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Joel Kotkin News Clips

Pros and Cons of Chicago-Style Living

Joel recently spoke with Chcago's Morning Shift radio show to talk about the pros and cons of dense city living. Follow the link below to listen.

Bernie 'Wins' California

Joel Kotkin, a presidential fellow at Chapman University and the executive director of the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, calls California’s progressive economy the “new feudalism.”

“In practice,” Mr. Kotkin says, “it makes upward mobility very difficult and hurts the very people it claims to help.”

Where America is Working

The second kind of cities we might call Joel Kotkin cities, after the writer who champions them. These are opportunity cities like Houston, Dallas and Salt Lake City. These places are less regulated, so it’s easier to start a business. They are sprawling with easy, hodgepodge housing construction, so the cost of living is low. Immigrants flock to them.

As Kotkin and Tory Gattis pointed out in an essay in The City Journal, Houston has been a boomtown for the past two decades.

Despotism in America

Joel talks about the combination of ideology and special interests risking shift towards political despotism in America. Download the .mp3 file below to listen.

The 11 fastest-growing cities in America

Among the reasons that Texas is such a popular relocation destination is that it has myriad affordable housing and living options and good jobs, says Joel Kotkin, author of “The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us” and the executive director of the Houston-based think tank Center for Opportunity Urbanism. “Middle-wage employees can live a middle-class life here,” he says. (Of course, Texas has its downsides, too, including hot weather — temperatures frequently hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit in summer — and in many of the larger cities, including Houston and Dallas, tons of automobile traffic.)

One of America's shadiest landlords is facing possible prison time

But according to Joel Kotkin, an erstwhile New Yorker and expert on wealth and housing in America, what Croman is accused of doing is really no surprise. In fact, Kotkin believes, the real estate market—both in metropolises like NYC and those abroad—tacitly endorses this sort of behavior.

The convergence of increasingly limited housing stock, lax regulations, and a seemingly infinite number of buyers—both American and foreign—conjures up a "perfect storm," according to Kotkin, where people like Croman prosper. "The temptation is enormous," the expert tells me.

In megacities, creativity flourishes on a vast scale

In his new book, “The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us,” author Joel Kotkin — a critic of the recent push for greater density in some American cities — devotes a chapter to the downside of megacities. People streaming in from the countryside, he notes, encounter pollution, limited water supplies, woefully inadequate transportation systems, shoddily constructed housing in ill-governed informal settlements, and “health challenges that recall the degradations of Dickensian London.”

Embracing sprawl

Kotkin suggests we need to "redefine the city in a way that fits with modern realities and the needs of families. The urban experience is simply not confined to the inner city or old neighbourhoods, but also to the ‘sprawl’ that now surrounds them in virtually every vibrant urban area in the world."

Housing Affordability Hits a Crisis Level

The housing shortage is affecting a wide range of buyers – from first-time to low-income to middle-income ones, especially in expensive metro areas.

In most major metropolitan areas of the nation, housing has been affordable for middle-income households since World War II. The median house price tended to be approximately three times the median household income. But in the past several years housing prices in some metropolitan areas have far outpaced incomes.

Talking About The Human City

Aaron Renn recently interviewed Joel on the Urbanophile podcast to talk about Joel's new book, The Human City, and the intersection of families, suburbs, and the urban core. Follow the link below to Soundcloud to listen to the short show and be sure to subscribe to Aaron's podcast while you're there.

Political Parallels to Italy

Listen to Joel's interview with BBC radio to talk about the state of the American presidential race and its parallels to historical political happenings in Europe. Download the mp3 to listen.

White city: The new urban blight is rich people

Author of the forthcoming The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us, Kotkin defends the suburbs, which is nearly as radical as an evolutionary biologist defending creationism. Kotkin argues that suburbs are where middle-class families want to live, and middle-class families are, as he told me in a recent phone conversation, “the bedrock of the Republic.” A city hostile to the middle class is, in Kotkin’s view, a sea hostile to fish.

Why are Millennials Supporting Socialism

Listen in as Joel talks about the reasons behind the recent support by younger voters of socialist narratives in politics. Download the attached mp3 to listen.

The Cities of the Future

Joel recently appeared on KUT radio in Austin to talk about the latest crop of emerging cities and how those in Texas fit into the picture. Follow the link below to listen to the short interview.

Why dense development might make the housing crisis worse

Good news if you’re in a NIMBYish mood of late: A new study from Chapman University in Orange County gives you the anti-Manhattanization rationale you’ve been waiting for. In “Building Cities For People,” author Joel Kotkin, a former San Franciscan turned urban studies fellow at Chapman, argues that increasing building density actually makes the housing crisis worse, and also makes San Francisco less likely to attract and retain anyone except the super-rich.

Joel on

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Watch Joel in this feature on the role of central planning in Los Angeles. View large version.

Interview on

"Greenurbia is the suburbs of the future. The suburbs of the 1950s were bedroom communities for people who commuted into the city. Today, there’s much more employment in the suburbs, and the big change is the number of people working full-time or part-time at home. Having people commute from one computer screen to another doesn’t make sense."

Read the full interview...

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Praise for The Next Hundred Million

Kotkin has a striking ability to envision how global forces will shape daily family life, and his conclusions can be thought-provoking as well as counterintuitive. It's amazing there isn't more public discussion about the enormous changes ahead, and reassuring to have this talented thinker on the case. — Jennifer Ludden, NPR national desk correspondent

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