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Transportation & Urban Policy

September 25, 2014

What Urban Planners Can Learn from Sci-Fi - Annalee Newitz, Slate

Perhaps because cities are hotbeds of social and technological innovation, they often have starring roles in futuristic stories. But these aren’t generally tales of a better ...

September 23, 2014

We Support Public Transit but Don't Ride It - Eric Jaffe, CityLab

Every transit advocate knows this timeless Onion headline: "98 Percent Of U.S. Commuters Favor Public Transportation For Others." But the underlying truth that ...

September 22, 2014

Employee Health Costs: 'Simple' Solution - Heather Kerrigan, Governing

Last month, Maryland officials approved new health insurance contracts that will impose a carrot and stick mentality on the state’s more than 250,000 employees, retirees and ...

September 22, 2014

Why Suburbia Irks Some Conservatives - Joel Kotkin, New Geography

For generations, politicians of both parties – dating back at least to Republican Herbert Hoover and Democrat Franklin Roosevelt – generally supported the notion of sub...

September 20, 2014

Metro Areas' Gross Domestic Product - Aaron M. Renn, Urbanophile

The Bureau of Economic Analysis is out with the preliminary numbers for 2013 metro area GDP (see the press release)....

Most Recent Articles

September 20, 2014

Highway Boondoggles and the Future of Transportation - U.S. PIRG

Americans drive no more in total now than we did in 2005, and no more on average than we did at the end of Bill Clinton’s first term as president. The recent stagnation in dr...

September 20, 2014

Cleveland: Coming Back, but Fragile - Alexis Stephens, Next City

David Rothstein recalls that when he was 10 years old, his family would not drive into downtown Cleveland unless they had an overriding reason. “In order to get to those spac...

September 19, 2014

Removing Roadblocks to Driverless Cars - Thierer & Hagemann, Mercatus

Intelligent cars are possible today after decades of research and development in vehicle automation and computer processing. Advanced intelligent vehicle technology can bring signi...

September 19, 2014

Who's on Board With Public Transit? - TransitCenter

On September 18, TransitCenter released Who’s On Board: The 2014 Mobility Attitudes Survey, a 12,000-person survey of Americans’ attitudes toward public trans...

September 18, 2014

Are Conservative Cities Better? - Ethan Epstein, Politico Magazine

The Republican Party is, more than ever before in its history, an anti-urban party,” the New York Times op-ed page declared after the 2012 elections, a co...

September 15, 2014

The Cities Attracting the Most Families - Joel Kotkin, New Geography

With the U.S. economy reviving, birth rates may be as well: the number of children born rose in 2013 by 4,700, the first annual increase since 2007. At the same time new house...

September 11, 2014

How Cities Build Vibrant Tech Scenes - Brady Dale, Next City

More and more cities are hoping to grow by playing host to a tech scene. And the truth is, almost any city of any size, at this point, probably has at least a small number of start...

September 6, 2014

The Steep Cost of Pensions in Ten Cities - Alexis Stephens, Next City

As I mentioned earlier this week in “Which Cities Should Be Most Worried About Pension Funds?,” pensions now exceed outstanding debt as the largest type of st...

September 5, 2014

How the Suburbs Got Poor - Reihan Salam, Slate

When I was a small child, something called “the suburbs” kept snatching away my friends, like a monster hiding under the bed, but worse. Over time, I’ve come to a...

September 4, 2014

Streetcars Are Not Working Out Well - Eric Jaffe, CityLab

Since the U.S. streetcar revival relies heavily on transportation subsidies, it's only fair to expect the latest wave of streetcar lines to produce benefits related to (wait f...

September 4, 2014

Why LA Can't Afford Infrastructure - Steven Malanga, Public Sector Inc.

The Grey Lady had a story yesterday on how Los Angeles can’t afford to invest in its crumbling infrastructure because of a continuing budget squeeze. The story star...

August 28, 2014

Capitalizing on Gentrification in Bed-Stuy - Alexis Stephens, Next City

Until a few years ago, “Bedford-Stuyvesant” conjured images of the vibrant brownstones depicted in Do the Right Thing or the gritty “do-or-die” st...

August 27, 2014

What It Really Costs to Live in San Francisco - Kriston Capps, CityLab

Is living in San Francisco unreasonable? That depends on who and how you ask. ...

August 26, 2014

Megacities: Welcome to the Billion-Man Slum - Joel Kotkin, The Daily Beast

As megacities (urban areas with more than 10 million people) mushroom across the globe, we need to start thinking about how to make cities better, not simply bigger....

August 23, 2014

Detroit and Big Data Take on Blight - Susan Crawford, Bloomberg View

The urban blight that has been plaguing Detroit was, until very recently, made worse by a dearth of information about the problem. No one could tell how many buildings needed fixin...

August 23, 2014

There Are Echoes of Ferguson in Detroit - Kriston Capps, CityLab

When a suburb of Detroit erected a barn on one of the main roads leading into the city last month, critics rendered a verdict fast: Here was tony Grosse Pointe Park constructing&nb...

August 22, 2014

What Ferguson Means for Urban Planning - Randal O'Toole, Antiplanner

The sad events in Ferguson, Missouri are being used by urban planning advocates to popularize their latest cause: suburban poverty. Ferguson is "emblematic of growing suburban pove...

August 22, 2014

The Changing Face of the Global City - Kotkin et al., Civil Service College

As the world urbanises and more megacities are created, some smaller, focused urban regions are becoming truly critical global hubs, unlike most larger cities, which are simply tie...

August 21, 2014

Hacking Traffic Lights Is Easy - Branden Ghena et al., USENIX

The safety critical nature of traffic infrastructure requires that it be secure against computer-based attacks, but this is not always the case. We investigate a networked traffic ...

