David Perell+ Your Authors @david_perell "The Writing Guy" | I tweet about business, online learning, and Internet writing | My Podcast: perell.com/podcast | My writing school: writeofpassage.school/ Oct. 14, 2019 1 min read + Your Authors

Helping people move to cities is the biggest piece of low-hanging fruit in society.

In the words of an @axios reporter: “Economic opportunity for most Americans increasingly hinges on one factor: where you live.”


Cities are springs of economic opportunity.

“The top 25 metro areas (out of a total of 384) accounted for more than half of the U.S.’s $19.5 trillion GDP in 2017."

Major cities are experiencing massive GDP growth.

And yet, that growth isn't nearly as fast as it could be.

Cities aren't the only ones who benefit from more people on the merry-go-round. As the fruits of innovation spread, the entire country benefits too.

How do we get people into cities?

There are two clear solutions:

1) Increase the housing supply
2) Improve transportation

Alain Bertaud offered the following suggestion in a recent interview with @EconTalker:

Reduce restrictions on minimum apartment sizes.

We can increase urban density without building more or lowering the average apartment size.

Improved transportation increases the effective size of a city.

Right now, higher incomes are correlated with lower commute times.

The ultra-wealthy live increasingly occupy city centers.

As @DKThomp has shown, cities are increasingly dominated by two groups:

1) people with no children
2) white, college graduates with no school-age children

For proof of the benefits of fast transportation, look at China.


1) Rearrange our existing homes. Decreasing minimum apartment sizes would help people move to cities.

2) Build fast and reliable transportation can enable commuters.

Moving people to cities is the fastest way to boost prosperity for individuals and society-at-large.

Here's my full article.


You can follow @david_perell.


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