Urban Issues

The Case for American Optimism

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Now that Trump has been edged out of office, Joe Biden may emerge as the harbinger of a brighter, better blue future or as a version of Konstantin Chernenko, the aged timeserver who ran the Soviet Union in its dying days. To succeed, he will have to confront massive pessimism about America’s direction, with some 80 percent thinking the country is out of control. The Atlantic last year compared the U.S. to a “failed state,” while The Week predicts “dark days ahead.”  read more »

California and Urban Cores Dominate Overcrowded Housing

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Concern about overcrowded housing has been heightened by its association with greater COVID-19 infection risk. As a disease transmitted by human proximity, exposure is increased by being in overcrowded and insufficiently ventilated spaces where sufficient social distancing is not possible. Exposure density for a person is intensified by the amount of time spent in such circumstances.  read more »

The Age of Suburbia

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“Mr. Covid has been the best city and regional planner Australia has ever had. The suburbs will shine, and regions will grow. Maybe we should forget about big city infrastructure projects for a while and spend it on our future resilient communities where people look out for each other.”  read more »

Evidence on Post-Pandemic Telecommuting

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More studies have been published indicating that telecommuting is likely to be far more important after the pandemic than it was before. A University of Chicago study published early this month concluded that “22 percent of all full work days will be supplied from home after the pandemic ends, compared with just 5 percent before.”  read more »

New Zealand Adopts Texas MUDs

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New Zealand home prices are among the highest in the world relative to incomes and rents, with the capital city of Auckland having a median home price of $830k and a house price to income median multiple of 8.6 – in contrast to Houston’s far more affordable 3.6 - as documented in the Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey. These prices have been growing at one of the fastest rates in the OCED: 266% since 1991.  read more »

Xi'an: Ancient and Modern: The Evolving Urban Form

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Xi’an (pronunciation) is located in central China, on the Wei River, a tributary of the flood-prone Yellow River (Huang He). Xi’an is at the bottom of the “Ordos Loop” (see Surprising Ordos: The Evolving Urban Form), which is formed by the Yellow River’s sharp northward turn upstream at Lanzhou, toward Inner Mongolia (Nei Mongol).  read more »

Pandemic Changes More Than Where We Work and Live

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Pandemic Changes Congestion

Until the pandemic, people’s choices were largely shaped by their workplaces and commutes. A 25-minute drive to work could become an hour and a half at rush hour.  read more »

Peak Progressive?

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In the minds of most progressives, as well as some horrified conservatives, California is the harbinger of America’s future.  read more »

Latest Data Shows Pre-Pandemic Suburban/Exurban Population Gains

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The latest complete American Community Survey (ACS) data, analyzed by the Demographia City Sector Model, indicates that population growth in the nation’s 53 major metropolitan areas (over 1,000,000 residents) continues to be, even before the pandemic, overwhelmingly suburban and exurban.  read more »