City Sector Model

The Challenge of Revitalizing Urban Boulevards

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One of the toughest challenges in real estate is revitalizing urban boulevards. There are dozens of plans for remaking these, but very few of these plans have actually sparked much private investment back of the curb line, and the reason is that in most cases these streets are simply so big and busy that people don't want to live or shop along them. It's time to use a new strategy, one of building at right angles to them, and of re-attaching underused land to the surrounding neighborhoods.  read more »

Demographia World Urban Areas, 2020: Tokyo Lead Diminishing

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For the first time in more than six decades the world’s second ranked built-up urban area has reached within 10% of leader Tokyo. The 2020 edition of Demographia World Urban Areas reports that Jakarta has reached a population of 34.5 million, behind Tokyo-Yokohama’s 38.0 million (Figure 1). The report can be downloaded here (Note 1).  read more »

Employment by CIty Sector, Challenges Ahead for Downtowns

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New Census Bureau employment data indicates that most job creation in the nation’s 53 major metropolitan areas (over 1,000,000 population) continues to be in the suburbs and exurbs. This article describes employment (job) locations by urban sector, using the City Sector Model (described in the Note Figure 4, below). The source of the data is “County Business Patterns, which is published annually for every zip code in the nation, which is unlike the American Community Survey, which uses a five-year period to cover all areas of the nation.  read more »

Towards a Better Urbanism

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The pandemic has brought panic to the once-confident ranks of urbanists promoting city density.  read more »

Dispersion in US Metros Increases Even Before COVID-19: New Census Estimates

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The latest US Census Bureau metropolitan area population estimates (for 2019) were largely lost in the coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.  read more »

The Coming Age of Dispersion

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As of this writing, the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic remain uncertain. But one possible consequence is an acceleration of the end of the megacity era. In its place, we may now be witnessing the outlines of a new, and necessary, dispersion of population, not only in the wide open spaces of North America and Australia, but even in the megacities of the developing world.  read more »

Transit Conundrum: Losses Greatest in Areas with Best Service in Los Angeles

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In Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous and core of the nation’s most densely populated urban area, transit commuting is dropping fastest in areas with the most comprehensive transit service. This is illustrated by an examination of the 5-year trend from 2008-2012 (middle year 2010) to 2013-2017 (middle year 2015) for Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs).  read more »

A Walk Around Downtown Cincinnati

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Recently I had to outrun a snowstorm, by driving to reach an appointment in Columbus (Ohio), out of fear that by morning the St. Louis airport might be closed (or the flight might be cancelled). This gave me the chance to stop by downtown Cincinnati, on the way home.  read more »

Be Careful When Citing Jane Jacobs: Her Conclusions Don’t Always Hold

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As a professor who teaches about cities and the urban form, I very much appreciate the sidewalk ballets and street-corner societies that have historically existed in our nation’s urban centers. These features of the built-environment have long been powerful factors in the formation of both social capital, community, and a place’s identity.  read more »

Sydney High-Density Planning

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High-density planning policies have become fashionable and Sydney planners are among the most enthusiastic adopters. New South Wales Government authorities claim that high density policies result in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (gge), provide improved housing affordability and result in reduced traffic congestion. No evidence has been provided to justify these assertions. Such claims need to be investigated as well as density’s detrimental effect on amenity and quality of life should also be investigated.  read more »