Around The World, The Tide Is Turning Against Megacities

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The massive construction waste collapse last month in Shenzhen reflects a wider phenomenon: the waning of the megacity era. Shenzhen became a megacity (population over 10 million) faster than any other in history, epitomizing the massive movement of Chinese to cities over the past four decades. Now it appears more like a testament to extravagant delusion.  read more »

China's Navy: A Maritime Power?

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When China’s navy looks beyond its coastal waters, which it increasingly does, it sees a kind of Great Wall. The Chinese call this the “First Island Chain,” a line of islands, some small, others huge, extending from the Japan archipelago to the north, the Ryuku island chain past Taiwan, and the Philippines to the south. The waters within this arc are considered an integral part of China itself.  read more »

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America's Next Boom Towns: Regions to Watch in 2016

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Which cities have the best chance to prosper in the coming decade? The question is a complex one, and as the economy changes, so, too, will the best-positioned cities.  read more »

Migration is Back

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The 2015 state population estimates, recently released by the Census Bureau, indicate that interstate annual migration has begun to surge again. Between July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015, up to 0.24% of US residents have migrated, returning to levels not experienced since the early 2000s. Interstate migration was just below the 2004 level of 0.25%, but trailed the much higher 2005 and 2006 levels (0.31% and 0.42%). By 2011, after the devastation of the housing bust and the Great Financial Crisis, interstate migration fell to 0.13% (Figure 1).  read more »

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Trump, Sanders, and the Precariat

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While the white working class is shrinking in the US, it remains the largest voting block in the country. That may be why leaders of both parties are concerned that white working-class voters, especially in the Midwest and South, are supporting populist candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. They don’t understand that many of these voters blame Wall Street, corporate leaders, and politicians – the East Coast establishment –for destroying their jobs and communities over the past few decades.  read more »

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What's the Best Way Up for Minorities?

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In presidential election years, it is natural to see our political leaders also as the brokers of our economic salvation. Some, such as columnist Harold Meyerson, long have embraced politics as a primary lever of upward mobility for minorities. He has positively contrasted the rise of Latino politicians in California, and particularly Los Angeles, with the relative dearth of top Latino office-holders in heavily Hispanic Texas.  read more »

What If Singapore and Las Vegas Had a Love Child?

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Compared to what? That’s the question I kept asking myself as I explored Dubai for the second time. Like many people I have serious concerns about the glistening new city-state. But in the end I’ve decided that it’s all really a matter of degree, not kind. I came to this conclusion unexpectedly and begrudgingly.  read more »

Land Regulation Making Us Poorer: Emerging Left-Right Consensus

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There is an emerging consensus about the destructiveness of excessive land use regulation, both with respect to its impact on housing affordability but also its overall impacts on economies. This is most evident in a recent New Zealand commentary.

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Both the center-Left and center-Right have come together in agreement on the depth of New Zealand's housing affordability and its principal cause, overly restrictive urban planning regulations.  read more »

Where American Families Are Moving

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Much is made, and rightfully so, about the future trends of America’s demographics, notably the rise of racial minorities and singles as a growing part of our population. Yet far less attention is paid to a factor that will also shape future decades: where families are most likely to settle.

However hip and cool San Francisco, Manhattan, Boston or coastal California may seem, they are not where families are moving.  read more »

New Report: Building Cities for People

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This is the introduction to a new report: “Building Cities for People” published by the Center for Demographics and Policy. The report was authored by Joel Kotkin with help from Wendell Cox, Mark Schill, and Ali Modarres. Download the full report (pdf) here.

Cities succeed by making life better for the vast majority of their citizens. This requires less of a focus on grand theories, architecture or being fashionable, and more on what occurs on the ground level. “Everyday life,” observed the French historian Fernand Braudel, “consists of the little things one hardly notices in time and space.”  read more »