FutureTracker| Sociologist Zachary Neal’s new study published in City and Community, says that a city’s size is no longer the key factor in building vibrant local economies. The current key is connections to other places via the Internet, commercial aviation and high-speed rail.
Neal examined the population and air-traffic data for 64 U.S. cities from 1900 to 2000, finding that population was the most important factor for a local economy until the 1950s, when commercial air travel bred expanding business networks. The Internet was a major factor in advancing cities in the last few decades.
Cities like Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh are considered ‘poorly connected’. New York, Chicago, LA and Maimi, along with smaller regional cities like Raleigh/Durham have moved forward.
Considering this process a fluid one, Neal speculates that environmental sustainability could become a key factor moving forward in creating successful cities. He offers no actual reasons or proof in thsi articlde from Futurity.org.