We don’t realize it, but the shape of our cities—from how big they are to what services they have—is mainly driven by one thing: transport technologies.
Nice article. In the wired suburbs we now see dead malls returning to become villages for the over 50 crowd and the home IT worker
Will empty city high rises revert to vertical villages for millennials ? Have to wait for your next installment.
Hi Tomas. What a fascinating read. Thank you! you may find this story interesting that I wrote on e-mobility: https://chriskrafft.substack.com/p/how-e-bikes-make-life-better
Well, I did check Madrid and Vegas. Both are sufficiently far off the city center to not bother people much.
You're right about LAX, though I'd wager that despite equally-widespread air conditioning the property values below the airplanes are lower than elsewhere in the city, thus "solving" the "low-income people need housing in the city too" problem.
This is fascinating. I'm curious if you have thoughts specifically on how 'advanced air mobility' / eVTOLS / air taxis will extend / evolve the relationship between transportation and cities.
I think the oil, auto, and rubber industrialist had a hand in the demise of public transportation The defense establishment in building the interstate highway system
The monoculture rise in agriculture all result in some loss of self sufficiency or autonomy in the goal of maximizing production Hours on the freeway vs the 30 minute rule Eventual you find working from home via internet more satisfying maybe using extra time to garden
Politics with some choice as to winners can always play a role in development
Interesting stuff as always! However, I'd like to have a chat with Marchetti because most people who work in London live further than 30 mins away.
I’m happy to learn marchetti constraint from this
Thanks for writing
You have not commented on the political drives that promote specific technologies and undercut others in development trends
Will that be covered ??
Dubai is an interesting case. Instead of anything resembling organic growth, the people in charge decided that the city shall have a wide-reaching network and become a large metropolis, no matter the up-front cost.
(Aside: Does any other city have an international airport that's basically next to the city center? This only works because nothing happens outdoors anyway, as there's no air conditioning out there, and closed windows block the noise.)
Of course, the fact that the existing network hub in its larger vicinity, Teheran, had some problems with economic sanctions helped its growth, but organically some other city in the area would have taken Dubai's role IMHO.
"here's a map of streetcars"
(shows map of elevated rail)
Here's what Chicago's streetcar map actually was: https://chicagoinmaps.com/chicagostreetcars.html
You say "People in cities are also healthier." under the last graph, but are they happier ?
Moreover, i think that there is a confusion between correlation and causality here in the links you give.
People are healthier because thay have better food, better indoor air, better sanitation in cities that in rural poor areas. But beeing in a city is not the cause for those improvements, only a correlation. Investment is the cause. If we decide to invest in rural areas, they will improve as fast as cities.
Cities improved faster than rural areas on those health statistics, but health improved everywhere with time and investment. In both developing countriesand developed countries everybody gets better health regardless of where they are living... So this argument for more urbanisation and bigger cities doesn't hold in my view.
Well in fact in my country, France, people living in the countryside have a better health than the stressed out & pollution breathing city dweller !
Bigger is not always better... And health is not quality of life !
Beware of the KPI you choose ;)
I did not really get why ancient Rome was bigger than medieval Paris. Better roads? Fitter people?
Great series. Would love to see you link this series with your demographics series. What are the consequences of labor shortages to cities (and rural areas)? How does it impact the relationship between the two?