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Author Topic: The Future of Cities  (Read 34215 times)

Not A Serious Person

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The Future of Cities
« on: April 18, 2023, 06:09:54 PM »
Love to get your take here.


Brookings did a detailed analysis of the dire position of the population of big cities. The bottom has dropped out.

https://www.brookings.edu/research/big-cities-saw-historic-population-losses-while-suburban-growth-declined-during-the-pandemic/





And it is not just cities with bad weather. Even the cities with good weather are seeing growth rates fall hard but still positive.



And it is not just the pandemic year. The trend started after the 2008 financial crisis. So, it has been years in the making, and the existing trend accelerated during the pandemic.



And they are not merely moving to the suburbs. See the blue bars, still positive but falling.





And the University of Toronto looked at cell phone activity and found some alarming data from last fall.

https://www.statista.com/chart/29722/cellphone-activity-in-north-american-downtowns/

Data collected by the University of Toronto School of Cities shows that as of the fall of 2022, the downtowns of many major population centers in the U.S. and Canada were still recording much less activity than before the pandemic. Los Angeles had gained back around two thirds of its former life (as measured by cellphone activity), but other downtowns - like in Chicago, Vancouver in British Columbia, Seattle and San Francisco - are now at most half as active as they had been before the pandemic. The lull also affects boomtowns of former years like Denver, Atlanta and Houston.



And even the New York Times noted that a secular change is taking place

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/15/opinion/post-pandemic-cities-suburbs-future.html

Most of the nation’s major cities face a daunting future as middle-class taxpayers join an exodus to the suburbs, opting to work remotely as they exit downtowns marred by empty offices, vacant retail space and a deteriorating tax base.

The question facing large cities, especially the older cities in the North, is whether they can break what urban experts now call an urban doom loop. The evidence to date suggests that things are not improving much.


« Last Edit: April 18, 2023, 09:55:08 PM by mu_hilltopper »
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Not A Serious Person

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2023, 06:15:56 PM »
This brings us to Milwaukee.

This long piece ran last month in the Journal Sentinel literally about the future of Milwaukee

Here's how Milwaukee can reach Mayor Cavalier Johnson's ambitious goal to grow to 1 million people

https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/solutions/2023/03/08/whats-path-for-milwaukee-to-reverse-population-decline-grow-again/69959649007/

Today, some cities in the south and southwest are seeing their populations soar. But more than a few proud American cities are shrinking, shedding thousands of residents. Milwaukee is one of them.

Mayor Cavalier Johnson hopes to reverse that trend. More than 100 years after Daniel Burnham’s exhortation, Johnson is making big plans of his own.

He wants Milwaukee to grow. A lot.

During his campaign for mayor, Johnson raised a few eyebrows when he talked about the city increasing its population to one million people, nearly twice its current size.

It is not just that Johnson wants Milwaukee to grow. He needs population and business growth to help relieve enormous pressure on the city’s long-term finances.

But you sense that Johnson’s moonshot for Milwaukee is about more than aspiring to grow; it is about inspiring a city to reimagine itself, to think differently about its future
.


--------------

Let me conclude with these three questions.

What is the future of big cities (over 250k)? Especially older big cities in northern climates?

If you are not optimistic, can you envision a scenario in which MU moves? 

If Milwaukee sinks into a "doom loop" (term noted in the NY Times article above) does MU have an obligation to seriously consider moving?
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dgies9156

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2023, 06:39:40 PM »
Fascinating question, to say the least.

I admit I left the Chicago area after living there for 44 years. Love the city and the region but had some serious issues that as I faced retirement, I felt a change was appropriate. That said, there's a couple things that have to be done to make Urban America grow again:

1) Education -- Fixing the education system is Job 1. If students can't read and write at grade level when they graduate, they're not going to be able to move on to college or sophisticated workplaces. They're stuck with no way out. Chicago, for example, spends twice the average per pupil as the state at large and the results are terrible. This is an area that can't be understated.

2) Crime -- Solve the education problem and you're on your way to solving the crime problem. Regardless, this must be dealt with in most major cities.

3) Investment -- Nothing makes a city hum like corporate headquarters. The merger and acquisition wave of the past 50 years has robbed cities of their core benefactors. Look at the number of corporate headquarters in Chicago when I arrived -- 1978 -- versus now. It's only getting worse. Without major corporate benefactors, there's less focus on building a cultural and social infrastructure. Milwaukee has Baird, NML and Harley Davidson, among others, and those are the firms that support the performing arts. Baird took a major stand for what became AmFam Park and it's there because the corporate headquarters firms stepped up.

4) Gay Community -- In every city I've ever lived in, urban renewal has been far less effective than an active and vibrant gay community. Chicago's Boystown, Nashville's East Side (Lockland Springs), San Francisco's Mission District all owe their present cache to the efforts of the gay and/or lesbian communities. The religious right needs to understand that if they want to reinvigorate their communities, they need to be welcoming and even encouraging to gay and lesbian people. They know how to rehab and they certainly know how to party!

