Mayors’ Conference Crystal Ball: More Megacities, Moderate Economic Growth

The United State Conference of Mayors recently released a report projecting moderate growth for almost all of the country’s metropolitan areas. A survey of coverage on the report reveals multiple readings of the state of the economy.
January 31, 2014, 12pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The coverage of the new report included a long article from Wendell Cox breaking down the projected population growth of metropolitan areas in southern and western regions of the country. Cox especially seizes on the projected increase in the number of megacities in the country: “Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Houston are projected to join megacities New York and Los Angeles as their metropolitan area populations rise above 10 million. At the projected growth rates, Atlanta, Miami, Phoenix, and Riverside-San Bernardino could pass the threshold by 2060.” In addition, “USCM anticipates that the number of major metropolitan areas – those over 1,000,000 population –- will rise from 51 in 2012 to 70 in 2042.”

William Selway took an optimistic look at the economic growth predicted by the report, quoting Mayor Scott Smith of Mesa, Arizona, president of the USCM: “We’re in the real recovery, not just the recovery that economists talk about…We see light at the end of the tunnel.”

Jeffrey Sparshot produced a more measured reading of the report, also quoting Mayor Smith, but with a more reserved soundbite: ““This is nothing to jump up and down about…The good news is that it doesn’t seem like there’s bad news. It looks like we’ve bottomed out, with a slow but increasingly positive economy.”

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Published on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 in New Geography
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