How to Make Cities Livable Again

Appearing in:

The Daily Beast

In his new book, The Human City, Joel Kotkin looks at the ways cities succeed or fail in terms of how their residents are best served. Here’s a tour of some past models.

Throughout history, urban areas have taken on many functions, which have often changed over time. Today, this trend continues as technology, globalization, and information technology both undermine and transform the nature of urban life. Developing a new urban paradigm requires, first and foremost, integrating the traditional roles of cities—religious, political, economic—with the new realities and possibilities of the age. Most importantly, we need to see how we can preserve the best, and most critical, aspects of urbanism. Read more

Where Millionaires Are Moving

Appearing in:

Forbes

In this oligarchic era, dominated as never before in modern history by the ultra-rich, their movements are far more than grist for gossip columns. They are critical to the health of city economies around the world.

recent study by the consultancy New World Wealth traces this movement globally, identifying the big winners and losers in millionaire migration. Read more

Coastal California Getting Older, Not Bolder

Appearing in:

Orange County Register

For the better part of a century, Southern California has been seen as the land of surfers, hipsters and youthful innovators. Yet the land of sun and sea is becoming, like its East Coast counterpart Florida, increasingly geriatric.

This, of course, is a global and national phenomenon. Read more

America’s Software And Tech Hotspots

Appearing in:

Forbes

Where is America’s tech and software industry thriving? In a new study conducted for the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp., researchers took an interesting stab at that question, assessing which metro areas have the strongest concentrations of software developers, spread across a broad array of industries, as well as the best compensation and job growth, and access to venture capital funding. Read more

Singapore’s Midlife Crisis

Appearing in:

The City Journal

Lee Kwan Yew, one of the great political architects of our time, died a year ago, but the regime he established in Singapore remains entrenched in power. In fact, the parliamentary elections last year—to the surprise and consternation of Lee’s critics—enlarged his People’s Action Party (PAP) majority in Parliament from a record low of 60 percent to close to 70 percent. Despite talk of a “new normal” defined by more competitive politics, the city-state’s norms remain very much as they have been for the better part of a half century. Voters have their reasons for remaining in thrall to the PAP. The party’s cadre of well-educated civil servants has turned the Republic of Singapore into arguably the best-run city on the planet, a place of almost surreal efficiency. Read more

The Sun Belt Is Rising Again, New Census Numbers Show

Appearing in:

Forbes

From 2009-11, Americans seemed to be clustering again in dense cities, to the great excitement urban boosters. The recently released 2015 Census population estimates confirm that was an anomaly. Americans have strongly returned to their decades long pattern of greater suburbanization and migration to Read more

Mass Transit Expansion Goes Off The Rails In Many U.S. Cities

Appearing in:

Forbes

Journalists in older cities like New York, Boston or San Francisco may see the role of rail transit as critical to a functioning modern city. In reality, rail transit has been a financial and policy failure outside of a handful of cities.

In 23 metropolitan areas that have built new rail systems since 1970, transit’s share of commuting — including all forms, such as buses and ferries — has actually slipped a bit, from an average of 5.0 percent before the rail systems opened to 4.6 percent in 2013. The ranks of those driving alone continue to grow, having increased 14.4 million daily one-way trips since 2000, nearly double transit’s overall daily total of 7.6 million, according to Census Bureau data. Read more

Around The World, The Tide Is Turning Against Megacities

Appearing in:

Forbes

The massive construction waste collapse last month in Shenzhen reflects a wider phenomenon: the waning of the megacity era. Shenzhen became a megacity (population over 10 million) faster than any other in history, epitomizing the massive movement of Chinese to cities over the past four decades. Now it appears more like a testament to extravagant delusion. Read more

America’s Next Boom Towns: Regions to Watch in 2016

Appearing in:

Forbes

Which cities have the best chance to prosper in the coming decade? The question is a complex one, and as the economy changes, so, too, will the best-positioned cities.

To identify the cities most likely to boom over the next 10 years, we took the 53 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country (those with populations exceeding 1 million) and ranked them based on eight metrics indicative of past, present and future vitality. We factored in, equally, the percentage of children in the population, the birth rate, net domestic migration, the percentage of the population aged 25-44 with a bachelor’s degree, income growth, the unemployment rate, and population growth. Read more

Is Los Angeles a City of Losers?

In: KABC Radio Los Angeles

Joel recently appeared on KABC radio to talk about the current situation in Los Angeles and its prospects for the future.
Click the Play button below to listen. (mp3 audio file)