The Hippie Satan of Hyperbole

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2023, 06:46:06 PM »
I mean where would Marquette move? And how would that move make it more attractive to students?
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Skatastrophy

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2023, 07:02:18 PM »
It's impossible to find housing at a reasonable price in most major metros these days. Low supply leading to significantly higher rents in Chicago and NYC. What a difference a year makes. It'll be interesting what data from this year looks like, it seems that all of your sources are from 2021 and 2022.

Your NYT quote is from an editorial, btw.

jesmu84

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2023, 07:25:53 PM »
If folks are leaving cities, and not going to suburbs, then they're all moving to rural locations?

Not A Serious Person

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2023, 07:32:45 PM »
I mean where would Marquette move? And how would that move make it more attractive to students?

I agree it is something that is not easy.
The most likely way to MU moving is by opening a second campus and slowly shifting resources to that campus.

That said, ChatGPT gives me some examples. Spot checks of some (but not all) on Wiki confirm

University that opened a second campus in the US and are shifting major resources to that campus.

ASU - Downtown Phoenix
Northeastern - Charlotte
Texas A&M - San Antonio
Virginia Tech - Northern Virginia
Cornell - NYC
Purdue - Indianapolis
Drexel - Sacramento


Schools moving their campus over the last 80 years,
University of Tulsa, Central Florida, Rice, Elon, SMU, Trinity, Seton Hall, and Colorado College
(Wiki doubling-checking many of these confirms it)

Schools struggling with enrollment because they are in areas of declining population
Depaul, Akron, Chicago State, Wayne State, Eastern Michigan, Louisana Monroe, Stevens Point, and Western and Southern Illinois.

Schools that have closed in recent years are all in areas with fast-declining populations
Stritch (coming), St Joe Indiana, Burlington College (VT), and College of New Rochelle.

--------

Again, this is not happening in at least a decade. But suppose Milwaukee goes the way of St. Louis, Detroit, or even the way Chicago is now going. How does the University thrive if the area around it and the biggest pool of students (Chicagoland) is effectively dying?

So, it comes down to how you answer the first question, what is the future of big cities in northern climates?
« Last Edit: April 18, 2023, 08:04:56 PM by Heisenberg v2.0 »
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Not A Serious Person

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2023, 07:34:42 PM »
If folks are leaving cities, and not going to suburbs, then they're all moving to rural locations?

Cities of less than 250k ... which some might define as rural
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MU82

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2023, 07:37:02 PM »
Chicago metro area population actually has been growing.
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Skatastrophy

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2023, 07:41:26 PM »

jesmu84

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2023, 07:44:06 PM »
Cities of less than 250k ... which some might define as rural

I suppose that makes sense with cost of living being pretty ridiculous in most large cities. Combine that with crumbling infrastructure

Not A Serious Person

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2023, 07:44:12 PM »
It's impossible to find housing at a reasonable price in most major metros these days. Low supply leading to significantly higher rents in Chicago and NYC. What a difference a year makes. It'll be interesting what data from this year looks like, it seems that all of your sources are from 2021 and 2022.

Your NYT quote is from an editorial, btw.

The data from cell phone coverage and office usage (Kastle systems) is current into Q1 2023 and shows no improvement.


Are you arguing this trend is over? Because if it is not, what are the long-term prospects for MU?

https://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/milwaukee-wi-population
Milwaukee
1960 = 741.3k
1970 = 717.4k
1980 = 636.3k
1990 = 628.1k
2000 = 597k
2010 = 594.8k
2020 = 576.3k
2023 (est) = 555.6k
2029 (est) = 516.5k

And the biggest pool of students for MU, Chicago, is even worse.
https://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/chicago-il-population

1960 = 3.6M
1970 = 3.4m
1980 = 3m
1990 = 2.8m
2000 = 2.9m
2010 = 2.7m
2020 = 2.7m
2023 (est) = 2.6m
2029 (est) = 2.3m
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Uncle Rico

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2023, 07:47:12 PM »
The data from cell phone coverage and office usage (Kastle systems) is current into Q1 2023 and shows no improvement.


Are you arguing this trend is over? Because if it is not, what are the long-term prospects for MU?

https://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/milwaukee-wi-population
Milwaukee
1960 = 741.3k
1970 = 717.4k
1980 = 636.3k
1990 = 628.1k
2000 = 597k
2010 = 594.8k
2020 = 576.3k
2023 (est) = 555.6k
2029 (est) = 516.5k

And the biggest pool of students for MU, Chicago, is even worse.
https://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/chicago-il-population

1960 = 3.6M
1970 = 3.4m
1980 = 3m
1990 = 2.8m
2000 = 2.9m
2010 = 2.7m
2020 = 2.7m
2023 (est) = 2.6m
2029 (est) = 2.3m

Ask the people in charge of the university what their plans are
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Frenns Liquor Depot

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2023, 07:50:46 PM »
Cities of less than 250k ... which some might define as rural

Cities that are less than 250k are not rural. 

