. Make living like a human being affordable again. If there is no incentive to work, why work.

Every year there are over 2,500+ new bills expected to fill the annual calendar of the 80 Assemblymen and 40 Senators of the California State legislature. Fortunately, most never make it to the Governor for signature.  read more »

Beijing and Shanghai Limit Population Growth

DSC00492.JPG

Public policies to cap population in China’s two largest municipalities are yielding results. The latest annual statistical communiqués indicate that Shanghai and Beijing are now at population levels below the all-time peaks reached earlier in this decade, as population growth is being steered to peripheral areas in exurban and rural areas. This article describes population trends through the end of 2018.  read more »

Transit’s Declining Importance

SACRT_CAF_Interior.jpg

The steady decline in transit ridership, combined with the growth of driving, is revealed in passenger-mile data published by the Department of Transportation. The table below shows changes in transit’s share of motorized travel for the nation’s 25 largest urban areas. Outside of these areas, transit’s share declined by more than 10 percent in Sacramento, San Jose, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Charlotte, among many others.  read more »

Escaping the Strait Jacket of "Place"

1200px-Seattle_4.jpg

We like to think of "place" as something positive, something that sets our patterns of living in a good way, but sometimes those patterns and forms become a strait jacket that keep our communities from evolving and growing. Sometimes you have to throw off that strait jacket, and Seattle, where 150,000 people have moved in the last 20 years, seems to be doing just that.  read more »