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The Protean Future Of American Cities
New Geography ^ | 03/07/2011 | Joel Kotkin

Posted on 03/07/2011 11:55:23 AM PST by Tom Rounder

The ongoing Census reveals the continuing evolution of America’s cities from small urban cores to dispersed, multi-polar regions that includes the city’s surrounding areas and suburbs. This is not exactly what most urban pundits, and journalists covering cities, would like to see, but the reality is there for anyone who reads the numbers.

To date the Census shows that growth in America’s large core cities has slowed, and in some cases even reversed. This has happened both in great urban centers such as Chicago and in the long-distressed inner cities of St. Louis, Baltimore, Wilmington, Del., and Birmingham, Ala.

This would surely come as a surprise to many reporters infatuated with growth in downtown districts, notably in Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver and elsewhere. For them, good restaurants, bars and clubs trump everything. A recent Newsweek article, for example, recently acknowledged Chicago’s demographic and fiscal decline but then lavishly praised the city, and its inner city for becoming “finally hip.”

(Excerpt) Read more at newgeography.com ...


TOPICS: Politics
KEYWORDS: cities; future; growth
Joel Kotkin exposes the liberal media mirage about American cities.
1 posted on 03/07/2011 11:55:28 AM PST by Tom Rounder
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To: Tom Rounder

And they wonder why St. Louis Countians DON’T want to merge with the city. There IS a reason.


2 posted on 03/07/2011 12:03:58 PM PST by misharu (I am an Independent Conservative who caucuses with the Republicans (for now).)
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To: Tom Rounder

As a former resident of Colorado who gets back that way on business every now and then, I will opine that Denver is already “multi-centered.” In fact, I saw it in the late 1980’s.


3 posted on 03/07/2011 12:06:47 PM PST by Lysandru
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To: Tom Rounder

The effect of people moving to the burbs is principally due to high taxes (in many forms) in the cities where liberals reign and it’s also to do with the high concentration of social services and subsidized housing.

Sacramento, for instance, can’t seem to get residential construction of any consequence in the central city because of a concentration of social services that act as a magnet to people who are, in short, not family friendly.

Add to this that these same cities tend to be ‘sanctuary cities’ for illegal aliens who also pose a violent crime threat and there’s less and less reason to live in one of these places.

I recall a Sacramento deputy police chief telling me that some 81% of his officers live outside of the city.

I’d say those well-informed officers are on to something.


4 posted on 03/07/2011 12:09:23 PM PST by MeganC (Soli Deo Gloria)
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To: MeganC

This is why most down town areas are deserted at night.

The cities will die even more when it is no longer required to cluster in their downtowns.

see detroit.


5 posted on 03/07/2011 12:14:00 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: Tom Rounder
but then lavishly praised the city, and its inner city for becoming “finally hip.”

Hip only goes so far when you are constantly being awakened by sirens at 3 AM, much less so if you want to raise a child or find a school.

All the talk of the new urbanism doesn't seem to have very far in convincing people to give up their "dull" suburban lives and move back into the cities. When will Obama and gang pull the reverse of Pol Pot and drive people into the cities at bayonet point? < /joke, at least for now>

6 posted on 03/07/2011 12:14:39 PM PST by KarlInOhio (Washington is finally rid of the Kennedies. Free at last, thank God almighty we are free at last.)
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To: longtermmemmory

Exactly.


7 posted on 03/07/2011 12:16:53 PM PST by MeganC (Soli Deo Gloria)
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To: Tom Rounder

The ignorant masses fleeing the lovely urban zones.


8 posted on 03/07/2011 12:22:57 PM PST by lurk
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To: KarlInOhio

>>>When will Obama and gang pull the reverse of Pol Pot and drive people into the cities at bayonet point? < /joke, at least for now> <<<<

Just speaking as an Alaskan, there better be some live rounds behind those bayonets if they want folks up here to move into the city. I’ll bet there’s a number of other locations where that is equally true.