August 21, 2014

The Different Types of Gentrification - Pete Saunders, Corner Side Yard

Patterns of gentrification vary by city, and the spread of gentrified areas is partly determined by the city's predominant development form and the historic levels of African-Ameri...

August 20, 2014

A Technology to Prevent Car Crashes - Brian Fung, Washington Post

For years, transportation wonks have been waiting for automated technologies that will make cars safer and easier to use, cutting down on traffic jams and lowering the risk of dead...

August 20, 2014

The Problem With Megacities - Joel Kotkin et al., Chapman University

No phenomenon more reflects the sheer power and appeal of urbanism than the rise of megacities, which we define as an urban area with more than 10 million residents (defined as are...

August 20, 2014

How Can a City Measure Its Happiness? - Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow, Next City

At one time, questionnaires about well-being were the province of mental health professionals. But in recent years, a growing number of city governments have been getting into the ...

August 20, 2014

Why the Brown Shooting Happened Where It Did - Jesse Bogan, StlToday

Long before the nation rested its collective conscience on the protests along West Florissant Avenue, there was a different mobilization going on....

August 19, 2014

A Highway Funding Plan that Could Work - Patrick Jones, IBTTA

Now that Congress has “patched” the Highway Trust Fund to save it from insolvency, it is time to get some clarity on a notable element of the Obama administration&rsquo...

August 19, 2014

Why You Don't Want to Live in a City Like Houston - Ben Adler, Grist

There are people who have made a career out of being consistently wrong, and then there’s Joel Kotkin. Kotkin isn’t even so much wrong as he is confused. Like a NIMBY a...

August 18, 2014

Let's Make Suburbs Into Cities - Steven Conn, Salon

By the last quarter of the twentieth century, Americans had succeeded in building an alternative to the dense central city, and the anti-government politics of the New Right had tr...

August 16, 2014

How LGBT Acceptance Is Redefining Cities - Natalie McDonald, Next City

In Chicago’s Boystown, a neighborhood famous for its gay nightlife, residents of upscale condos are asking clubs to turn down the volume. In New York’s Greenwich Villag...

August 15, 2014

Hate Bicyclists on Sidewalks? Build More Bike Lanes - Eric Jaffe, CityLab

The NYPD just launched a two-week campaign to enforce city bike laws that it's calling Operation Safe Cycle. This should go over about as well with the cycling community as Crys...

August 14, 2014

Our Roads Have Too Many Signs - Rich Tucker, RealClearPolicy

In 1970, the average car didn't have many safety features. No anti-lock brakes, no airbags, no steel-belted radial tires. Some cars even lacked seat belts. But your car's AM radio ...

August 11, 2014

High-Speed Rail Beats Short-Haul Air - Anbinder & Bhatiya, Fiscal Times

Three environmental groups—Earthjustice, the Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Earth— notified the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this...

August 8, 2014

Gentrification and Concentrated Poverty - Richard Florida, CityLab

There is no more highly contentious issue among those of us who spend their time thinking about the future of cities than gentrification....

August 7, 2014

In Defense of Cheap Subway Fares - Jacob Anbinder, Century Foundation

Four dollars and twenty-three cents....

August 6, 2014

Pedestrian Deaths in Poor Neighborhoods - Mike Maciag, Governing

In the middle of a four-lane roadway in one of Miami’s poorest neighborhoods, Carl Jones stood over a solid double yellow line as he waited to cross one morning in 2012....

August 2, 2014

Driverless Cars and Urban Transportation - Brandon Fuller, City Journal

Driverless cars may soon be coming to America’s cities, and some transit enthusiasts wish they wouldn’t—particularly those who view any cars, driverless or otherw...

July 29, 2014

New York's Struggle With 'Affordable Housing' - Sarah Goodyear, CityLab

Bill de Blasio became the mayor of New York in large part because he, better than anyone else in the running, was able to convince the city’s voters that he underst...

July 26, 2014

Meet the Worst Transit Project in America - Matthew Yglesias, Vox

With Detroit suffering from massive population loss and an inability to keep up its basic infrastructure (see the water crisis, or the city's many non-functioning traffic lights) i...

July 26, 2014

Big Cities' Housing Laws Harm the Economy - Emily Badger, Wash Post

For the last couple of years, San Francisco has been erupting with periodic protests aimed, rather imprecisely, at a nexus of grievances related to gentrification, affordable housi...

July 21, 2014

The Terrible Choices Detroit Confronts - Emily Badger, Wash Post

On Friday in Detroit, hundreds of local residents and activists — and, somewhat inexplicably, Mark Ruffalo — gathered to protest what has become an only-in-De...

July 21, 2014

How 273 American Cities Have Fared - Jason Segedy, New Geography

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was th...

July 19, 2014

Jobs, Crime, Housing: How Detroit Is Faring - Dante Chinni, WSJ

Friday is the one-year anniversary for Detroit’s bankruptcy, marking a good time to check in on the city’s future, its past and what the saga all means for other strugg...

July 17, 2014

Public Transit's Compensation Bonanza - Charles Chieppo, Governing

Talks have broken down between the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and its workers. The leader of the commuter railroad's largest union told the New York Times that there is...

May 3, 2013

Pressured by Congress, States Picking Up Amtrak Subsidies

May 1, 2013

Obama Knocks Republicans Over Poor U.S. Airport Rankings

April 30, 2013


April 30, 2013

Obama Announces Charlotte Mayor Fox as Transportation Pick

March 1, 2013

Amtrak: Record Traffic in 2012

February 25, 2013

Virginia GOP Governor Raises Taxes for Transportation Plans

February 20, 2013

Congress Looks for Road Funds

February 13, 2013

Ray LaHood Defends Obama's Passenger Rail Plans