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Join Jim and Greg as they welcome the final day of the seemingly endless 2020 campaign. They also brace for mayhem in major American cities as business board up in anticipation of violence perpetrated by the likes of Shutdown DC and Black Lives Matter. And they have fun with the presidential vote broken down by voters’ first names.
https://dirt.asla.org/2020/05/26/suburban-sprawl-increases-the-risk-of-future-pandemics/ It’s odd how all the “new urbanism” defenders haven’t said following the virus: well yeah, the suburbs aren’t that bad after all. Nope, it’s like how climate people say whether it’s cold or it’s hot, they are always right about overall global warming. I read this article today in which the author said the […]
George Floyd, George Floyd, George Floyd, George Floyd, George Floyd, George Floyd, George Floyd, George Floyd! The name seems to be reverberating all over the planet as leftists everywhere engage in one gigantic, unified primal scream over the incalculable loss to humanity. Is there anything else on earth that matters (now that we’ve forgotten Covid)? […]
I recently did an AEI online event on the future of the American city in the age of pandemics. As a recent Financial Times piece put it: “Almost overnight, cities have gone from being places of dreams and ambition to fearful symbols of mortality. The rich have retreated to the countryside, just as they did in Europe during the Black Death. Until now, cities have always bounced back.”
But will cities rebound this time? That was the first question I asked my esteemed panel. And here is some of what they told me:
Alain Bertaud, New York University’s Marron Institute of Urban Management:
Edward L. Glaeser joins Brian Anderson to discuss the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic on city life in America, the connection between urban density and contagious disease, how to prepare for the threat of future outbreaks, and the economic-policy response of leaders in Washington.
As New York enters its second month under effective lockdown, Glaeser reminds us that “density and connection to the outside world—the defining characteristics of great cities—can also turn deadly.” Contagious disease has always been the enemy of urban life; overcoming it in the past has required massive investments in sanitary infrastructure. The current pandemic could prove a long-run disaster for urban residents and workers unless public fear is alleviated.
Manhattan Institute’s Michael Hendrix interviews Mayer Brown partner Andrew Pincus, the lead attorney in a lawsuit taking on New York State’s sweeping rent-regulation laws.
In 2019, New York strengthened its already-strict rent regulations, while state legislatures in Oregon and California approved caps on rent increases. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders have even proposed national rent-control policies. Pincus explains what’s wrong with rent control, from violating due process and property rights to shutting out newcomers attempting to find housing in cities.
Charles Marohn joins Michael Hendrix to discuss why the current approach to suburban development isn’t working—the subject of his new book, Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity.
“Strong Towns,” notes Aaron Renn in his review of the book for City Journal, “resulted from [Marohn’s] discovery that the highway projects he designed showed a negative return on investment.” Marohn has dedicated his career to helping the country’s older suburbs avoid such costly mistakes by founding the book’s namesake organization, Strong Towns. “Whether or not one agrees with his many observations and prescriptions,” Renn writes, “Marohn provides a valuable analysis of sprawl-based development.”
I’m trapped, for the time being, in a city. It’s a vivacious and proud city — arguably the state’s cultural capital; a place seemingly immune to economic malaise; a place teeming with little shops and well-manicured 19th-century neighborhoods. It appears on all the usual “best” lists — as the nth best place to raise a family, the nth most educated city in America, the nth greatest place for young professionals. It has much to offer … if you fancy yoga and craft beer and vegan cuisine.
If you’d care to join the Rudolf Steiner Anthroposophy Study Group, or the Astrology Circle, or the Lesbian Coffee House, or the Shamanic Journey Group. If you’d like to hear the local priest sermonize about social justice, then indulge in a little Catholic yoga afterward. If you’re interested in discussing “Cat Person” at the local library, or you enjoy the idea of perusing the city art museum’s collection of #Resistance artwork (which, when I last visited, included droopy hand-knit rifles with the name “Trump” stitched into them).
