Urban Issues

Black Exodus From Chicago

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I'm the oldest of three siblings. My siblings left the Rust Belt for the East Coast; my sister and her family are in suburban Washington, D.C., and my brother's family lives in Brooklyn. Both have been encouraging me for years to make the leap and join them. I stay in touch with friends and other family from my birthplace of Detroit and my current hometown of Chicago via Facebook, and they have fanned throughout the country -- Atlanta, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, Houston.  read more »

The View from Hudson Street—With Thoughts on Science and Orthodoxy

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Two audacious quotes in planning literature underpin this article and substitute for an introduction:  read more »

Jeff Bezos Is Right at Home in the D.C. Swamp, but Amazon Might Have Bit Off More Than It Can Chew with the Big Apple

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It turns out that tech oligarchs aren’t much better than old dogs at learning new tricks. By splitting his much coveted supposed second headquarters between New York City and greater Washington D.C., Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is repeating what worked for him in Seattle while saying “yes, sir” to power.  read more »

Resolving California's Housing and Homeless Crisis

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On any given night in California, there are about 134,278 people without a home. California, with 12 percent of the U.S. population, has 25 percent of the nation’s homeless people. California’s homeless population increased 13.7 percent between 2016 and 2017. About 36 percent of the homeless population are families with children. About 25 percent of the homeless population have jobs.  read more »

The Other Side of the Superstar Effect

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A couple of folks had interesting counterpoints to the superstar effect. Neil Strickland gave me permission to post the following email he sent:  read more »

Superstar Effect Wins Again as Amazon Chooses New York, Washington for HQ2/3

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Amazon, obviously embarrassed at the way their HQ2 process has been received, leaked the results of the competition the night before Election Day, ensuring coverage will be largely muted.

Amazon has reportedly decided to split HQ2 between two locations, New York City (Long Island City, Queens) and Washington (Crystal City, VA).  read more »

Ultimate City: Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (with Photographic Tour)

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The Pearl River (Zhujiang) Delta has developed into the world’s ultimate city (Figure 1). More people live in the urbanization there than in any space of similar size in the world (Figure 2). Once home to separate urban enclaves comprising 9 million residents in 1980, the now adjacent urban areas of the Pearl River Delta are home to 55 million residents, nearly one-half more in either the Yangtze Delta adjacent urban areas (which have undergone a similar development process) or the Tokyo-Yokohama urban area with 38 million residents (Note 1).  read more »

Driverless Cars Threaten Guru’s Vision

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Urban planning guru says driverless cars won’t fix congestion,” says the New York Times. Naturally, the Times is referring to Peter Calthorpe, one of the few people who might be considered an urban planning guru and the one who has the most to lose if driverless cars are successful.  read more »

Responding to External Reality

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Among my many friends here in San Francisco is a guy who works in the field of affordable housing. In the parlance of the profession he identifies and empowers stakeholders to work synergistically to blah, blah, blah. He’s basically the lubricant in an immensely complex collection of processes involving public and private actors who are all at odds with each other. One of his recent “successes” was a dozen below market apartments for seniors in a third tier suburb of a second tier city in another state that required many years and a dozen separate funding sources.  read more »

Subjects:

Job Dispersion Eases Growth In Australian Cities

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American cities have long been known for their dispersion of employment, moving from mono-centricity, to polycentricity (and edge cities) to, ultimately, dispersion. This transition was documented by Bumsoo Lee of the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) and Peter Gordon of the University of Southern California (USC) using 2000 Census data (Figure 1).  read more »