Rebounding core cities



Below is a list of core cities in the United States that have seen their populations rebound following several decades of decline. In some instances, such as Denver, Des Moines, San Francisco, and Seattle, the core city is now attained a new peak population. Of the cities on this list, only Denver has seen a significant increase in its geographic area in order to build Denver International Airport. Otherwise, this list is meant to show cities where the core occupies essentially the same geographic area as it did during the prior peak and the low point. Cities such as Indianapolis, Nashville, Columbus, and Louisville were intentionally not included because a significant portion of their population growth has been fueled by annexations and/or consolidation with the surrounding county.

Two other cities, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh appear to have leveled off at their low points. Hopefully, the data below can provide a glimmer of hope for other core cities such as Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, and St. Louis, which are still suffering population loss.


City              Peak Population              Post-Peak Low Point       2014 Estimate

Atlanta               495,039 (1960)                    394,017 (1990)                              456,002

Boston                801,444 (1950)                    562,994 (1980)                              655,884

Denver*              514,678 (1960)                    467,610 (1980)                              663,862

Des Moines        208,982 (1960)                    191,003 (1980)                             209,220

Kansas City         507,087 (1970)                    435,146 (1990)                             470,800

Milwaukee          741,324 (1960)                    594,833 (2010)                              599,164

Minneapolis        521,718 (1950)                    368,383 (1990)                              407,270

Philadelphia       2,071,605 (1950)               1,517,550 (2000)                           1,560,297

Saint Paul             313,411 (1960)                    270,230 (1980)                              297,640

San Francisco      775,357 (1950)                    678,974 (1980)                              852,469

Seattle                   557,087 (1960)                    493,846 (1980)                              668,342

Washington         802,178 (1950)                    572,059 (2000)                              658,893


*Denver has increased its geographic area during this time period, primarily to acquire land for Denver International Airport and surrounding areas.

Sources: Historical Census population data for each city provided on

Posted in cities, demographics, economic development, Economy, gentrification, geography, history, Housing, humanity, inclusiveness, infrastructure, land use, new urbanism, North America, placemaking, planning, revitalization, spatial design, Statistics, sustainability, urban planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Inside Out” – Pixar’s best film yet



Pixar is so very good at making excellent animated movies on a wide range of topics, that it is hard to compare them equally. Wall-E and The Incredibles have long been my personal favorites. Still, Inside Out rises head and shoulders above the rest in its ability to tell a charming, hearty-wrenching, and very complex story. Imagination is a wonderful gift, and Pixar has an innate ability to take imagination to the next level – in this case they tackle human emotions.

Without revealing any important details, Inside Out is all about the emotions felt by an eleven year old girl named Riley. It is a poignant film that contains great humor and deep sorrow. In years to come, it will certainly be considered a classic and should receive a best picture nomination at the Oscars.

All I can do is recommend this movie, as I am sure you will be very glad you did.


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Global geography of Google Data Centers

Council Bluffs, IA - Source:

Google’s Council Bluffs, IA Data Center – Source:

As Google continues to grow, Panethos thought it would be interesting to see where their data centers are geographically situated around the planet. Enjoy!

Here’s a weblink to a map created showing these locations:



North America

South America


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Wolf Alice kills it with their debut release

Wolf Alice - Source:

Wolf Alice – Source:

Every now and then a new band comes along that alters the course of modern music while also raising the threshold for all future bands to try to attain. Examples from the past include The Beatles, U2, Radiohead, and Nirvana. Well, there’s a new foursome on the block that is doing its darndest to prove that awesome rock ‘n roll will never die. That band is Wolf Alice and their debut album is My Love is Cool.

Hailing from the north end of London, Wolf Alice literally scorches the airwaves and your headphones with vibrant, pulsating music that will please both headbangers and lyricists alike. Throw in a few ballads and experimental tracks and you have the recipe for a great debut album and a serious contender for Best New Artist and the next Grammy Awards.  Probably the best description of their musical style came from Clash Magazine which described it in 2013 as, “the lovechild of folk and grunge,” but don’t be surprised if your hear snippets of other music genre, as well.

In all, there are 14 tracks on the CD, including a hidden one that starts approximately 90 seconds after “The Wonderwhy” concludes. My personal favorite tracks after three listens are (not necessarily in order):

  • “Lisbon”
  • “Bros”
  • “Your Loves Whore”
  • “Swallowtail”
  • “Giant Peach”
  • “Silk”
  • “Freazy”
  • “You’re a Germ”
  • “Fluffy”
  • “The Wonderwhy”
  • “Moaning Lisa Smile”

You will hear hints of Nirvana, shades of Metric, bits of Smashing Pumpkins, and subtle nods to other musicians on this album, but in the end it is all Wolf Alice creating their own legacy and leaving a sizeable first footprint on rock history. Go buy this album and let your ears rejoice!

