Popular Topics

Transportation & Urban Policy

June 25, 2015

Google Is Planning to Plan Your City - Susie Cagle, Pacific Standard

After years of mediating our digital lives, Google is formally venturing into the physical world....

June 22, 2015

Mad War to House the Poor in the Suburbs - Betsy McCaughey, NY Post

An African-American millionaire can buy a home in any expensive suburb. Color is no longer a barrier....

June 16, 2015

American Sprawl Peaked in 1994 - Eric Jaffe, CityLab

We tend to think of urban sprawl in America as a product of the Interstate Highway System built in the 1950s and 1960s. Metro area residents who might have been inclined to live ne...

June 15, 2015

The Antisuburbanist - Anthony Paletta, City Journal

The American political Left is now heavily associated with cities, but it wasn’t always so. Proto-Democrat Thomas Jefferson once claimed that the “mobs of great cities ...

June 13, 2015

Neighborhoods Become Less White - Matt Vasilogambros, National Journal

Segregation is nowhere close to being over, but neighborhoods across the country are steadily integrating....

Most Recent Articles

June 12, 2015

Uncle Sam's Assault on the Suburbs - Jonathan Nelson, e21

If the House of Representatives has its way, the suburban way of life will be safe once again—for now....

June 10, 2015

How Big Is Your City's Middle Class? - Berube & Friedhoff, Brookings

Have American cities lost their middle class? The recent unrest in Baltimore caused some to (inaccurately) portray that city as overwhelmingly poor. Meanwhile, rising inequali...

June 5, 2015

The Importance of Passenger Rail - Kevin DeGood, CAP

Passenger rail is an essential element of America’s surface transportation system. The main provider of intercity passenger rail service is the National Railroad Passenger Co...

June 5, 2015

City Fees Keep Rising Instead of Taxes - Kriston Capps, CityLab

Between 2007 and 2012, through the Great Recession and into the recovery, fees on everything from hospitals and airports to schools and social services increased by more than 7 per...

June 5, 2015

The Best Cities For Jobs 2015 - Joel Kotkin & Michael Shires, Forbes

Since the U.S. economy imploded in 2008, there’s been a steady shift in leadership in job growth among our major metropolitan areas. In the earliest years, the cities that di...

June 3, 2015

Oregon's Flawed Per-Mile Tax - Carl Davis, Citizens for Tax Justice

On July 1, up to 5,000 Oregon residents can sign up for a program that indefinitely exempts them from the state’s gasoline tax.  Instead, these drivers will pay a flat 1...

June 2, 2015

Let Motorcycles Ride Between Cars - Alex Davies, Wired

EVERY CALIFORNIA DRIVER’S seen it: While you’re sitting in your car on the freeway, creeping through traffic, one motorcyclist after another zips by, riding betwee...

May 26, 2015

Who Benefits From Others' Transit Use? - David Levinson, New Geography

In the May 11 issue of Finance and Commerce, Matt Kramer, a local Chamber of Commerce representative lobbying for additional public transit and transportation spendi...

May 23, 2015

Suburban Sprawl Hurts the Poor - Joseph Stromberg, Vox

Back in February, the Detroit Free Press detailed the plight of James Robertson, a 56-year-old Detroit man who worked at a suburban injection mold factory. He rode b...

May 22, 2015

How Suburban Are Big Cities? - Jed Kolko, FiveThirtyEight

What, exactly, is a city? Technically, cities are legal designations that, under state laws, have specific public powers and functions. But many of the largest American cities &mda...

May 18, 2015

Bad Public Transit Encourages Inequality - Gillian B. White, The Atlantic

Transportation is about more than just moving people from point A to point B. It’s also a system that can either limit or expand the opportunities available to people based o...

May 18, 2015

Amtrak Needs Privatization, Not More Money - Jeffrey Dorfman, RCM

Last week witnessed a tragic train derailment on the Amtrak line that connects major East Coast cities. While the exact cause of the accident is not known yet, within two days libe...

May 15, 2015

The Road to Sustainable Highway Spending - CRFB

The current legislation authorizing highway and mass transit spending is scheduled toexpire at the end of May, and only a fewmonths later the Highway Trust Fund willrun out of rese...

May 15, 2015

Highways Gutted American Cities - Joseph Stromberg, Vox

There was once a time when most Americans took streetcars to work every day. Nowadays,85 percent of workers drive....

May 15, 2015

Payout to Amtrak Victims Will Be Limited - Chris Isidore, CNN Money

No matter how deadly this week's Amtrak crash proves to be, the railroad's legal exposure is capped at $200 million....

May 14, 2015

The Safest, Smartest Train - Daniel C. Vock, Governing

Long after most of its customers have gone home, Metrolink, the Los Angeles area’s commuter rail line, sends one of its passenger trains out into the night on a lonely m...

May 13, 2015

Improving Airport Funding - Alan Cole, Tax Foundation

Commercial air travel is a critically important sector of any advanced economy. This is especially true for a country as large as the United States, where some domestic travel can ...

May 13, 2015

Building the Cities of the Future - Janette Sadik-Khan, Huffington Post

Talk to any proud city resident and they'll tell you their town is like no other place on earth. Its food, weather, parks, architecture, place in history, politics and entertainmen...

