Urban Issues

Changing Boundaries, Changing Perceptions

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What if I told you that Chicago is a midsized, dense urban hub of 800,000 people, surrounded by more than 400 suburbs anchoring a large metro area of 9.5 million? Or that Indianapolis reached its peak population of 476,000 in 1960, and has slipped below 300,000 for the first time since 1930? Or that New York City reached its population peak of 3.4 million in 1950, lost nearly a million people to fall to 2.6 million by 1980, and once again crossed the 3 million person threshold just this past decade?  read more »

Garcetti's Legacy

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President Joe Biden has nominated Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti as ambassador to India. Assuming the Senate confirms him, Garcetti, who would leave office early (his second term ends in December 2022), might find India familiar in certain respects. Like Mumbai or Delhi, Los Angeles now has massive homeless encampments throughout the city  read more »

The Battle for Cities

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America’s cities face an existential crisis that threatens their future status as centers of culture, politics, and the economy. Many urban advocates continue to delude themselves that U.S. cities are about to experience a massive post-pandemic return to “normal.” But the disruptive technological, demographic, and social changes of recent times are more likely to upend the old geographic hierarchy than to revive it.  read more »

The Federal Windfall That Cities Can't Afford to Waste

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Urban advocates have long sought more federal money for cities. Now, they are getting it – bigtime. The aid being provided to cities under the coronavirus relief act represents a major test of the thesis that federal aid can be transformative for urban America. Cities should make the most of this opportunity. If they can use these funds to move the needle on substantial change, this would create a strong case for future aid. But if the money is simply frittered away, there’s no reason to expect such extensive help in the future.  read more »

How America Abandoned the World—and Our Own Inner Cities

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In America and across the globe, COVID-19 is diminishing people’s prospects, exacerbating inequality and creating ever-more feudal societies as the pandemic ravages the health and the pocketbooks of the poor and the poorly educated.  read more »

Inclusive 'Placemaking' Leads to Civic Renewal

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Cities across America are working to build more inclusive economies. A good way to start is by creating neighborhoods that are great places to live, work, and play, and are accessible, affordable, and welcoming to as many people as possible.  read more »

Focusing on World Megacities: Demographia World Urban Areas, 2021

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The 2021 edition of Demographia World Urban Areas includes current population estimates for the 985 identified built-up urban areas (Note 1 describes the background and methodology) with at least 500,000 population.This is a smaller number than last year, due to a methodology that rendered somewhat lower populations for some urban areas.  read more »

Urban Sociopaths

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Sociopaths are people who “have no regard for others’ rights or feelings, lack empathy and remorse for wrongdoings, and have the need to exploit and manipulate others.” That definition perfectly fits New Urban planners and the environmentalists who support them.  read more »

About That Asian Crime Ring in Santa Ana: An Incomplete, Imperfect – and Honest – First Draft of History

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Here’s a fact that appears to be lost in SoCal these days: You can condemn “Anti-Asian Hate” and also oppose Asian-American criminals.

You can hold those two distinct thoughts at the same time with no logical conflict.  read more »

The Coming Collapse of the Developing World

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In Europe, North America, Oceania and East Asia, the Covid-19 pandemic has been a tragic, wrenching experience, creating more depressed and divided societies. Yet, as we have been gazing obsessively at our own problems, a spectre infinitely worse is emerging in the most populous, fastest growing and least resilient parts of the world.

Covid has caused a deep crisis in the already suffering developing world, which contains nearly half of all humanity. And this will have serious implications for the future of the world economy and political order.  read more »