City Leaders Are in Love With Density but Most City Dwellers Disagree

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

People care deeply about where they live. If you ever doubt that, remember this: they staged massive protests over a park in Istanbul. Gezi Park near Taksim Square is one of that ancient city’s most beloved spots. So in June, when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to demolish the park to make room for his grandiose […]

Read more

Americans’ Family Feud

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

In this bizarrely politicized environment, even the preservation of the most basic institution of society – the family – is morphing into a divisive partisan issue. Increasingly, the two parties are divided not only along lines of economic and social philosophy, but over the primacy of traditional familialism. Increasingly, large portions of the progressive community […]

Read more

Southern California’s Road Back

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

If the prospects for the United States remain relatively bright – despite two failed administrations – how about Southern California? Once a region that epitomized our country’s promise, the area still maintains enormous competitive advantages, if it ever gathers the wits to take advantage of them. We are going to have to play catch-up. I […]

Read more

California Homes Require Real Reach

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

In the 1950s and 1960s, Southern California was ground zero for the “American Dream” of owning a house. From tony Newport Beach and Bel-Air to the more middle-class suburbs of the San Fernando Valley and Garden Grove to working-class Lakewood, our region created a vast geography of opportunity for prospective homeowners. Today, with house prices […]

Read more

Young Tech Tycoons Pushing Left Coast Ahead Of East In Democratic Power Structure

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

There are two deep-blue regions that are critical to the Obama administration: the Northeast and the coastal region between San Jose and Seattle that truly deserves the moniker of the Left Coast. They dominate the Democratic donor list, and provide the administration with most of its appointees and much of its ideological moorings. Yet this […]

Read more

California’s Blue-on-blue Battle

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

Perhaps nothing more illustrates the evolving inner class conflict within the progressive political movement than the recent embrace of California as a role model for the rest of the country. The Golden State, maintains John Judis of the New Republic, should provide the game plan for the Obama administration as it seeks a path back […]

Read more

America’s Engineering Hubs: The Cities With The Greatest Capacity For Innovation

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

America has always been a nation of tinkerers. Our Founding Fathers, notes author Alec Foege, were innovators in areas ranging from agriculture (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson) and electricity (Benjamin Franklin) to the swivel chair (Jefferson). Engineering advances drove America’s quest for industrial supremacy in the 19th century, many of them borrowed (sometimes illegally) from the […]

Read more

The Truce That Could Save American Cities

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

Some states, such as New York and California, are loudly proclaiming that they have returned from the fiscal abyss. Maybe for now, but the future doesn’t look so good when long-term debt and pension obligations are factored in. Taken together, our 50 states owe $1 trillion in unfunded pension obligations. But right now the most […]

Read more

Housing Boom Is The Best Chance For A Recovery For The Rest Of Us

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

Our tepid economic recovery has been profoundly undemocratic in nature. Between the “too big to fail” banks and Ben Bernanke’s policy of dropping free money from helicopters on the investor class, there have been two recoveries, one for the rich, and another less rewarding one for the middle class. Viewed in this light, the recent […]

Read more

Southern California Economy Not Keeping Up

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

One of Orange County’s top executives asked me over lunch recently why Southern California has not seen anything like the kind of tech boom now sweeping large parts of the San Francisco Bay Area. In many ways, it is just one indication of how this region – once seen as the cutting edge of American […]

Read more