Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Streetsblog

Does Density Help Communities Weather Recession?

10:28 AM EDT on March 31, 2009

Are cities with strong centers faring better in the recession? Today on the Streetsblog Network we're featuring a post from NRDC Switchboard's Kaid Benfield that pulls together several items suggesting that might be the case:

2643427389_04a2f16be3_m.jpgDowntown Abilene, Texas: More jobs near the center, lower unemployment. Photo: austrini/Flickr.

[A] story by Alejandro Lazo in Saturday's Washington Post once again demonstrated that central locations in our metro area are not suffering the same declines in housing values as outer locations. I have covered this before (see also here), but what's new is a full year's worth of data on all home sales in the area in 2008. Only one jurisdiction in the region had its median home sales price increase, compared to 2007: Washington, DC itself, with an 8 percent increase.

Benfield also cites a column by economist Ed Glaeser, who has analyzed data showing that cities with more jobs near the central core have lower unemployment, as do cities with higher education rates. Glaeser writes:

I wouldn’t want to leap from this correlation to a wholesale endorsement of encouraging more centralized development. Yet the facts do suggest that smart people, connected by urban density, are doing a better job of dealing with adversity.

Elsewhere around the network: The New Republic's The Vine blog reports on Obama's mention of a possible "cash-for-clunkers" program to encourage the purchase of newer, more efficient cars; The Naked City, in Charlotte, NC, talks about what might be next for Charlotte's transit-boosting mayor, Pat McCrory; and Hugeass City answers the question "What is livability?" -- in just 50 words.

Bonus: another awesome bike video from the South Side of Chicago -- Cool Kids' "Black Mags," via the Bus Bench.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Highway Boondoggles 2023: Salt Lake Shenanigans

Plans for a major freeway expansion based on over-inflated traffic projections are a wrongheaded way to deal with the region’s rapid population growth.

December 3, 2023

Cycle of Rage: Mayor is Failing the Leadership Test on Congestion Pricing

Purely for political and self-serving purposes, Mayor Adams is attacking congestion pricing — and, in doing so, is undermining the implementation of a program that he has long claimed to be a "strong" supporter of.

December 1, 2023

New York City is Down One MTA Board Member as Mayor Fights Congestion Pricing Fee

Sherif Soliman, who was appointed to the board only last year, quietly resigned on Sept. 22, and the mayor won't get a new person on the panel until next year.

December 1, 2023

Friday’s Headlines: A Congestion Alert Day

Like everyone else, we covered congestion pricing. Plus other news.

December 1, 2023

Adams Says He’ll Ban Parking Near 1,000 Intersections Every Year To Make Corners Safer

The city will daylight 1,000 intersections a year. A Brooklyn corner where a boy was killed in a crash is still waiting for the safety upgrades.

December 1, 2023
See all posts