Tuesday, March 30, 2010

In other cities.....

Here's something from thecityfix commenting on an EPA report Residential Construction Trends in America's Metropoltian Regions.  The punch line looks to be that center cities are regaining some advantage in their share of new construction vis a vis older suburbs. 

Before anyone jumps to any conclusions about what is going on locally.... there is also this quote
A number of major cities, including Boston, Philadelphia, Minneapolis & St. Paul, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Atlanta, saw substantial increases in permits, but the central city still represented less than a fifth of regional permits. In other cities, like St. Louis, San Jose, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City and San Diego, there was little change in the share of new construction taking place in the central city.
Which gets to the answer for a question people keep asking me in the wake of the migration numbers that came out last week.  Updated population estimates for the city (and municipalities) do not come out when the county and MSA numbers come out.  Those were the news last week.  City numbers will likely be out in July... but those city and municipal population estimates are almost entirely driven by housing unit building permit data which it looks like this report is commenting on.  So while the latest migration/population data for the county will positively impact the city numbers coming out, it is not going to be a huge shift in the trend. 


Blogger The Urbanophile said...

Interestingly, I took at look at core county population share in the latest census estimates that just came out:


Pittsburgh was one of only two metros that increased core county share last year. Every place else - including Chicago - lost it. I think the EPA study is seriously flawed as an indicator of "fundamental shifts" in anything.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 5:30:00 PM  
Anonymous DBR96A said...

Phenomena in "other cities"

- Money grows on trees.

- There are no taxes whatsoever.

- There's always "something to do."

- There are no potholes whatsoever.

- Politicians are honest statesmen.

- It's sunny 300 days a year, and it never rains on weekends.

- Everybody's young, intelligent and beautiful.

- There are 10 high-paying job openings for every new resident.

- Nightclubs stay open 24 hours.

- You can drink whiskey in the aisles of the supermarkets.

- There are no labor unions of any kind.

- People only listen to the newest music.

- There are never any traffic jams, and public transit is always on time.

- Gas only costs $1.50 per gallon.

- There is no racism or racial segregation.

- The temperature is always -- always! -- 72 degrees.

- The grass is always -- always! -- greener.

- Everybody smiles at each other when walking down the sidewalk.

- Nobody's ever in a bad mood, and nobody ever wants to leave.

- Republicans and Democrats love each other.

- Jews and Palestinians love each other.

- Chinese and Japanese love each other.

- Serbs, Croats and Bosnians all love each other.

- Russians, Georgians, Chechens and Armenians all love each other.

- Everybody loves one another!

Need I go on? Pittsburgh is such a lousy place compared to "other cities!"

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 7:15:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

You can drink whiskey in the aisles of the supermarkets.

You lost me on that one. PA's liquor laws are noticably lousy compared to every place else except maybe Utah.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 8:12:00 PM  
Blogger Grimace said...

I think there are less potholes in a lot of other places too.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 7:46:00 AM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

It seems to me the paradigm case of population growth in the City these days is when a young family takes over a decent-sized house that was until recently occupied by a widow, who had raised her own family in that house but then watched them move away after the steel bust. I wouldn't think counting new units/construction permits is going to serve as a good proxy for that.

More generally, the steel bust put Pittsburgh on a different track than most other central cities. And I don't think it will be surprising if as result some metrics that may usually work pretty well for estimating trends in most other central cities don't work so well in Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 8:49:00 AM  
Blogger illyrias said...

Following up on BrianTH's point, there is so much housing stock in the city and relatively the suburbs are so empty. I was amazed to learn that the Pittsburgh MSA was rated the most sprawling city in 2006.

If you're going to build new, you have much more space in the suburbs. I'd be curious to see the number of modification permits going on in these old city houses. Anecdotally, I'm in the process of adding a second bathroom and bedroom to my city house, but I bought my cheap fixer-upper a few years ago. The 2010 is the first time I'll be counted officially.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 8:59:00 AM  

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