Cautionary Tales from the Cities of Seattle and Philadelphia | Newgeography.com
"For some time now urban core proponents have boasted about a "return to the cities" from the suburbs. And while the urban core cities (historical core municipalities) have done better in recent years than before, the claim has been significantly overblown. Suburbs have continued to capture the "lion's share" of metropolitan growth in the United States. Moreover, suburban growth since the beginning of the overwhelming automobile oriented suburban expansion since World War II has been far greater than could ever have been explained by central city population losses (Note)."
The city was a mistake. However, few countries give their people the ability to choose where they will live. Most, like Britain, have all manner of rules, regulation, and laws which drive up the prices of housing making it unaffordable for all but the upper middle class to live in the most desirable single-family housing. There is no reason for this, especially now that Europe and much of the industrial west is demographically collapsing. The population bomb fears were overblown in the 1960s they are ludicrous today.
"Metropolitan Seattle has become one of the world's premier information technology hubs, with Amazon in the central business district of the city and Microsoft headquartered in the suburbs. The city of Seattle's progress is of rather recent vintage. Like other urban core cities, Seattle had lost population from mid-century to 1990. In 1960, following a decade of major annexation, the city had 558,000 residents. By 1990, the population had dropped to 516,000. All the metropolitan area's growth for the last 30 years had been suburban. By the 2000 census, the city had reached 563,000, little above its population 40 years before. But the last two decades have seen much stronger growth. Since the 2010 census, the city has grown at a faster rate than any municipality with more than 500,000 population in 2017. Yet, even so, the city of Seattle accounted for only 12 percent of the metropolitan area's rapid growth between 1990 and 2017. Since 2010, the city's share of growth has risen to 27 percent."
Seattle is the "gold standard," puny gold standard!
The real problem cities face is that the politicians believe that the city is so attractive to business that the city can do as it pleases. This is last century thinking. We have yet to see the implementation of the new socio-economic model. It will come, for the same reasons that the industrial model replaced the agricultural model, and the model to come will follow the industrial model. The city cannot structure itself for the present and survive the coming change, just as the agricultural city of 1750 could not have doubled down on its model and survived the change to the industrial revolution.
This seems like simple advice but not a city I can think of is willing to entertain such thoughts. Instead, cities like Portland and Seattle are doubling down on smart growth, density, light rail, streetcars, and increasing the size of the core city. The reality is that does not often happen, but when it does, it is anemic like "gold standard Seattle." Then come the policies like the Fight for $15 minimum wage increase, and the Amazon tax which will only chase businesses and people out of the city.
"The urban core cities need to avoid policies that weaken their competitive situations and could lead to exporting people, jobs, and businesses. The recent developments in Seattle and Philadelphia suggest that, with their special interest pressures, they may face unique challenges to maintaining their competitiveness in the years ahead."
I do not believe the people running cities today are up to these tasks. Let's hope the next crop is better.