Wendell Cox | Huffington Post

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Bicyclists make their way through Salt Lake City traffic. Officials are pushing to promote more walking and biking as the Wasatch Front population is predicted to double in coming decades.America’s cities (metropolitan areas) changed radically since the dawn of World War II. At that point, cities were dominated by their core municipalities (central cities), around which people traveled much greater percentages by transit and lived in much higher densities. Automobile oriented suburbanization had increased rapidly in the 1920s, but was slowed by the economic upheavals of the 1930s.

After World War II, suburban house building expanded and automobile ownership became near universal. Automobile ownership has expanded so much that the percentage of low income workers using cars to get to work is nearly the same as the overall population.

Classifying Urban Cores, Suburbs & Exurbs

The latest data, for 2011 (from the 2009-2013 American Community Survey) indicates that 15% of the population lives in the urban cores of the 52 major metropolitan areas (those with more than 1 million population). The urban core is defined by urban development and lifestyles similar to those that prevailed before the start of World War II. Read more