urban life

Population Density and Resource Abundance: Turning Malthusian Logic On its Head

by Pierre Desrochers and Joanna Szurmak — A few months ago prominent naturalist David Attenborough told attendees at the World Economic Forum about humanity’s unsustainable population growth and his certainty that it has to “come to an end” quickly.
Order without Design, byAlain-Bertaud

Economics Needed for People-Based Urban Planning: Alain Bertaud Book Review

Book Review by Wendell Cox — Alain Bertaud’s new book, Order without Design: How Markets Shape Cities (MIT Press), is particularly timely, because of the rising concern about the challenges facing middle-income households.
Merced, California — now part of Bay Area Sprawl

Anti-"Sprawl" Bay Area Leads Expanding Metropolitan Regions

by Wendell Cox — This article examines metropolitan regions based on Office of Budget & Management boundaries. It illustrates that, despite the desires of planners and environmentalists to limit “sprawl”, labor markets continue to expand their footprint, particularly in the most regulated regions such as the Bay Area.
METRONext Moving Forward Plan A Plus

Metro's Big Plan Spends Too Much on Light Rail, But Moves in the Right Direction

by Tory Gattis — METRO recently released a draft $7.5 billion 2040 transit plan they’ve labeled “A Plus” (the previous “A” plan plus some additions), but unfortunately it’s more like a B- when it comes to addressing Houston’s real transportation needs over the next two decades.
Houston, TX HOV lane on Highway 69

Transportation Future: From Freeways to Scooters, Transit Will Get Disrupted

by Tory Gattis — In most ways, 2020 transportation in Houston will only be incrementally different from today: completion of the U.S. 290 expansion, new toll lanes on the Texas 288, the extension of the Texas 249 toll road beyond Tomball toward College Station, the next segments of the Grand Parkway 170-mile mega-loop.
Boston,MA—Urban Back Bay

How Much Density is Enough?

by Randal O'Toole — Portland New Urbanist Joe Cortright has rarely seen a high-density development he didn’t like. Most recently, he argues that the reason why most most people live in suburbs is that they are forced to do so by evil zoning rules that prohibit that densities that people actually prefer.
Happy Labor Day, America (2016)

The Localist Revolution

by David Brooks — Localism is the belief that power should be wielded as much as possible at the neighborhood, city and state levels. Localism is thriving — as a philosophy and a way of doing things — because the national government is dysfunctional while many towns are reviving.
offshore oil rig, California

California's Climate Extremism

by Joel Kotkin — Environmental extremism increasingly dominates California. The state is making a concerted attack on energy companies in the courts; a bill is pending in the legislature to fine waiters $1,000—or jail them—if they offer people plastic straws

Landless Americans Are the New Serf Class

by Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox — For the better part of the past century, the American dream was defined, in large part, by that “universal aspiration” to own a home. As housing prices continue to outstrip household income, that’s changing as more and more younger Americans are ending up landless, and not by choice.
Repairs on Mulholland Drive

Trump's Infrastructure Plan is a Rare, and Potentially Bipartisan, Feel Good Moment

President Trump's proposed trillion dollar plus infrastructure program represents a rare, and potentially united feel good moment. Yet before we jump into a massive re-do of our transportation, water and electrical systems, it's critical to make sure we get some decent bang for the federal buck.