Urban Issues

The Rust Belt's Strange Demographics

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Many Heartland cities continue to suffer the after effects of deindustrialization. One of them is South Bend, Indiana, the former mid-sized automobile manufacturing center home to the now defunct Studebaker.  read more »

Cities Are Suffering

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Urbanists have been singing the virtues of the city and density over the past few decades, from the practical benefits of density — including more efficient forms of living in apartments and access to public transit — to the economic, social, and cultural opportunities found in urban areas.  read more »

Bicycles: A Refuge for Transit Commuters?

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This may come as a surprise, but bicycles provide more 30-minute job access than transit for the average worker in 50 large metropolitan areas (combined). This is evident from data produced by the University of Minnesota Accessibility Laboratory. The 50 metropolitan areas all have more than 1,000,000 population, though do not include Memphis, Grand Rapids or Tucson, the three others of that size. Reports have been produced for job access, by travel time for the average worker in the metropolitan areas.  read more »

The Heartland's Revival

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For roughly the past half century, the middle swath of America has been widely written off as reactionary, backward, and des­tined for unceasing decline.  read more »

Driving Bounces Back

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The mayor of San Diego wants to spend $177 billion expanding the region’s transit system in order to make San Diego like “Barcelona, Madrid, Paris.” Meanwhile, Barcelona, Madrid, and Paris are becoming more like U.S. cities, at least in terms of the transportation habits of their residents.  read more »

The Twilight of Great American Cities is Here. Can We Stop It?

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The dreadful death of George Floyd lit a fire that threatens to burn down America’s cities. Already losing population before the pandemic, our major urban centers have provided ideal kindling for conflagration with massive unemployment, closed businesses and already rising crime rates.  read more »

How Race Politics Burns Out

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No future awaits those who rage against family, work, and community.

Where there is no bread, there is no Law. Where there is no Law, there is no bread.

— Rabbi Elazar Ben Azariah
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COVID Work Trip Reduction Estimates: CSAs with Transit Legacy Cities

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America’s elite central business districts have symbolized the ascendency of big cities, epitomized by soaring office towers. But today, due the COVID-19 pandemic, so much office work performed in these CBDs can be done remotely, that their future seems far less towering than in the past. In contrast, less dense areas, notably exurbs, appear to have suffered less loss in their employment patterns.  read more »

Chinese Science Fiction's Disaster Dystopias

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In Ma Jian’s new novel, the protagonist, Ma Daode, may be a corrupt, womanizing local official, but he is a corrupt, womanizing local official with a mission. His goal is to develop a drug that will allow President Xi Jinping’s vision of a glorious Chinese future to dominate not only citizens’ daily lives but their sleeping hours as well. This is his utopian quest. The China dream, Ma Daode suggests, “is not the selfish, individualist dream chased by Western countries.  read more »

The Future of Driving

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A new study from accounting firm KPMG predicts that auto travel in the United States will be 9 to 10 percent less after the pandemic than it was before. Telecommuting, says the report, will lead to a 10 to 20 percent reduction in commuting by car while on-line shopping will lead to a 10 to 30 percent reduction in shopping trips.  read more »