ruminations about architecture and design

Monday, July 22, 2013

sprawl, cities, and wealth

A recent New York Times article, with interactive map, points to the relationship between city development patterns and income. Basically, higher density cities have better wealth mobility. Paul Krugman, in a recent blog post, compares Detroit and Pittsburgh to demonstrate how an investment in core density makes for better results from an economic perspective. Curiously, both places have equal population density, but Pittsburgh managed to create a more diversified economic base since the 1980's, while Detroit has essentially gone down the toilet.

The "geography is destiny" argument holds a lot of power (see exhibit A: Antarctica) but I'm not sure that sprawl killed Detroit. I doubt it helped it, but I think more patterns can be uncovered in this area.

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