Joking aside....

The second amendment actually puts us in danger. Follow me on this. Since they can’t just gather us up without danger of all those guns getting used, they have to be sneaky and subtle. A tiny move here, a tiny change there. Nothing overt. Slowly, over time, the population CAN be manipulated, but it has to appear as if the changes are being done voluntarily. One good way to do this: change the tax code. Another good way: implementation of environmental regulations. A third good way: an “education” campaign. Eventually, the population is where the elites want us to be - and we think it’s our idea in the first place.

Which is why “Brave New World” scared me more than “1984.”


9 posted on 03/07/2011 12:25:02 PM PST by redpoll
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To: Tom Rounder

Looking backward at the last twenty years is not going to predict the future. Energy costs are going to kick us in the arse sooner than later.

The residential and commercial real estate in the Exurbs got smashed during the trader induced oil spike, giving us a picture of what the US economy will look like if/when we reach sustained $4/gallon gas without real purchasing power increases in median wages.

I mean, look at Cary NC as mentioned in this article, look at Zillow.com or Hotpads.com and look at how much further the periphery pricing has fallen than the core.

Not that RRE and CRE pricing is indictive of a healthy area or not, or even a rational base of purchasers.

Areas that become further and further spread out without cheap and plentiful energy to move people, become increasingly fragile micro-economies, such as the old mill towns in the Carolinas where a small subset of major employers were the lifeblood of the particular county.

THe other major problem I know Raleigh/Cary NC is going through which is common in most Southern growth MSAs, is the vast increase in population and the underinvestment in infrastructure, not only gas going to cost more, the roads are going to deteriorate beyond the taxpayers’ willingness to pony up for maintenance costs. The Romans built roads to last for the next thousand years of the empire, Americans build roads based on the lowest up front cost and next political election cycles’ donations from developers.


10 posted on 03/07/2011 12:28:52 PM PST by JerseyHighlander (p.s. The word 'bloggers' is not in the freerepublic spellcheck dictionary?!)
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To: KarlInOhio

When will Obama and gang pull the reverse of Pol Pot and drive people into the cities at bayonet point? < /joke, at least for now>

_________________________________________________________

They’ll just herd everyone unto their fast speed rail.


11 posted on 03/07/2011 12:30:27 PM PST by JohnKinAK
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To: Tom Rounder

The effects of White Flight. As decent whites flee the cities their ancestors built the cities become strongholds of Communism and corruption. Civilization disappears there and emerges where the working white flee to. This in turn attracts parasites of every class to feed off the productive people and the process repeats. The mind-boggles at what our nation could have accomplished if the amount of time, money, and effort wasted in moving millions of people out of existing towns and cities and recreating all the housing and infrastructure to maintain them was redirected into useful endeavors. But that was the whole point. White Flight along with planned de-industrialization was the Globalist one-two punch designed to bring America to its knees. I’d say they’ve done a pretty good job of it.


12 posted on 03/07/2011 12:39:51 PM PST by Roninf5-1 (If ignorance is bliss why are so many Americans on anti-depressants?)
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To: Tom Rounder

The effects of White Flight. As decent whites flee the cities their ancestors built the cities become strongholds of Communism and corruption. Civilization disappears there and emerges where the working white flee to. This in turn attracts parasites of every class to feed off the productive people and the process repeats. The mind-boggles at what our nation could have accomplished if the amount of time, money, and effort wasted in moving millions of people out of existing towns and cities and recreating all the housing and infrastructure to maintain them was redirected into useful endeavors. But that was the whole point. White Flight along with planned de-industrialization was the Globalist one-two punch designed to bring America to its knees. I’d say they’ve done a pretty good job of it.


13 posted on 03/07/2011 12:40:01 PM PST by Roninf5-1 (If ignorance is bliss why are so many Americans on anti-depressants?)
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To: MeganC

I agree with you here, but have to point out that if it wasn’t for the hidden government subsidies to suburbanites the tax advantages to living in the suburbs would disappear immediately.