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Linking two continents – monumental bridges of Turkey



Turkey already has some amazing bridges, but now they plan to construct the world’s longest bridge span over the Dardanelles Straits linking Europe with Asia.  Designed to shorten the travel time between the major southern city of Izmir and Eastern Europe, as well as ease traffic congestion in and around the Istanbul area, the Canakkale Suspension Bridge will have an 6,637 foot (2,023 meter) main span. Construction is to begin in 2016 with completion in 2023.

Bosporus Bridge Source:

Bosporus Suspension Bridge in Istanbul – Source:

Here’s a list of some of the awesome bridges built over the past 40 years or under construction in Turkey that have helped bind the cross-channel linkages between the continental Europe and Asia. Please note the Izmit Bay Bridge does not directly link Europe with Asia, but all four others do or will upon completion:

  • Canakkale Suspension Bridge (2023): 6,637 foot main span – World’s longest bridge span once completed
  • Izmit Bay Suspension Bridge – Izmit (2017): 5,090 foot main span – World’s fourth longest bridge span once completed
  • Yavus Sultan Selim Cable-Stayed Bridge – Istanbul (2015): 4,619 foot main span
  • Fatih Sultan Mehmet Suspension Bridge – Istanbul (1988): 3,580 foot main span
  • Bosporus Suspension Bridge – Istanbul (1973): 3,524 foot main span – First link between Europe and Asia (see photo above)


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Urbanization and barrier islands



Barrier islands provide a critical (and fragile) natural defense against wave action, swells, storm surges, and coastal storms. In the United States these unique geological features border the Gulf Coast of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, while on the Atlantic Coast they can be found from Florida northward to New York State. They can also be found along portions of Mexico’s Gulf and Caribbean coasts as well as around Cuba. While found around the globe, long barrier islands do not seem to be quite as prevalent of a geographic, geologic, or topographic phenomenon outside of North America.

Developed barrier island - Source:

Developed barrier island – Source:

For those cities located either wholly or largely on barrier islands, there are a number of specialized planning issues which are unique to urban settings, not the least of which is the need for large-scale emergency evacuation plans in event of a tsunami warning or due to severe storms such as hurricanes and Nor’easters. Other important planning issues which are unique to many island communities, but particularly narrow barrier islands, include, but are not limited to:

  • Access to/from the mainland is necessary via bridges, causeways, tunnels, air service, or ferry.
  • Limited land available for transportation corridors paralleling the coastline which can lead to congested traffic during peak periods.
  • Limited options for on-island public water well resources and/or sanitary sewer treatment facilities.
  • Finding inland locations necessary for sanitary waste disposal.
  • Preservation and conservation of the fragile ecosystem which protect the nearby mainland from storms.
  • Potential for flooding and inundation from rising tides, from increasing ocean levels, and from storm surges coming from multiple directions.
  • Dune protection and beach erosion.
  • Rare flora and fauna on the islands as well as the adjacent bays, marshes, lagoons, and tidal flats.
  • Extent of impervious surface coverage.
Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico - Source:

Satellite view of Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico – Source:

Here’s a list of the largest cities in North America which are located totally on or almost entirely on barrier islands along with their 2010 population or most recent estimate (minimum 2,500 residents). Whenever possible, cities which became situated on islands due to human made projects like the Intracoastal Waterway are not included in the list.

