Small Cities

The Next American Cities, a New Report from Urban Reform Insitute

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The urban form has shifted throughout history. This has been critical to its success. Today we are on the cusp of another transition, ushered in by new technologies and changing demographics, and accelerated by a devastating pandemic. Although these forces affect all geographies, the best chance of success and growth lies in what we define as The Next American City.  read more »

New U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates: A New World?

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The United States Census Bureau released its July 1, 2021 population and annual net domestic migration estimates for states and the District of Columbia on Tuesday, December 21. This article highlights trends from that release.  read more »

A Real Rural Future

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One of the far-too-often repeated statements made by urban, coastal elites is that one’s future cannot be found in the countryside. These city-centered Americans often believe that economic growth, jobs, and the nation’s future can only be found in big cities and that rural America remains a dead-end, brain-drained world with minimal opportunity.  read more »

Only Interior Counties, San Benito, Riverside and Monterey Grow in 2021

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Preliminary county population estimates just released by the state Department of Finance show that California’s population decline is persisting and accelerating. The state lost 173,000 residents over the year ending July 1, 2021. The Department of Finance reports that there were 56,500 Covid related deaths over the same period, which would account for about one-third of the population loss. Net domestic migration dropped to the lowest rate in a decade, down 277,000 --- more than the population of Marin County.  read more »

Own Nothing and Love It

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From the ancient world to modern times, the class of small property owners have constituted the sine qua non of democratic self-government. But today this class is under attack by what Aristotle described as an oligarchia, an unelected power elite that controls the political economy for its own purposes.  read more »

Mobility Principles for a Prosperous World

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Four years ago, Zipcar co-founder Robin Chase wrote, or led the effort to write, ten principles of shared mobility for livable cities.  read more »

Auto 30-Minute Commutes Substantially Top Transit

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Advances in information technology have made it possible to provide estimates of job access by transportation mode in metropolitan areas. The University of Minnesota’s Accessibility Observatory has positioned itself as the leader in this field.  read more »

Building on Jacobs: The City Emergent; Beyond Streets and Buildings

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Almost all theories of the city are largely qualitative, developed primarily from focused studies on specific cities or groups of cities supplemented by narratives, anecdotes, and intuition.” Geoffrey West, Scale, 2017

This recent quote recalls Jane Jacobs’s seminal book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961)  read more »

Sustainable Suburbia

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Visionary images of resilient cities that save the US, or even the world, from climate change. Of downtowns transformed by technology into smart ecotopias. Of urban oases that sprout from scratch in the deserts of the Southwest or the Middle East or Mars.  read more »

Can the South Escape its Demons?

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Out on the dusty prairie west of Houston, the construction crews have been busy. Gone are the rice fields, cattle ranches and pine forests that once dominated this part of the South. In their place sit new homes and communities. But they are not an eyesore; the homes are affordable and close to attractive town centres, large parks and lakes. These are communities rooted in the individual, the family and a belief in self-governance.  read more »