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Old 01-25-2011, 02:09 AM
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
14,144 posts, read 22,119,984 times
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William Fulton is the mayor of Ventura, CA. He recently wrote a book called Romancing the Smokestack: How Cities and States Pursue Prosperity. In his book, he cited the work of Paul Gottlieb, an economist at Case Western Reserve University, in which he divided cities up into four categories based on their rates of population and economic growth. Some cities were above average in both regards, while other cities were below average in both regards. But he focused in on two groups in particular: those with above-average population growth and below-average economic growth ("population magnets"), and those with below-average population growth and above-average economic growth ("wealth builders"). Indeed, half the cities he studied fell into one of these two categories. Examples of each are listed below...

"Population magnets"

- Daytona Beach, FL
- El Paso, TX
- Knoxville, TN
- Las Vegas, NV
- Orlando, FL
- Portland, OR

"Wealth builders"

- Kansas City, MO
- Little Rock, AR
- Milwaukee, WI
- New Orleans, LA
- Pittsburgh, PA
- St. Louis, MO

This seems to mesh with the belief among some urban studies bloggers that our focus in the future should not be on quantity but quality. In other words, population growth is overrated while educational attainment and workforce development are underrated.

What say you?
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:23 AM
Location: Austin, TX/Chicago, IL/Houston, TX/Washington, DC
10,170 posts, read 15,596,874 times
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I like both in certain cities. For Chicago & Chicagoland I want to be seeing more of an economic gain rather than a population gain. A larger economical force with a seeming more "compact" population is a very deadly force. Just think of the Bay Area as an example, it is only 7.4 Million people compared to Chicago's 9.8 Million people, but it's Gross Domestic Product is $508 Billion (of course with mad inflation) & Chicago's is $526 Billion.

This is where cities like Los Angeles & Chicago make themselves look a bit less competitive, in my opinion when it comes to economical prowess. It looks really weak and is hardly worth bragging about at that point for those giant cities.

For a city like Houston, I want to see both. Population gains & economical increases in wealth. Houston is on track and is doing amazing, the best in Texas and the best in the South (among the largest cities) in terms of both wealth and economical prosperity.

For Austin, I want to see its economical wealth catch up to its population gain.

Washington DC is doing fine the way it is, cant really ask for too much more on that one.
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:36 AM
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
14,144 posts, read 22,119,984 times
Reputation: 17208
I wonder what the future holds for Atlanta. According to Gottlieb, Atlanta was above-average in both population and economic growth, but that article from New Geography that I created another thread on indicates that there are signs of weakness. Atlanta didn't "stay whole" in the last decade, so I wonder if it's lost some of its economic steam while the population growth continues unabated.

Pittsburgh is the ultimate paradox: population loss coupled with above-average economic growth. This illustrates the "addition by subtraction" that I'd been talking about. The population that has been leaving, whether by death or outmigration, has generally been less educated than the population that has stayed or migrated in.
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