Joel Kotkin Explains The ‘Regression of America’s Big Progressive Cities’

By: KFI AM 640
On: John and Ken Show

Joel Kotkin is the executive director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism, as well as the executive editor of He’s also an author, and currently lives in Orange County. Read more

Joel on Rod Arquette: America Still Number One

By: KNRS 105.9 Talk Radio
On: Rod Arquette Show

Joel Kotkin, Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and executive director of the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, joins the Rod Arquette show to discuss his recent piece in the Orange County Register about America still being number one despite what politicians are saying. Joel’s segment begins at the 23 minute mark. Visit iheartradio to listen

Opinion: Californians’ Transportation Choices Should Be Left to Them—Not Bureaucrats

This article first appeared in the Times of San Diego

Last month, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Metro system “is hemorrhaging bus riders.” The news was presented as, if not a crisis, at least an urgent matter that needs to be promptly addressed. Yet that’s hardly the case.

It’s troubling, we’re supposed to infer, that “passengers have fled” public transportation “for more convenient options — mostly, driving.” According to the Times headline writer, this bloody mess is “worsening traffic and hurting climate goals.”

“The bus exodus poses a serious threat to California’s ambitious climate and transportation goals,” says the Times. “Reducing traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions will be next to impossible, experts say, unless more people start taking public transit.”

It’s been clear for some time policymakers across the state want to pull drivers out of their cars and push them into mass transit, no matter how inconvenient and sometimes painful it can be. Joel Kotkin, Chapman University professor, has been telling us for years that Sacramento has trapped California on a “road diet” in an effort “to make congestion so terrible that people will be forced out of their cars and onto transit.”

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Is California a Shining Example or Third-World State?

Recent weeks have seen a debate of sorts about the image and reality of contemporary California. Is it, as Gov. Gavin Newsom contends, a nation-state proving that economic prosperity, multiculturism and social progress can advance together?

“California is what America is going to look like,” he told a television interviewer. “California is America’s coming attraction.”

Or is it, as Hoover Institute historian Victor Davis Hanson indirectly responded in a Fox News interview, “America’s first third-world state” with widening income and wealth disparities, rampant homelessness, poor schools, and rising disease levels despite high taxes? Read more

Texas Seems Better Placed to Adapt Than California

This article appeared in the Special report section of the print edition under the headline “State of the nation”

….In the coming decade California and Texas face three main challenges. First, they must remain desirable places to do business, ensuring the creation of well-paid jobs and prosperity for their citizens. On this front Texas is better placed than California, but it cannot take for granted that it will maintain its edge over other states that levy no income tax and offer even lower costs. Second, they must educate their children better. As the number of poor, English-language learners grows in both states, this task takes on even greater significance.

Third, they must be mindful of the gap between the haves and the have-nots and deal with the inequality of income and opportunity that exist in both states. Although it has become more expensive to live in Texas in the past decade, it is still much more affordable than California.

The Golden State’s economy used to be a rising tide lifting all sorts of boats, says Joel Kotkin of Chapman University. “Now it’s a rising tide lifting a few yachts.”

Both states will also have to confront the gap in services and opportunity between their declining rural and growing urban communities.

New York’s Notorious Landlords Are Finally Losing Some of Their Power

Appearing in:

Even amid a years-long national housing crisis, New York City’s rental market has seemed especially cruel.

The average rent increased by 24 percent between 2009 and 2016, the number of new homes grew far slower than the number of people flocking to NYC, and the typical family earning between $10,000 and $20,000 paid upwards of 74 percent of their income on rent, according to a report issued last fall by the city comptroller.

“There’s nothing at all sustainable about the way New York is evolving,” said Joel Kotkin, a housing researcher and fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in California.

Read the rest of the article at Vice

Where Saving for a House Can Take 95 Years

Appearing in:

“If we want to maintain homeownership, we’ll have to do what we did after World War II: Build communities that are relatively affordable,” Kotkin says.

Saving for a down payment on one’s first home is a rite of passage in the United States, one that helps many realize what was and is seen as a part of the American dream. Millennials who witnessed their parents’ misfortune during the global recession of 2008 — many of whom suffered housing devaluations, or worse — are now contemplating the housing ladder themselves. But saving for a 20 percent down payment, the industry standard today, could take them much longer than it took earlier generations. It takes 14 years to save for a down payment in the U.S. — 27 years in major U.S. cities and a whopping 95 years in one part of Colorado. Read more

Joel on KPCC’s AirTalk Discussing Solutions to Southern Cal’s Homeless Crisis

Urban planning experts join in the conversation to talk about the nature of L.A.’s housing and homeless crisis, the controversy around now-tabled SB-50 and the concept of preserving “local character.

On: AirTalk® Hosted by Larry Mantle

Click the Play button to listen.

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Urban expert: Charlotte has ‘advantages’ in battle for talent, growth

This article first appeared in Charlotte Business Journal (paywall)

Joel Kotkin studies and writes about America’s cities, their challenges and their advantages. And, when it comes to sorting out which places grow and which ones don’t, Kotkin sees the issue in straightforward terms.

“The question, really, is where people want to live and where do they want to move,” Kotkin told me during a recent interview at UNC Charlotte’s Center City Campus, where he spoke as part of a housing policy summit. “And Charlotte has a lot of advantages for that.” Read more

Joel Kotkin on Homelessness in Los Angeles on KABC 790

By: KABC 790
On: Morning Drive

Joel Kotkin interviewed about homelessness in Los Angeles. California’s homeless issue isn’t responding to various costly programs; Joel Kotkin discusses why not.

Click the Play button to listen.