Urban Issues

In Praise of Streetcar Suburbs, Defined and Illustrated

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If there is a single American development pattern or style that I love most, it is the streetcar suburb.  Bringing more of this pattern back to our cities would be a great thing.  read more »

Slower Municipality Growth in China: 2010-2019

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China, which many see as the exemplar of rapid urban growth, is accelerating its own shift towards greater dispersion.

During the 2000s, the largest municipalities (formerly called prefectures) of China grew very quickly. Much of this was a result of an increasing “floating population,” people who moved to the cities from rural areas for employment, especially in factories producing goods for export and in construction. Between 2000 and 2010, according to the China Statistical Yearbook: 2019, the floating  read more »

The Return of White Flight

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America’s downtowns, particularly those of the major cities at the heart of large metro regions of over one million people, have seen significant residential development and population growth in the recent years. Downtown Chicago, for example, has nearly 100,000 more residents than it did in the 1980s. Visit almost any downtown and see many nearly identical apartment buildings sprouting.  read more »

Subjects:

America's Long Suffering Rail Commuters

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The long, streaking commuter trains (suburban rail) carrying workers mostly into and out of downtown every day may give the impression of “rapid transit.” However, regardless of the top speeds they reach, the average suburban rail rider spends far more time traveling to work than those using other modes of getting to work (Figure 1). They spend far longer than the majority of commuters, who drive alone. Even in the New York combined statistical area (CSA), with the largest suburban rail network a majority drive to work (Figure 2).  read more »

California's Woke Hypocrisy

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No state wears its multicultural veneer more ostentatiously than California. The Golden State’s leaders believe that they lead a progressive paradise, ushering in what theorists Laura Tyson and Lenny Mendonca call “a new progressive era.” Others see California as deserving of nationhood; it reflects, as a New York Times columnist put it, “the shared values of our increasingly tolerant and pluralistic society.”  read more »

Restart, Reset, Retool, Refill

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Considerations for downtowns, commercial corridors, and main streets

We are at the end of the beginning. There are going to be closures, vacancies, and job losses across communities. How long and how deep will be a function of how well the next three-to-six months are managed  read more »

High Speed Rail: Yesterday's Tech Tomorrow

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One of the candidates for president in this November’s election is known by the nickname, “Amtrak Joe.” The Democratic-controlled House wants to triple federal funding for intercity passenger trains.  read more »

Does COVID-19 Spell the End of Big Cities? Munk Debates, with guests Joel Kotkin and Richard Florida

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Be it resolved, COVID-19 and its social and economic fall out spells the end of the big city boom.

Listen to the debate at Munk Debates.

About this episode  read more »

Joel Kotkin Q&A on 'The Coming of Neo-Feudalism'

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Let’s start at the beginning, Joel. In talking about your new book, “The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class,” do you literally fear that liberal capitalism is losing out to economic “feudalism”? And please put that word feudalism in a modern context for our readers.  read more »

COVID-19: Improved Ventilation Required in Crowded Enclosures

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The New York Times reported on July 4 that 239 scientists in 32 countries had signed an Open Letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) outlining “the evidence showing that smaller particles can infect people, and are calling for the agency to revise its recommendations.” The letter was published in the journal  read more »