Urban Issues

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 »

Demographic Undestiny

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Demography becomes destiny, the old adage goes. But many of the most confidently promoted demographic predictions have turned out grossly exaggerated or even dead wrong. In many cases they tend to reflect more the aspirations of pundits and reporters than the actual on-the-ground realities.  read more »

Manila's Decade Volcano

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The 25 million residents of the world’s fourth largest city (urban area) can rest a bit easier, as the Taal volcano has become less threatening in the last few days. But there is still severe disruption, especially for the many people who have been forced to evacuate.

This article includes a brief description of the developments since the January 20 eruption and compares Manila to other major metropolitan areas also threatened by dangerous volcanoes (Seattle and Naples).  read more »

Parking Booking Intermediaries: The Industrious Underdog of Smart City Apps

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Parking Garage in Chicago's Loop District (Flickr/Brian Farasey)

Parking, it is hardly worth mentioning, fails to capture the imagination of most people who study the dynamism of American cities. Typically, the news media and blogosphere cover parking only when then a controversy erupts or chronic shortages loom. While attention is showered on smart-phone apps for bikesharing systems, e-scooters networks, and ridesharing, apps that improve off-street parking are barely acknowledged in most discussions about mobility.  read more »

Subjects:

Standard of Living Crisis Evident in New Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

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One of the principal advances of the past two centuries has been the drastic reduction in poverty and the rise of a large middle-class, a process expertly detailed by economists Diedre McClosky and Robert Gordon.  read more »

Population Growth Concentrated in Auto Oriented Suburbs and Metropolitan Areas

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The suburbs and exurbs continue to dominate population growth in the nation’s 53 major metropolitan areas, according to a City Sector Model (Note 1 and Figure 9) analysis. We traced growth between the 2010 Census and the American Community Survey 5-year data, from samples taken over the period of 2014 to 2018. The middle-year was 2016 (Note 2).

Population Growth by City Sector  read more »

The Golden Horseshoe

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I’ve been having an ongoing series of conversations with my young friend Gracen up in Toronto about how to make sense of the Canadian real estate market. We see each other a few times a year as we both travel around North America.  read more »

Urban Transit Is an Energy Hog

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Transit is often touted as a way to save energy. But since 2009 transit has used more energy, per passenger mile, than the average car. Since 2016, transit has used more than the average of cars and light trucks together.  read more »

The Rust Belt Didn't Have to Happen

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I knew a number of things about J. Irwin Miller, the former Cummins Engine CEO who financed Columbus, Indiana’s world-renowned collection of modernist architectural masterpieces.  But when I read Nancy’s Kriplen’s recent short biography of him, I learned a lot I’d never suspected. Clearly one of the most distinguished Hoosiers of all time, among other things, Esquire magazine put him on its cover in 1967 saying that he should be the next President of the United States.  That was a pipe dream, of course.  read more »

Walking Around Downtown Brooklyn

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After having lost more than half a million residents between 1950 and 1980 New York’s borough of Brooklyn has regained more than two-thirds of its population loss. The renaissance of Brooklyn is rightfully cited as an urban success story. It initially attracted Millennials and others seeking an urban lifestyle at a lower cost than Manhattan, but now it has also become increasingly more expensive, evidenced by many new high rise luxury condominium buildings.  read more »