If the government were to remove the mortgage deduction, commuting deductions i.e. fuel deductions, properly force developers to pay upfront costs for road development/maintenance and offload those costs on new home buyers, spread out social safety net costs across MSAs instead of just city jurisdictions, etc... growth in the US would have been paramountly different, and future growth IS going to be paramountly different once a gallon of gas forever exceeds the hourly minimum wage.

IF any of the proposals being bandied about DC regarding the dissolution of FHA/Fanny/Freddie end up eliminating the 30 yr mortgage and eliminating the Federal mortgage deduction as matter of law.... everything most Freepers and Americans know about suburban life is forever going to change. And every proposal I’ve seen eliminates the backstops that allow 30yr mortgages, and most eliminate the mortgage deduction to increase Federal tax revenues...


14 posted on 03/07/2011 12:43:53 PM PST by JerseyHighlander (p.s. The word 'bloggers' is not in the freerepublic spellcheck dictionary?!)
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To: Tom Rounder
Pretty good article which more or less hits around what is happening. It is the big big cities which are simply not livable, except in the painfully contrived and confined downtown urban cores where only the most affluent will reside (parking, high real estate, expensive restaurants and services, etc.).

On the other hand smaller towns or cities, easier to get around in, less isolated from the neighboring world, and which still have yuppie amenities, Olive Gardens, Pottery Barns, Sushi Restaurants, etc. are the attractive places; even sometimes where those smaller centers are regarded as "suburbs" of a major metropolis. Atlanta, with Marietta, Gainesville, etc, as a good example.

The weakness in this article's analysis is using the term "suburb," when what is really meant is smaller commercial and amenity cores, whether they be distinctly separate entities or on a greater metropolitan periphery, which allow access to the natural rural surroundings (and highways) but still have yuppiedom.

Clearly the major national upscale franchises have figured this out long ago with their building of outlets in these towns and peripheries. With an impoverishing population (e.g. illegals) there is no way but financial hell to try and resurrect the big big cities. The mass transportation failures being an example.

Personally I think increasingly efficient personal transportation, down to motorbikes and smartcars, is the antidote to the massive expenditures on big big city mass transit. Along of course with a stable civil population that does not allow massive illegal invasions.

Furthermore how obvious is it that with modern telecommunications any half-intelligent human being has absolutely no reason to fight the depraved interiors of big cities?

Perceptive Americans are far far beyond leftist politicians and journalists; it's just they may no longer be in the voting majority - a tragic scenario.

Johnny Suntrade

15 posted on 03/07/2011 12:57:57 PM PST by jnsun (The Left: the need to manipulate others because of nothing productive to offer.)
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To: KarlInOhio
much less so if you want to raise a child or find a school

The other day, I heard some talking head on the radio yammering about how "young people were moving back into the cities" and "that would rejuvenate them".

I said "Sure. Wait until these hip young early 20-somethings have kids. Whatta maroon."

The radio didn't answer me back, though. I should stop arguing with inanimate objects.

16 posted on 03/07/2011 12:59:32 PM PST by wbill
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To: redpoll; KarlInOhio
"Brave New World” scared me more than “1984.”

Roger that.

Lots of denizens at FR, I think, feverently wish and hope for jackbooted government thugs to come breaking down their doors. They'll scream "You'll NEVER get me ALIVE!!" and go down in a hail of bullets.

I say, that's pretty unlikely to happen. Maybe eventually, but things need to get much, much worse.

How will things get worse? Little by little. Mostly, people will be ground down by bureaucracy. IMHO, your enemy isn't the nameless, faceless, heavily armed gov't thug coming for your guns. Nope, I think it'll be the nice, grandmotherly older lady from HR that brings in cookies once a month, and likely has a candy jar at her desk. "Look, Redpoll. Everyone else has filled out Healthcare form 3800-stroke-J. It's Friday Afternoon, you're the last guy to take care of this, and we'd all like to get out of here. So, can you just please be a dear and sign right here?"