May 12, 2015

Key Facts About Transportation Infrastructure - Kearney et al., Brookings

A founding principle of The Hamilton Project’s economic strategy is that long-term prosperity is best achieved by fostering economic growth and broad participation in that gr...

May 11, 2015

Paying for Rail Transit - Randal O'Toole, The Antiplanner

Last week, San Antonio voters overwhelming approved of a measure forbidding the city's transit agency from building any rail transit lines without voter approval. While t...

May 6, 2015

Smart Traffic Lights Can Transform a Commute - Josh Sanburn, Time

The traffic signals along Factoria Boulevard in Bellevue, Wash., generally don’t flash the same stretch of green twice in a row, especially at rush hour. At 9:30 a.m., the fu...

May 2, 2015

More Diverse Cities Are More Segregated - Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight

When I was a freshman at the University of Chicago in 1996, I heard the same thing again and again: Do not leave the boundaries of Hyde Park. Do not go north of 47th Street. D...

April 29, 2015

Rise of the Fragmented City - Richard Florida, CityLab

From the moment I began studying urbanism, I’ve heard urbanists, economists and city officials lament the so-called “fragmentation” of city government. The basic ...

April 28, 2015

Would the Purple Line Be Good for Maryland? - Diana Furchtgott-Roth, e21

A new study by Transportation Economics and Management Systems (TEMS) purports to show that Maryland would gain by building the Purple Line, a 16-mile light rail project just nor...

April 25, 2015

Investing Stock in Distressed Cities - Liz Farmer, Governing

There is a lot that’s different between the agriculturally based Fresno, Calif., and the business and services-driven San Francisco less than 200 miles away. But perhaps the ...

April 24, 2015

What's the Perfect Size for a City? - Aaron M. Renn, The Guardian

The death of Michael Brown, shot by a police officer last year in Ferguson, Missouri, triggered civil unrest and protests that have yet to subside, withtwo police officers recently...

April 21, 2015

How Washington Derailed Amtrak - Simon Zuylen-Wood, National Journal

Thirty-nine minutes into his southbound ride from Wilmington, Delaware, to Washington, D.C., Joseph H. Boardman, president and CEO of Amtrak, begins to cry. We're in the dining car...

April 16, 2015

Returning to the Exurbs - Teresa Wiltz, Stateline

Dawsonville, Ga. — Winding up Route 400, a good 40 minutes' north of Atlanta's traffic-snarled freeways, are miles of farmhouses, interspersed with mobile homes, McMansi...

April 14, 2015

The Case for Driverless Trains - Eric Jaffe, CityLab

Automatic train control returned to the Red Line on Washington, D.C.'s Metrorail system today, following years of infrastructure upgrades that occurred in the wake of a deadly...

April 13, 2015

The Trouble With Megaprojects - Jacques Leslie, New Yorker

Until last Monday, when engineers began hoisting its two-thousand-ton cutterhead to the surface, Bertha, the world’s largest tunnel-boring machine, was stuck a hundred and tw...

April 13, 2015

Tree Cover and Environmental Justice - Kirsten Schwarz et al., PLOS ONE

April 11, 2015

Where the White People Live - Alana Semuels, CityLab

Last summer, the Michigan town of Grosse Pointe Park erected a farmer's market in the middle of one of the few remaining streets that allowed cars to pass between the ton...

April 10, 2015

Speed Limits: 25 Is Far Safer Than 35 - Bill Lindeke, Streets.MN

Compromise is the hallmark of politics, so when it comes to street design, it’s tempting to dole out design features like treats to unruly children: a new crosswalk for you, a dr...

April 9, 2015

Detroit Could Be the Next Silicon Valley - Bruce Katz, Fortune

Historically, the economies of Detroit and Silicon Valley couldn’t look more different: the Motor City has long been known as a hub for manufacturing and the auto industry, w...

April 9, 2015

More Isn't Merrier in Crowded Cities - Froma Harrop, Creators

New York and San Francisco are expensive places to live. That's a big problem for the nation because these cities are centers for the booming knowledge economy. High housing costs ...

April 8, 2015

Does Mass Transit Reduce Carbon Emissions? - Bobby Magill, Quartz

There’s no way to drive around it: Commuting to work behind the steering wheel emits carbon dioxide and contributes to climate change....

April 8, 2015

America's Most Walkable Cities - Richard Florida, CityLab

In an announcement that will surprise no one, Walk Score, the company that produces the go-to metric for walkable cities, has once again ranked New York as the number one most...

April 6, 2015

Amtrak's History of Wasted Subsidies - Matthew Sabas, Economics 21

Congressional Republicans were elected on a platform of cutting spending, but taxpayers will continue to pay for Amtrak’s losses for at least 5 more years if a bill that just...

April 6, 2015

California's Wealthy Cities Aren't Conserving Water - Shyong et al., LAT

There are few signs of California’s epic drought along a stretch of Maple Drive in Beverly Hills....

April 6, 2015

Strong People, Strong Cities - Aaron M. Renn, City Journal

Among those who study cities, “resilience” has become a hot topic, in part because of a major push from the left-leaning Rockefeller Foundation. This association with t...

April 4, 2015

The Wealth of Cities - Matthew Mitchell, Library of Law & Liberty

Capital, in the 21st century, has a bad rap. Many say that because it is the source of “passive income,” it does nothing but pad the pockets of the idle rich, driv...

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