If some define it that way they aren’t observing those cities.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2023, 07:53:45 PM by Frenns Liquor Depot »

4everwarriors

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2023, 07:55:22 PM »
How 'bout da hell hole aka Chicago, hey?
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Not A Serious Person

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2023, 07:56:15 PM »

Metro, and downtown specifically.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-02-24/chicago-s-downtown-now-has-more-residents-than-before-pandemic

Metro is experiencing small positive growth but is far behind the national population growth rate. The metro area is losing ground to the rest of the country.

Downtown is not households with kids or a very small number of households with kids. This does not benefit a university seeking competitive applications.

Consider this ... the Universities with the largest number of applications. Do you see a correlation between population and applications?

https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/the-short-list-college/articles/colleges-that-received-the-most-applications

University of California—Los Angeles       108,877       
University of California—San Diego       100,073   
University of California—Irvine       97,942   
University of California—Santa Barbara       90,963
University of California—Berkeley       88,076   
New York University       80,210       
University of California—Davis       76,225   
Pennsylvania State University—University Park       73,861   
California State University—Long Beach       67,402   
University of Michigan—Ann Arbor       65,021   

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2023, 07:57:20 PM »
Cardinal Stritch closing has nothing to do with the fact they are in Milwaukee.

And again Heisey, where do they move?

One school that did move was Carthage College, which was originally in rural Carthage, IL. They moved to their present site in 1964 after nearly 100 years in operation.
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Not A Serious Person

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2023, 08:02:50 PM »
Cardinal Stritch closing has nothing to do with the fact they are in Milwaukee.

And again Heisey, where do they move?

One school that did move was Carthage College, which was originally in rural Carthage, IL. They moved to their present site in 1964 after nearly 100 years in operation.

If Stritch was in a city with faster growth, or any growth for that fact, would it be in the same position? Most colleges and universities that close have a common denominator, they are in an area of rapid depopulation.

So let me ask the question bluntly ... are big Midwestern cities like Milwaukee and Chicago going to die like Detroit and St Louis? If your answer is yes, what should MU do in response to this?
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Uncle Rico

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2023, 08:04:15 PM »
If Stritch was in a city with faster growth, or any growth for that fact, would it be in the same position? Most colleges and universities that close have a common denominator, they are in an area of rapid depopulation.

So let me ask the question bluntly ... are big Midwestern cities like Milwaukee and Chicago going to die like Detroit and St Louis? If your answer is yes, what should MU do in response to this?

Ask university officials.  They’ll have a better answer than scoop
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Skatastrophy

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2023, 08:04:35 PM »
Metro is experiencing small positive growth but is far behind the national population growth rate. The metro area is losing ground to the rest of the country.

Downtown is not households with kids or a very small number of households with kids. This does not benefit a university seeking competitive applications.

Your OP is about how downtowns are shrinking, and you use year old data to prove your point. In reality, major city's downtowns have grown past pre-pandemic levels as folks rush back to city centers to be near to restaurants, the arts, and culture.

Milwaukee declining in population for decades and university average applications per year? Idk man. Just pointing out that your OP is incorrect because you're using old data, and your whole point is built off of that.

Uncle Rico

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2023, 08:05:26 PM »
How 'bout da hell hole aka Chicago, hey?

Chicago is awesome.  Love going there.  Same with NYC
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4everwarriors

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2023, 08:09:06 PM »
Chicago is awesome.  Love going there.  Same with NYC




How 'bout fookin' Cudahy, den, hey?
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Not A Serious Person

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2023, 08:09:20 PM »
Ask the people in charge of the university what their plans are

As a thought experiment, what would be your reaction to MU opening a second campus in Nashville, Charlotte, or Orlando? And then, over time, more and more resources are moved from Milwaukee to that campus.
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Uncle Rico

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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2023, 08:10:59 PM »
As a thought experiment, what would be your reaction to MU opening a second campus in Nashville, Charlotte, or Orlando? And then, over time, more and more resources are moved from Milwaukee to that campus.

I’ll be dead
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Re: The Future of Cities
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2023, 08:19:11 PM »
If Stritch was in a city with faster growth, or any growth for that fact, would it be in the same position? Most colleges and universities that close have a common denominator, they are in an area of rapid depopulation.

So let me ask the question bluntly ... are big Midwestern cities like Milwaukee and Chicago going to die like Detroit and St Louis? If your answer is yes, what should MU do in response to this?


Stitch is in one of the wealthiest parts of the city. Again, their location had nothing to do with why they closed.

And again, I will ask a THIRD time. Where should MU move?

I think they are fine where they are now. And that location will serve them well into the future.
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