I Spent A Year Traveling Through America’s Fast-Growing Sunbelt

[Originally published by Forbes]


There’s a severe shift occurring right now in the United States. The Northeast and Midwest are ceding people to the South and West, with migrants moving particularly to America’s Sunbelt. Like with other global migration shifts, there is an underlying political context to all this. Regulations on housing construction and other economic activities are making certain northern cities hostile to all but elite income groups. Meanwhile, the more open southern economies are receiving the exodus, becoming more economically and culturally dynamic. For the last year, I’ve traveled through this southern slice of the country, witnessing all these changes at street level–and it’s been something to behold…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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When Local Control Backfires

[Originally printed in Governing Magazine]


Many political analysts believe that local government is the best government. The act of delegating responsibilities to states and localities is thought to increase accountability by putting governments closer to the people. But local governance can backfire, especially when parochial interests trump larger regional concerns. Nowhere is this more evident than in housing, where prices are skyrocketing in many U.S. cities…[read the rest at Governing Magazine]… Read more

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America’s Progressive Developers–The Uptown Gateway Council

[Originally published by Market Urbanism]


[part of an MU series by Scott Beyer on America’s Progressive Developers]

San Diego, CA–There is a scourge afflicting U.S. cities, and it is a little thing called “downzoning.” Over the past few decades, cities that were already suffering the side-effects of underdevelopment worsened their problems through stronger regulations, further reducing build-out on their infill lots. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, a large portion of Los Angeles was downzoned, even as population steadily grew. New York City has established a regulatory framework that would outlaw 40% of buildings today.… Read more

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Local Infrastructure Lessons for both California and the Feds

[Originally published by the Urban Times]

San Diego, CA–There was a reason I was riding a car from Los Angeles to San Diego, and it was one that I’d cracked up to the failures of the California government. For decades, the state has talked about building a bullet train that will connect both cities, and the ones further north, at speeds of 220 mph. But none of the train has yet been completed, and so there I was late Saturday morning, still stuck in traffic outside downtown L.A.… Read more

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