Urban Issues

The Quest for Food Freedom


Mariza Ruelas currently faces up to two years in jail in California for the crime of selling ceviche through a Facebook food group. Welcome to the mad world of American food regulation. In Biting the Hands That Feed Us, Baylen Linnekin looks closely at a system that can take pride in a historically safe food supply but that also imposes too many rules that defy common sense.  read more »

Flight from Urban Cores Accelerates: 2016 Census Metropolitan Area Estimates


The flight from the nation’s major metropolitan area core counties increased 60 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to just-released estimates from the US Census Bureau (Note). A total of 321,000 more residents left the core counties than moved in, up from 199,000 in 2015. This is ten times the decade’s smallest domestic migration loss of 32,000 for the same counties which occurred in 2012.  read more »

Ten Things You Need to Know About Indianapolis City Culture


What makes one city different from another? Some of it is the geography, the economy, or the buildings. But a big chunk of it is culture.

Every city has its own culture. A journalist recently interviewed me about Indianapolis and asked about some of the things that make that city’s culture distinct. I’m reposting ten of my observations here. Keep in mind that many of these points are relative, not absolute. They are comparisons versus what I see in other cities.  read more »

Suburban and Urban Housing Cost Relationships


Perhaps this is old hat to you, but this came across as a bit of an epiphany to me earlier today.  read more »

The Cities Creating the Most Tech Jobs in 2017


A growing tech industry is often considered the ultimate sign of a healthy local economy. By that measure, the Bay Area still stands at the top of the heap in the United States, but our survey of the metropolitan areas with the strongest tech job growth turns up some surprising places not usually thought of as tech meccas.  read more »

Taxpayers Need Protection from Dallas-Houston High Speed Rail Bailout? New Report


The proposed privately financed high-speed rail line from Houston to Dallas is projected to have a revenue shortfall of $21.5 billion in its first 40 years of operation. This is the conclusion of a Reason Foundation report by Baruch Feigenbaum, the Foundation’s assistant director of transportation policy (Texas High Speed Rail: Caution Ahead).  read more »

Canada’s Urban Areas: Descent from Affordability


Canada is a nation of wide open spaces, yet it has high urban area densities recently driven higher by a redefinition of urban area criteria (Note 1). Canada's largest urban area (population centre) is Toronto, with a population of 5.4 million continues to be the densest of the 59 with more than 50,000 residents. Toronto has a population of 3,028 per square kilometer (7,843 per square mile), approximately five percent above the European Union average.  read more »

Detroit's Recovery? Oh Yeah, It's Real Alright


So it seems the debate has begun.  There's been enough progress in Detroit to discuss whether its rebound is for real, or not.

Two academics, Laura Reese of Michigan State University and Gary Sands of Wayne State University, wrote a piece for the Atlantic a couple weeks ago to counter the spreading narrative of Detroit's comeback.  The article notes the Motor City's rebound has caught the attention of the national media and parts of academia, but they aren't so certain that the trend is real, or if it is, whether it's indeed sustainable.  read more »

A New Age of Progressive Suburbanism?


We are living in a global suburban age… While statistics demonstrate that the amount of the world population in metropolitan areas is rapidly increasing, rarely is it understood that the bulk of this growth occurs in the suburbanized peripheries of cities. Domestically, over 69% of all U.S. residents live in suburban areas; internationally, many other developed countries are predominately suburban, while many developing countries are rapidly suburbanizing as well.”  read more »

Chicago's Crime Wave Understood: Complex Problem, Simple Formula


Chicago's violent crime problem can be understood through this formula:

It's a simplistic, reductionist, even crude, but it explains the roots of Chicago's crisis as well as anything.  read more »