“If you want to see how to revive a city—and how not to,” John Tierney writes, “go to Pittsburgh.” Pittsburgh has transformed itself from the Steel City to western Pennsylvania’s hub of “eds” and “meds.” But before that could happen, the city nearly destroyed itself under various misguided urban plans dating back to the 1950s.
We like to think of American cities as incubators of opportunity, and this has often been true—but today’s successful city-dwellers are making it harder for others to follow their example. In this year’s Wilson Lecture, Glaeser addresses the conflict between entrenched interests and newcomers in its economic, political, geographic, and generational dimensions.
Steven Malanga and Rafael Mangual join Seth Barron to discuss concerns that lawlessness is returning to American cities, a theme that Malanga and Mangual explore in separate feature stories in the Summer 2019 Issue of City Journal.
Memories of the urban chaos and disorder of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s have faded, and many local leaders today have forgotten the lessons of that bygone era. Malanga’s story, “The Cost of Bad Intentions” (available soon online), shows how a new generation of politicians are bringing back some of the terrible policies that got American cities into trouble in the first place. On crime and incarceration, Mangual argues that the new disorder will grow worse if progressives manage to overhaul the American criminal-justice system.
Urbanist Alain Bertaud joins Michael Hendrix to discuss how urban planners and economists can improve city management.
Bertaud’s book Order without Design: How Markets Shape Cities argues that markets provide the indispensable mechanism for cities’ growth. The book is a summation of what Bertaud has learned in a lifetime spent as an urban planner, including a stint at the World Bank, where he advised local and national governments on urban-development policies.
I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Wednesdays. When it appears, I post the review here on the following Sunday. Book Review ‘Houston: Space City’ combines history, science and culture By MARK LARDAS […]
In the conservative state of Texas, the largest city that regularly elects a conservative mayor is Fort Worth. Across the nation, it is uncommon for midsize and large cities to elect right-of-center mayors. The notable exception would be New York City, which has elected Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg in recent memory.
Why do conservatives struggle to win elections in big cities? Do conservatives have any policy solutions that appeal to urban dwellers? Do city residents reluctantly turn to conservative candidates to address hard issues like rampant crime or budget crises, or after preferred candidates face personal corruption scandals?
Oriana Schwindt joins City Journal contributing editor Aaron Renn to discuss Schwindt’s seven-month-long journey to municipalities near the geographic center of every U.S. state, and what she found there: the curious “sameness” of American cities. Schwindt chronicled her travels in a recent article for New York.
In gentrifying neighborhoods across the country, visitors are practically guaranteed to find high-end bars with expensive cocktails, coffee shops with tattooed and bespectacled baristas, new luxury housing in all-glass buildings, and maybe an Asian-fusion restaurant. “The reason so many of these joints feel harvested from Brooklyn,” Schwindt writes, “is because they are.”
Mick Cornett joins Aaron Renn to discuss Cornett’s time as mayor of Oklahoma City (2004-2018) and his new book The Next American City: The Big Promise of Our Midsize Metros.
America is full of midsize cities that have prospered through smart governance, including Charleston, Des Moines, Indianapolis, Sacramento—and Oklahoma City. Over the last decade-plus, elected officials and community leaders have made real progress on improving these urban centers, boosting civic vitality, and creating economic opportunity for residents.
I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Wednesdays. When it appears, I post the review here on the following Sunday. Book Review ‘City Unseen’ shows world in new light By MARK LARDAS Preview […]
This week on Banter, Ed Glaeser explained how entrepreneurship helps America’s cities to thrive as well as options to make housing in these prosperous cities more affordable. Glaeser, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University where he teaches microeconomic theory and urban and public economics. His research focuses on determinants of city growth and the role of cities as centers of idea transmission. Glaeser participated in the sixth annual AEI and CRN conference on housing risk. The link below will take you to the full event video.
Michael Totten joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss the issue of homelessness in his hometown of Portland, Oregon.
Portland is often called the “City of Bridges” for the many structures that cross the city’s two rivers. Underneath many of those bridges are homeless encampments complete with tents, plastic tarps, shopping carts — and people.