In the News

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 ... read more »

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 densi... read more »

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 ... read more »

Yes, The Millenials Really Are Returning To (Some) Cities

It is becoming almost a cliche that millenials (that is, people in their 20s) are flocking to cities.  But does data bear this out? I looked at Census data on two cities that had lost population throughout the late 20th century but gained people in the 2000s: Philadelphia and Washington, DC. (W... read more »

Going The Wrong Way In Atlanta

Yesterday's New York Times contained an article about the latest attempt to reform Atlanta's public schools: an eleven-story high school costing about four times as much as the average Southern high school.  The city plans to move North Atlanta High, one of the city's more racially diverse high... read more »

An Emerging Stereotype?

The most recent issue of Better Cities and Towns contained an article about a new urbanist project in Wyandanch, a depressed Long Island neighborhood.  The article called Wyandanch "an inner-ring suburb." ... read more »

A Choice, Not An Echo

In the most recent City Journal, Joel Kotkin wrote an article discussing cities' alleged loss of children, and arguing that cities would be more successful in retaining children if only they could be more like low-density suburbs. ... read more »

The Myth (?) That City Growth Causes Suburban Poverty

One common "story" about the evolution of American cities is that suburban poverty is growing because people are being driven out of high-priced cities into suburbs.  One possible implication of this argument is that cities need to be kept poor and stagnant so that poor people can afford them. ... read more »

The End of the Suburbs by Leigh Gallagher

The End of the Suburbs is a new book from Leigh Gallagher, assistant Managing Editor at Fortune Magazine, that bluntly assesses the future of suburbia. Gallagher says it's over; at least in the form it's taken for the last 50 years. She marshals demographic and consumer preference data in a driving ... read more »

Even if Democrats Killed Detroit, Sprawl STILL Killed Detroit

One result of Detroit's recent bankruptcy has been the usual finger-pointing about the cause of that city's probems. Commonly mentioned culprits include deindustrialization, absence of federal support, and the sprawl-induced decline of urban tax bases.  Another common argument (especially among... read more »