Small Cities

The Future of Cities: The Urban Future – The Great Dispersion

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This chapter describes general urbanization trends in the United States and around the world, from 1950 to the present. Cities can be glamorous or exciting, but what matters most is how they facilitate higher incomes and standards of living.  read more »

The Rural Character of Canada's Metropolitan Areas (CMAs)

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There is considerable confusion with respect to the terms of urban geography, not only among the population in general, but also among the media, and sadly, among academics. Perhaps the greatest confusion is between the terms “metropolitan area” and “urban area.”  read more »

Will Amtrak Benefit from Telecommuting?

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Airlines carried 94 percent as many passengers in September 2022 as they did in September 2019, according to passenger counts published by the Transportation Security Administration. That’s up from 91 percent in August and 88 percent in September.  read more »

A Better Future

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In earlier times, even with a soaring population, Americans knew how to accommodate housing demand. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries we built cities from scratch along the frontier. The existing major urban centers—Boston, New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia—all expanded rapidly, both by density and expansion into land on the periphery.  read more »

Is America Entering a New Age of Democratic Capitalism?

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Most everyone outside the Biden administration knows that a recession is now more than likely. We could be entering what economist Noriel Roubini describes as the “Great Stagflation: an era of high inflation, low growth, high debt and the potential for severe recessions.” Certainly, weak growth numbers, declining rates of labor participation and productivity rates falling at the fastest rate in a half century are not harbingers of happy times.  read more »

Finding Third Places Across America

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Returning to New York City from a trip to Salisbury, Maryland, it is clear why so many younger Americans are so open to giving up the displeasures of a dense metropolis—high crime, high costs, and constant competition for amenities—for affordable, easy-to-navigate small-town environs like this fantastic city nestled within the Chesapeake’s Eastern Shore.  read more »

Pandemic Increases Homeownership

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The nation’s number of occupied homes grew by 3.9 percent between 2019 and 2021, representing 4.7 million units of new homes  read more »

U.S. Auto Commuting Dips to Half Century Low

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The share of workers commuting to work by auto fell to 75.6%, according to the 2021 American Community Survey (ACS), the lowest level since before the 1970 census, which reported that 77.7% of commuting was by auto (Figure 1).  read more »

Class Homicide

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There’s much talk today, from left and right, about threats to democracy, yet little focus on the social dynamic critical to its survival. In this respect, we may see the current, and troubling, escalation of violent political rhetoric, and even political violence, not so much as the cause of polarization but the result of changing class dynamics, most notably the increasingly perilous state of the yeoman middle class.  read more »

Collapse or Evolution?

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An article in Salon by anti-capitalist Chris Hedges argues that our civilization is on the verge of collapse. As evidence, he points to the 65 percent decline of the population of St. Louis since 1950.  read more »