What is happening with our cities? Why do some succeed while others decline? What factors can help us best understand how cities work? Can the identification of those factors help us inform policy that will provide sustained growth or turn around a city in decline? Can we use math to help determine good policy for cities? Can we use math to help determine bad policy? Is enough data being collected for us to determine if city policy is good or bad? How are good and bad defined in this context?
Welcome to the blog for The Urbanomics Project. This project aims to satisfy our curiosity about cities, how they work and how we can understand their successes and failures. There have been an endless number of focused studies that describe aspects of cities - rising inequality, loss of manufacturing jobs, charitable giving, happiness levels, how Millennials behave - but we have not seen comprehensive research on the big picture. We are seeing a lot of skewed data and opinion that is not providing effective analysis or solutions, and we want a higher standard for the conversation. Can research and data analysis answer our big questions about city policy? We decided to find out by launching this project.
We will provide project updates here along with links to the data we are using, the studies we are reading, our research methodology and our findings, with each update in 300 words or less and complete with graphics. We will start by looking at the US as a whole, then by region, by state and by a selection of cities. You can also follow the project on Twitter @StewardStrat. If you have questions, let us know via Twitter or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.