How Many Really Commute by Transit?

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According to the 2017 American Community Survey, about 7.6 million Americans, or 5.3 percent of commuters, take transit to work. However, the actual question on the survey asks, how do you “usually get to work last week.” If someone took transit three days and drove two, then transit gets checked. So how many really use transit on any given day?  read more »

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 »

Curated Diversity in Chicago

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I came across a very intriguing premise several months ago that's stuck with me ever since. I think I've had a subconscious acknowledgement of it for some time, perhaps years, but it was only when reading an interview in the Atlantic with New York Times investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones about school segregation that the notion clicked.  read more »

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Autonomous Cars Are Our Real Future

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Long a hotbed of new technologies, California insists on seeing its transit future in the rear mirror. Rather than use innovative approaches to getting people around and to work, our state insists on spending billions on early 20th century technology such as streetcars and light rail that have diminishing relevance to our actual lives.  read more »

The Communities Changing Now

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A couple days ago I referenced Pete Saunders’ observation that Sunbelt cities in their growth phase need to take advantage of their day in the sun to put in place the foundations for future next level prosperity.  read more »

The Mines

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There’s a literary trope in which an ambitious young man goes to work in the mines for a few years to earn an income with which to go back home. In the US it’s bundled into narratives of the Wild West (where incomes were very high until well into the 20th century), but it also exists elsewhere. For example, in The House of the Spirits, the deuterotagonist (who owns an unprofitable hacienda) works in the mines for a few years to earn enough money to ask to marry a society woman.  read more »

Strong Cities Have Lots of Zeros

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Big cities have big responsibilities. Coming with that are big scale, scope, complexities, priorities, and challenges. Texas has growth and all the other `bigs. We are not shying away from the `bigs’ and building great communities. To get there requires numbers with lots of zeros behind them. A recent Strong Towns website entry challenged Colin County with road projections. Challenge is good and not something to shy away.  read more »

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Highest Fertility & Gains Concentrated in US Midwest and South

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The plunging of birth rates has emerged as one of the most significant demographic trends. For the first time, there appears to be the prospect of nations that will become materially smaller in population as a result. For example, the latest projections from the Japan’s National Institute of Population and Social Security Research are that by 2115, the population will be only 50.5 million, down 60 percent from the present 126 million.  read more »

Is the Fever Breaking? Ground Zero Youngstown

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Two years ago, I described the Youngstown area as “crossover ground zero” for Donald Trump and the politics of resentment in working-class and rust belt communities. In local rallies during the 2016 campaign and since he took office, Trump has repeatedly promised an economic renaissance and immigration reform. These issues resonated with local voters.  read more »

San Francisco Is Eating New York

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A lot has been written about how the internet undermined and destroyed media. What we are seeing today may be the more important story, however, which is the tech industry is explicitly buying out the media, particular culture making elite media institutions.  read more »