Chicago

Are Great Lakes a Big Economic Advantage?

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Denizens of the Great Lakes watershed long have looked at those five vast, deep, shimmering pools not only as an unmatched economic and cultural resource but also as the ultimate trump card.  read more »

The Black Community Commercial Development Conundrum

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A common question I hear, particularly from middle class Black residents in the Chicago area who grow frustrated with the condition of their communities, is, "why can't we have the amenities that other neighborhoods have?"  read more »

The Limits of Rhetoric

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Deep-blue cities and states are eager to declare their social-justice credentials.  read more »

Two Decades of Interstate Migration

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America is still a mobile nation. Back in the 2000-2010 decade, 12.9 million people moved interstate, nearly five percent of the total population. In the 2010s the population has been a bit less mobile, with net domestic migration of 11.7 million residents, slightly under four percent. Nonetheless, 11.7 million is a large number. This is nearly equal to the population of Ohio, with only five states being larger  read more »

The Heartland's Revival

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For roughly the past half century, the middle swath of America has been widely written off as reactionary, backward, and des­tined for unceasing decline.  read more »

The Twilight of Great American Cities is Here. Can We Stop It?

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The dreadful death of George Floyd lit a fire that threatens to burn down America’s cities. Already losing population before the pandemic, our major urban centers have provided ideal kindling for conflagration with massive unemployment, closed businesses and already rising crime rates.  read more »

COVID Work Trip Reduction Estimates: CSAs with Transit Legacy Cities

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America’s elite central business districts have symbolized the ascendency of big cities, epitomized by soaring office towers. But today, due the COVID-19 pandemic, so much office work performed in these CBDs can be done remotely, that their future seems far less towering than in the past. In contrast, less dense areas, notably exurbs, appear to have suffered less loss in their employment patterns.  read more »

In Praise of Streetcar Suburbs, Defined and Illustrated

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If there is a single American development pattern or style that I love most, it is the streetcar suburb.  Bringing more of this pattern back to our cities would be a great thing.  read more »

America's Long Suffering Rail Commuters

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The long, streaking commuter trains (suburban rail) carrying workers mostly into and out of downtown every day may give the impression of “rapid transit.” However, regardless of the top speeds they reach, the average suburban rail rider spends far more time traveling to work than those using other modes of getting to work (Figure 1). They spend far longer than the majority of commuters, who drive alone. Even in the New York combined statistical area (CSA), with the largest suburban rail network a majority drive to work (Figure 2).  read more »

Welcome to Marquette Park

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So last month I saw an article in the New York Times about the resurfacing of a video documenting a racist attack on black children in Rosedale, Queens in New York City in 1975. A group of black kids from a nearby neighborhood decided to go on a "bike hike" through surrounding neighborhoods. Little did they know they would stumble on a protest against black movement into the area.  read more »