And so it goes. But that's just my unsolicited $0.02. Fortunately, I'm not above telling nosy little old ladies to get stuffed. Politely, of course. :-)

17 posted on 03/07/2011 1:10:34 PM PST by wbill
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To: JerseyHighlander
How ridiculous. Before we had the gasoline engine this country was made up of mostly SMALL TOWNS, and the "big cities" were more like clusters of SMALL TOWNS than they were classical European "imperial" cities.

Frankly, if you want to see what a "city scape" looks like where all those costs you identified have to be dealt with up front by the developers, or by the immediate residents what you want to do is look at Indianapolis and its suburbs. All infrastructure development there, outside of the Interstate system and the state highways is paid for through what is known as the Barrett Law.

Let's say you want a sewer system in your community. You petition for a special public charitable trust to be set up which will sell bonds to finance your local sewer system, and you will get a special tax to pay for it.

You want a new road? Same thing. How about a brand new public school? They do the same with that ~ a public school "corporation" in Indiana is, in fact, a "corporation" first, and a "school" second.

When I was a kid, which is before computers became common, my father (in Indiana) would get a property tax statement that was maybe 60 to 100 lines long ~ each line detailing a mil tax against his assessed evaluation.

The urbanized area is roughly equivalent to New York SMSA. The population, though, is a fraction of NYC and the SMSA suburbs.

The reason is that people like roads, sewers, water, gas, electricity and schools AND they don't care to live on top of the neighbors.

BTW, those public charitable trusts in Indiana are in much better financial shape than the public works department of NYC which, alas, is following an antiquated business model for creating and running a city.

18 posted on 03/07/2011 1:14:39 PM PST by muawiyah (Make America Safe For Americans)
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To: wbill

Happened to Rome, too.


19 posted on 03/07/2011 1:25:26 PM PST by redpoll
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To: Tom Rounder

For many people “city” = “crime ridden slum” and always will.

Ever since the government trampled our first ammendment rights through forced desegregation cities have become symbols of enslavement. So we flee to the free states.

This cycle will never be broken until the cities die out completely (or we generate enough firepower to go in and retake the territory and clean it out). Of course as long as welfare exists the cities will continue to exist in a sort of living death because the slum culture is being subsidised.

The long term solution to this is not to share costs across the whole area (as some delusional/socialist people propose)but to starve the cities entirely. The sooner they die the sooner they can be rebuilt.


20 posted on 03/07/2011 1:25:44 PM PST by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: wbill
I said "Sure. Wait until these hip young early 20-somethings have kids. Whatta maroon."

My understanding is that Detroit MI (for a worst case example) during it's heyday of the 1950's had a good to excellent public school system. By 1980, the school system was considered one of the worst in the country and middle class blacks had started to follow middle class whites into the suburbs. Detroit will not become a city people want to live in again until the school system becomes one that people want to send their children to.

When was the last time you heard any tales of some parent committing fraud to get their kid into an urban school district?

21 posted on 03/07/2011 1:41:18 PM PST by Fraxinus (My opinion, worth what you paid.)
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To: Fraxinus
When was the last time you heard any tales....

Yep. Count me among them. The HS in my (former, urban) district was very proud of the fact that they'd raised - RAISED, mind you - their graduation rate to 56%. Never mind the drugs, crime, and the fact that the 56% figure likely took "graduate" at its most liberal meaning.

Unimaginable. We moved to a nice rural, conservative area before the kids got tossed into that system. Homeschooling is still a backup option, but we have great local schools that we're planning on taking advantage of. Why anyone would raise their kids in an urban armpit, is beyond me.

22 posted on 03/07/2011 2:00:13 PM PST by wbill
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