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Welcome - my name is Kevin Klinkenberg, and this site "The Messy City" is my blog and company website. I started blogging on urban planning and design issues in 2007, and began working in the field in 1993. Please feel free to connect with me on any of the social media sites listed here. Thanks for reading.

Monday groan

Am I little grumpy to be back at work from vacation? Well, maybe just a little. But then I listened to this Bloomberg Businessweek podcast from last week and I couldn't help but get grumpier. The dog-bites-man headline: Some people are leaving very expensive large metros and finding happiness elsewhere! Or, as Bloomberg put it: "Housing prices cause many to flee big cities."

So, in order to be helpful, I'll offer a few tips for journalists in LA or NYC:

  • Atlanta and Denver are not "mid-sized" cities. The Atlanta metro has over 5.5 million people (15% more than Boston) and is the 9th largest in the country. Denver, at 2.7 million and 21st is smaller, but 2.7 million is hardly small. Both cities are essentially economic capitals of very large geographic regions.
  • Chicago, at 9.5 million people and 3rd in metro size deserves something more than a "New York, LA and even Chicago" reference.
  • Austin has nearly 2 million people and Richmond, VA well over a million. Can we really call these "small"?  
  • Yes - it's shocking, I know, but other cities besides NYC and LA actually have museums, great restaurants, shopping and gee whiz - even mass transit and tall buildings!
  • Excluding the Boston to DC corridor, LA and the Bay Area leaves a country with still 240 million people. That's still the 3rd or 4th most populous country in the world, depending which numbers you use. 

Look, there's a lot to love in NYC and LA. But please, do your homework. It's a big country out there.

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The great mystery of young people staying in cities

We need to find a better model for funding transit