Friday, July 7, 2006
While everybody knows that jobs are moving out of cities and to suburbs, there are still plenty of people who commute to the city each day, right? After all, isn't commuting traffic still terrible? Here's some fascinating statistics from the Census Bureau that show that many American cities don't really gain that much in human occupancy during the day.
Quiz: Which big city (of more than 500,000 residents) grows by the highest percentage during the day? Hmmm … It would have to be a city with a traditional downtown and lots of offices to attract suburban commuters (factories are almost gone from the cities, of course) and perhaps with a fairly modest resident population compared to its suburbs. Answer?
It's Washington, D.C., which grows by 71.8 % each work day, according to the 2000 Census -- far ahead of second-place Boston, which expands it population by 41.1%. Seattle (only 28.4%) , Denver, Portland (Ore.), San Francisco, and Charlotte (a sun belt city, but one with compact boundaries and big office towers) round out the top six.
What's most surprising to me, however, is that many other traditional "downtown" cities don't expand by all that much. Philadelphia grows by only 5.9%, Chicago by only 4.9 %, and even New York by only 7.0%. (In other words, of the nearly 8.6 million routine occupants on a typical New York day, more than 90 % live in the city!) Los Angeles's number is 3.5%.
Second quiz: Which big cities lose population during the day? Two very different cities -- Detroit, which has a moribund downtown, and San Jose, which is the quintessence of the new mobile suburb-city without a true focus.
These statistics further support the view that today's so-called "suburbs" are more and more self-sufficient realms that have little reliance on their so-called "central city." For most metro areas, not only do most suburbanites work in the suburbs, but most people who work in the city also live there. These facts complicate transportation and social policies that assume a traditional relationship between city and suburb.
This blog is an Amazon affiliate. Help support Land Use Prof Blog by making purchases through Amazon links on this site at no cost to you.
- Stephen Miller on New Arkansas law requires local governments to pay for a "takings" where certain "regulatory programs" reduce FMV by at least 20 percent
- Josh Galperin on New Arkansas law requires local governments to pay for a "takings" where certain "regulatory programs" reduce FMV by at least 20 percent
- Jesse Richardson on New Arkansas law requires local governments to pay for a "takings" where certain "regulatory programs" reduce FMV by at least 20 percent
- Jamie Baker Roskie on Uber Goes to the State House Seeking Preemption of Local Government Control
- Stephen R. Miller on Why are building inspectors so often on the take?
- Michael Gerrard on Climate Change and Land Use Law
- Touro Law hosts First Annual Conference of the Land Use & Sustainable Development Law Institute
- Abstracts for 6th Annual Colloquium on Environmental Scholarship due May 1
- Space and the City - Special edition of The Economist
- Land Value Tax Redux