In the News

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... read more »

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... read more »

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 »