  1. Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico: 169,466
  2. Miami Beach, Florida: 91,026
  3. Coney Island (part of New York City), New York: approx, 60,000
  4. Galveston, Texas: 47,743
  5. Atlantic City, New Jersey: 39,558
  6. Hilton Head, South Carolina: 37,675
  7. Long Beach, New York: 33,395
  8. Sunny Isle Beach, Florida: 20,832
  9. Fort Walton Beach Florida: 20,597
  10. Marco Island, Florida: 16,413
  11. Wilmington Island, Georgia: 15,138
  12. North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: 14,118
  13. St. Simons Island, Georgia: 13,381
  14. Destin, Florida: 13,264
  15. Key Biscayne, Florida: 12,832
  16. Isla Mujeres, Mexico: 12,642
  17. Ocean City, New Jersey: 11,701
  18. Fernandina Beach, Florida: 11,592
  19. Cocoa Beach, Florida: 11,325
  20. Ventnor City, New Jersey: 10,650
  21. Satellite Beach, Florida: 10,333
  22. Cape Canaveral, Florida: 9,988
  23. Brigatine, New Jersey: 9,450
  24. St. Pete Beach, Florida: 9,346
  25. Palm Beach, Florida: 8,649
  26. Skidaway Island, Georgia: 8,341
  27. Indian Harbour Beach, Florida: 8,290
  28. Ocean City, Maryland: 7,102
  29. Longboat Key, Florida: 7,082
  30. Oak Island, North Carolina: 6,783
  31. Treasure Island, Florida: 6,768
  32. Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina: 6,683
  33. Fort Myers Beach, Florida: 6,676
  34. Siesta Key, Florida: 6,565
  35. Sanibel, Florida: 6,469
  36. Margate City, New Jersey: 6,354
  37. Lauderdale-by-the Sea, Florida: 6,391
  38. Isla Aguada, Mexico: 6,204
  39. Miramar Beach, Florida: 6,146
  40. Surfside, Florida: 5,744
  41. Wildwood, New Jersey: 5,325
  42. Madeira Beach, Florida: 4,320
  43. Indian Rocks Beach, Florida: 4,179
  44. Mary Esther, Florida: 4,141
  45. Isle of Palms, South Carolina: 4,133
  46. North Wildwood, New Jersey: 4,041
  47. Holmes Beach, Florida: 3,836
  48. Port Aransas, Texas: 3,380
  49. Kitty Hawk, North Carolina: 3,272
  50. Wildwood Crest, New Jersey: 3,270
  51. Melbourne Beach, Florida: 3,137
  52. Tybee Island, Georgia: 2,990
  53. Seaside Heights, New Jersey: 2,887
  54. South Padre Island, Texas: 2,816
  55. Nags Head, North Carolina: 2,757
  56. Indiatlantic, Florida: 2,755
  57. Pensacola Beach, Florida: 2,738
  58. Folly Beach, South Carolina: 2,617
  59. Bal Harbour, Florida: 2,613

Nearly all of the communities listed above are part of a much larger urbanized region such as New York City, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Houston, Corpus Christi, Savannah, Charleston, Pensacola, Melbourne, Fort Myers, Naples, Brownsville, and Atlantic City. Any localized planning efforts associated with the developed barrier islands must also take into account the regional impacts to adjacent and nearby mainland cities.




Posted in cities, economic development, environment, geography, Geology, history, humanity, infrastructure, land use, Mexico, nature, North America, planning, pollution, rivers/watersheds, spatial design, Statistics, sustainability, tourism, urban planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Getting a kick out of golf = Footgolf



Yesterday afternoon, my wife, middle son, and I tried our first attempt at the hot new sport of footgolf. Yes, you read that correctly, footgolf. Essentially, the marriage of soccer and golf, footgolf has become increasing popular in parts of the United States.

0621151647Played on the same course as golf, but with different tee and greens, footgolf is a blast to play and great way to get some exercise and fresh air without having to lumber around a bag of clubs for less cost than typically green fees. Footgolf also has proven to be an economical and practical way for golf courses to remain financially viable in an era when less young people appear to be taking up the sport of golf itself.

The first footgolf course in the world opening in the Netherlands in 2008. There are 27 nations, including the United States, who are currently members of the Federation of International FootGolf.  The American FootGolf League is the sanctioning body in the United States.

Below are the number of golf courses in each state offering footgolf as an option according to the American FootGolf League (AFGL). As is evident by the list, footgolf is particularly popular in the Great Lakes Region and along the Pacific Coast, but at least one course is available in nearly every state (North Dakota and Rhode Island being exceptions). It will be interesting to see when courses specifically designed for footgolf start appearing.

  • Alabama = 4
  • Alaska = 2
  • Arizona = 4
  • Arkansas = 5
  • California = 54
  • Colorado = 10
  • Connecticut = 1
  • Delaware = 2
  • Florida = 25
  • Georgia = 8
  • Hawaii = 4
  • Idaho = 2
  • Illinois = 19
  • Indiana = 9
  • Iowa = 4
  • Kansas = 6
  • Kentucky = 3
  • Louisiana = 3
  • Maine = 4
  • Maryland = 6
  • Massachusetts = 3
  • Michigan = 23
  • Minnesota = 20
  • Mississippi = 1
  • Missouri = 4
  • Montana = 1
  • Nebraska = 2
  • Nevada = 6
  • New Hampshire = 1
  • New Jersey = 7
  • New Mexico = 4
  • New York = 9
  • North Carolina = 15
  • Ohio = 28
  • Oklahoma = 5
  • Oregon = 10
  • Pennsylvania = 13
  • South Carolina = 7
  • South Dakota = 1
  • Tennessee = 6
  • Texas = 17
  • Utah=2
  • Vermont = 2
  • Virginia = 9
  • Washington = 23
  • West Virginia = 3
  • Wisconsin = 16
  • Wyoming = 2


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