Blogs

Cities Can't Do Much Alone

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:

HIGHWAYS TO BOULEVARDS BLOG: Louisville & The Ohio River Bridges Project

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.

Is Wal-Mart The Atomic Bomb of Retail?

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.

Don't Take Yearly Census Estimates Too Seriously

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.

HIGHWAYS TO BOULEVARDS BLOG: King Edward Avenue, Ottawa

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.

Around the Bay-Part Two

Lake Merritt, Oakland, near City Center

Lake Merritt Bart Station

Responding to Kotkin's Attack on Density

In Forbes online, Joel Kotkin came out with a ringing attack on those who dare to challenge sprawl, asking "How Can We Be So Dense"?  I thought this was worth responding to, and so here are a few of his points (with my responses).

I.  Social mobility and sprawl

Kotkin: "More recently density advocates span a much-discussed study of geographic variations in upward mobility as sugg

Sorry Ms. Dunham: Millenials Like New York

Yesterday, I posted about the relationship between millenials and cities, showing that in some cities, population growth is indeed due to growth in the millenial (20-34) population, while in others, millenials are leaving the city just like everyone else.  But of course, citywide data is often a bit misleading, because most cities have some very suburban neighborhoods.

Recap: Highways to Boulevards Summer Internship

Roadways along downtown waterfronts can prove to be a very volatile mission. If done right, as was the case in San Francisco's Embarcadero (link), a city can align the public with the water while also re-distributing traffic throughout the rest of the street grid. If done wrong, like in number of North American cities, a city can sever its connectivity in terms of public engagement, economic development, and traffic management.