Tuesday, October 22, 2013

United States of Failed Cities

Carl Schramm fails urban economic geography at Pacific Standard magazine.

Theme: Policy narratives and social science.

Subject Article: "Why Does The World's Richest Country Have So Many Failed Cities?"

Other Links: 1. "Ambush In Mogadishu."
2. "New Tom Hanks movie features Minn. Somali actors."
3. "Urban Myths of Innovation: Density and Serendipity."
4. "Introduction to HNR360 – Failed Cities, Fast Cities."
5. "Post-Soylent Pittsburgh."

Postscript: For my own archival purposes, the year of urban peak for some well-known Rust Belt cities:

They decided that Buffalo’s civic apogee was 1901.  Its industry was diverse.  It received much of the Midwest’s grain in its port, milled it, and transshipped it by rail for export.    Pittsburgh’s best year was 1910; Rochester’s, 1928; Philadelphia’s, 1929; Detroit’s, 1950; and Gary’s, 1953.

Mind you, that's not a population peak. The tell-tale demographic decline comes after the economic decline. For example, Pittsburgh's epic exodus during the 1980s is roughly 75 years after its civic apogee. That's a long time to go without demanding labor from outside the region.

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