In the Wall Street Journal, Joel Kotkin pans Leigh Gallagher's "The End of the Suburbs." Generally, I don't consider a fight about whether cities or suburbs are winning the future to be of much interest; in reality, there are growing cities and growing suburbs, just as there are declining cities and declining suburbs. However, Kotkin does raise a number of points which I think are worthy of discussion.
One widely-publicized attempt to find a middle ground between laissez-fair and overregulation is "libertarian paternalism": the idea that (in the words of New York Times columnist David Brooks), "Government doesn’t tell you what to do, but it gently biases the context so that you find it easier to do things" favored by government. For example, a state governnment could design forms making organ donation the "default option" for driver's license applicants, so one would have
Recently, The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) published a report that was the first study to analyze the nation’s changing trends in driving practices. The most striking aspect of this report is that it provides strong evidence to counter the assumption of U.S. government officials that vehicle use will continue on an upward trajectory. Now, U.S. PIRG has expanded on this study by producing a new report, which completes a state-by-state driving analysis.
This post is part of our CITY SPOTLIGHT blog series. City Spotlight shines a light on the latest news, developments and initiatives occurring in cities and towns where CNU members live and work.
A few months ago, I finished reading Robert Caro's The Power Broker, a biography of highway/park-builder Robert Moses. Caro asserts that Moses's Cross-Bronx Expressway ruined Bronx neighborhoods near East Tremont Avenue; many houses and apartments were destroyed to build the expressway, and the negative effects of all that deserted land blighted nearby blocks.
I am about halfway through the Metropolitan Revolution (by Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley) and I can't help wondering: how much good can a city do? Of course, quite a bit- but only with a friendly (or at least non-hostile) state government. There are many, many things a state government can do to sabotage a city. For example, a state can:
This post is a part of CNU’s Highways to Boulevards Blog series, which features interview summaries and insights from some of the best minds at the frontline of our Highways to Boulevards Initiative.
I was reading a conversation on the PRO-URB listserv about whether to oppose an intown Wal-Mart in Washington, and someone asserted that Wal-Mart was different from all other stores because it was a potential monopolist. Evidently, some people believe that Wal-Mart (unlike Costco or Target) is so good at its work that it destroys all other retail.
Every year, the Census comes out with estimates of county population. Because the 2011-12 estimates showed big gains for most urban counties, urbanists were happy to declare victory, and to claim that these estimates showed a movement of population back to cities. In other years, Census estimates showed that older cities were declining, and defenders of the sprawl status quo similarly crowed about those statistics.