The Luxury City is Going Bust

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In a year when two boosters of the “luxury city,” Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg, are vying to run the whole country, the very model that created their “success” is slowly unraveling. After roughly 20 years of big-city progress, measured by economic growth and demographic progress, the dense urban centers, including New York, are again teetering on the brink of decline.  read more »

The Limits of Being “Near Transit”

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In a recent paper, David King of Arizona State University, Michael Smart of Rutgers University and Michael Manville of UCLA cited the legendary urbanist Mel Weber on the importance of facilitating sufficient mobility for low-income citizens: “Our central mission is to redress the social inequities thrown up by widespread auto use, and our central task is to invent ways of extending the benefits of auto-like transportation to those who are presently carless.”  read more »

How Different Generations are Influencing Our Politics

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Race, gender and class may be shaping our society, but increasingly generational change drives our politics.

Over time this suggests a major realignment of America’s party system that could create either whole new parties or transform the current, and failing, political duopoly.

One must look just at the results in New Hampshire. Bernie Sanders won by winning roughly half of voters under 30, according to exit polls, almost twice the percentage he gained among the rest of the electorate.  read more »

The Overlooked Architecture of Chicago's South Side

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Chicago is known as one of America’s great cities for architecture. But other than the Illinois Institute of Technology campus, designed by Mies van der Rohe, very little of the architecture of the South Side is included in the public’s mind when thinking about it. Lee Bey, former architecture critic of the Chicago Sun-Times and a South Side residents, aims to change this with his book  read more »

The City as a Self-Organizing, Adaptive System - Part 2

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Vienna's Ringstrasse has transformed multiple times on its way to becoming a multi-modal arterial.

In a preceding article, I argued that a "city-as-an-artifact" approach to planning misses the organic nature of cities, and, when used in action, this approach could result in disappointing, if well-intended, outcomes. Similarly, biomorphic models for cities fail to construct a unified, actionable theory of planning.  read more »

The Next Economy: Following the Trail of U.S. Job Growth

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A decade ago, in the wake of the Great Recession, Lee County, Florida was dubbed “the foreclosure capital of the country” by the national media, the poster child for all that had gone wrong with the American economy.  read more »

2019 Ridership Numbers Reveal Transit's Dim Future

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Thanks to a late-year surge in New York subway ridership, nationwide transit ridership in December 2019 was 3.0 percent greater than December 2018, and ridership for 2019 as a whole was 0.1 percent greater than in 2018, according to data released last week by the Federal Transit Administration. Take away the New York City subways and nationwide ridership fell by 1.5 percent in December and 1.2 percent for the 2019 as a whole.  read more »

Subjects:

Brexit and the Future of the Anglosphere

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The triumph of Brexit opens a new page not just in British history, but in the emerging configuration of the global society. It represents not just a rejection of universal globalism embraced by our political and business elites, including in Britain itself, but potentially the rise of new trans-national blocs held together not just by markets and capital, but culture and common beliefs.  read more »

Red v. Blue

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The political and cultural war between red and blue America may not be settled in our lifetimes, but it’s clear which side is gaining ground in economic and demographic terms. In everything from new jobs—including new technology employment—fertility rates, population growth, and migration, it’s the red states that increasingly hold the advantage.  read more »

To The Economist: Planning, Not Home Ownership, Caused the Housing Crisis

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The January 16, 2020 cover story in The Economist magazine trumpeted “The West’s biggest economic policy mistake: It’s obsession with homeownership undermines growth, fairness and public faith in capitalism. “The Economist explains:  read more »