A new year is upon us, here’s a look back at a handful of the most popular pieces on NewGeography from 2013. Thanks for reading, and happy New Year.
12. Gentrification as an End Game, and the Rise of “Sub-Urbanity” In January Richey Piiparinen points out that gentrification driven by affluent young people moving back to the city might be creating “a ‘sub-urbanity’ that is emerging when the generalization of gentrification meets the gentrification of the mind.”
11. The Cities Winning the Battle for the Biggest Growth Sector in the U.S. Joel and I put this index together to measure growth and concentration of the professional, technical, and scientific services sector among the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. As high-end services become easier to export, this sector is becoming a critical region-sustaining sector in many parts of the country. This piece also ran at Forbes.com.
10. A Map of America’s Future: Where Growth will be Over the Next Decade Working with Forbes Magazine in September, Joel and I laid out seven regions and three city-states across the nation. Regional economic diversity is one of America’s most critical attributes.
9. The Dutch Rethink the Welfare State Nima Sanandaji outlines the trajectory of the social services culture in the Netherlands.
8. Suburb Hating is Anti-Child In this provocative, widely-discussed piece, Mike Lanza takes it to politicians and commentators who advocate against suburbs, pointing out that “we need to fix suburbs and the way families utilize them,” but “what we shouldn’t do is try to force families to live in dense city centers.”
7. Fixing California: The Green Gentry’s Class Warfare Joel Kotkin points out that many green policies are pro-gentry and anti-middle class, particularly in California. This piece originally appeared at U-T San Diego.
6. How Can We Be So Dense? Anti-Sprawl Policies Threaten America’s Future In this piece from Forbes, Joel Kotkin argues that high-density housing advocates should be open to a broader range of housing options because policies pushing high density often favor real estate investors over the middle class and the concept of upward mobility.
5. Class Warfare for Republicans Joel takes the Republican Party to task for ignoring the issue of class and small business growth in favor of rhetoric about social conservatism, gun control, and free market idealism. This piece originally ran in the Orange County Register.
4. Houston Rising: Why the Next Great American Cities Aren’t What you Think In this piece from The Daily Beast, Joel argues that a city’s most important quality is its ability to foster upward mobility and to sustain a middle class, not its urban form.
3. The New Power Class Who Will Profit from Obama’s Second Term Who stands to benefit most from the second Obama administration? Joel argues that it’s the plutocrats of Silicon Valley and new media industries and the clerisy of academia. This piece originally appeared at Forbes.com.
2. Why are there so Many Murders in Chicago? Aaron Renn lays out seven possible reasons contributing to violent crime in Chicago and calls for an adjustment in strategy to fight it.
1. Gentrification and its Discontents: Notes from New Orleans The most read piece of the year is this excellent expose of gentrification and its impact on the culture and age demographics of New Orleans by local geographer Richard Campanella.
Mark Schill is a community strategist and analyst with Praxis Strategy Group and New Geography's Managing Editor.