Urban Issues

Celebrating the Transit Work of Curitiba's Jamie Lerner

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Jamie Lerner, who served as mayor of Curitiba, Brazil and governor of the state of Parana passed away in late May. Lerner was about as unique as possible for an elected official --- one who, at least in urban planning --- managed not only to fashion a vision of “what could be” for his municipality’s citizenry, but also delivered it. An integral part of his success (see below) was to reject long-term megaprojects for what can be accomplished in the near term.  read more »

Getting Water on a Parched Planet

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Today’s temperature map alerts us to another heat wave amid another drought across much of the U.S. These conditions guarantee continued battles over water availability and rights to use it. That, in turn, promises restrictions on usage in dry jurisdictions. For many, of course, it’s as down-home as those flow-control showers and toilets.  read more »

The Next Entrepreneurial Revolution

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The coronavirus pandemic has altered the future of American business. The virus-driven disruption has proved more profound than anything imagined by Silicon Valley, costing more jobs than in any year since the Great Depression.  read more »

A Middle Class Rebellion Against Progressives is Gaining Steam

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A specter is haunting America, a great revolt that threatens to dwarf the noxious rebellion led by Trump. The echoes of a another potentially larger pushback can already be heard in progressive America. But it's not towards socialism, as many suggest. It's the opposite: a new middle-class rebellion against the excesses of the Left.  read more »

The Refugee Effect

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In September 2019, President Trump issued an executive order allowing local officials to decide whether their regions should continue accepting resettled refugees.  read more »

Joe Biden's Imaginary America

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After two painful recessions and ever greater national discord, there is considerable support for a new beginning, even if it takes massive federal spending. The question we must ask now is what kind of spending makes sense given the character of the country, its geography, and its economic challenges. America remains a vast and diverse place, and decisions that make sense for one locale do not necessarily make any sense in others. A dispersed country needs dispersed decision-making, not edicts issued from on high by the D.C. nomenklatura.  read more »

Census Bureau Releases 2020 City Population Estimates

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The US Census Bureau has just released its July 1, 2020 population estimates for the approximately 19,500 incorporated municipalities (principally called cities, towns, villages). This article provides information on the 50 largest municipalities in the nation (Table below).  read more »

$85 Billion for Empty Buses and Railcars

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The future of public transit is nearly empty buses and railcars. Yet President Biden’s American Jobs Plan calls for spending $85 billion on transit. Although transit carries less than 1 percent of passenger travel in the United States, and no freight, this represents 28 percent of the funds Biden proposes to spend on transportation.  read more »

Combined Statistical Areas Lead Continuing Dispersion: 2010-2020

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A commenter asked about population trends in combined statistical areas (CSA) in response to my article “Demographic Implosion in the San Francisco Bay Area?, posted on May 18. This article deals with CSA population trends in the 88 CSAs with more than 500,000 population.  read more »

Demographic Implosion in the San Francisco Bay Area?

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As the San Francisco Bay Area (combined statistical area, or CSA, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget) has sprawled into the San Joaquin Valley, all population growth has been in the three Valley metros for two years (Map above). This article describes population trends over the last 10 years in the CSA, which includes the six tidewater (adjacent to the ocean or the Bay) metropolitan areas, traditionally thought of as the Bay Area, including core San Francisco and San Jose as well as Santa Rosa, Napa, Vallejo and Santa Cruz.  read more »