sprawl

New York's problem (or more broadly, the problem of medium density)

After reading yet another blog post talking about how New York is losing migrants to other cities, I had an extremely insightful date.  My date was with a woman who lived in Flatbush, at the outer, more car-oriented edge of Brooklyn.  She drives everywhere.  When I told her about my y... read more »

Cities, Suburbs and Commute Length

I recently discovered a fun tool: the Census Bureau's Census Explorer, which is full of maps about all kinds of things.  In particular, I spent some time exploring commute length. ... read more »

Two Cheers For Negative Thinking

I recently read an article suggesting that Cleveland's problems were in part due to "negative thinking"- some fuzzy "vibe of negativity" that discourages people from moving to Cleveland.  I am skeptical of this claim for two reasons. ... read more »

Suburbia Not Always Cheaper

A story from a coworker of mine: Mr. X (the coworker) and his family move from Queens to Long Island to take advantage of the allegedly better public schools.  As a  result, they are able to save money by pulling their children out of Catholic school.  Were they better off?  Appa... read more »

Mini-Book Review: Regional Planning can be Pro-Sprawl Too

I have written about how local comprehensive plans sometimes favor sprawl over urbanism.  But a recent book by planning scholar Carlton Basmajian, Atlanta Unbound, shows that regional planning can suffer from similar defects.  ... read more »

How The Sprawl Lobby Is Totalitarian

I recently read the following comment justifying sprawl-oriented policies: "people still want the freedom of choice, privacy and flexibility a car affords."  I have often seen this sort of argument; it seems to me to endorse the following chain of logic: (1) an unspecified number of "people" (p... read more »

Is Sprawl An Example of Libertarian Paternalism?

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 ea... 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 »

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 »