Walking the Walk

Urban design from the front lines

Kevin Klinkenberg

Using urban design to make our lives more enjoyable and create wealth

This site is for all those interested in the making of cities and towns, and especially the lives of the humans that inhabit them. Kevin Klinkenberg is an architect and urban designer who's practiced from coast-to-coast. 

The Sunbelt migration marches on

That's not entirely the story from Richard Florida's latest series of charts, but it's definitely the headline. The recession may have slowed home building, but it certainly hasn't altered our decades-long pattern of US residents flocking to warmer destinations and the coasts. In fact, on the latter item according to the NOAA 52% of the US population now lives in coastal counties. Those coasts include the Great Lakes and coasts in the northeast & northwest, but clearly the big growth continues along the warmer coastlines. Incidentally, with that high of a number you'd think climate change and global sea rise would be a bigger concern. 

The maps are fascinating, and look at data from 2010-2013. Clear winners for domestic migration continue to be Florida, Texas, Colorado, Phoenix and the Carolinas. The Pacific Northwest also is a winner as is Nashville. International migration benefits many of those same places, but the big winners are the biggest cities: New York, Chicago, LA. The rustbelt overall is doing quite well in terms of international migration, but still a net loser in many places because of domestic migration. That should be quite telling to leaders in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes. One of Florida's key points is that without the international migration, those cities would be showing much more substantial population loss - even the New York's and Chicago's of the world. 

A couple of the key maps are embedded below: