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Episode 83 of 92

Pandemic Fallout: Will New York City Experience Long-term Decline?

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Upzoned
Duration: 33:08
Every week on the Upzoned podcast, host Abby Kinney, an urban planner in Kansas City, takes one big story in the news and she “upzones” it—examining it through a Strong Towns lens. Strong Towns founder and president Chuck Marohn is back this week as Abby’s co-host.
Today, Abby and Chuck look at a st
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Every week on the Upzoned podcast, host Abby Kinney, an urban planner in Kansas City, takes one big story in the news and she “upzones” it—examining it through a Strong Towns lens. Strong Towns founder and president Chuck Marohn is back this week as Abby’s co-host.
Today, Abby and Chuck look at a story playing out in New York City. Apartment vacancy rates there are climbing, as people flee the city due to the pandemic, and rental costs are plummeting. According to a recent article in the New York Times, the number of apartments available for rent in July (67,300) was the highest in at least a decade:

In June and July combined, more than 120,000 apartments were for lease, a nearly 26 percent increase over the same months in 2019.
The surge in supply has driven down rental costs across the city and forced landlords to offer generous concessions, including up to three months’ free rent and paying the expensive fees brokers command.

Abby and Chuck discuss the “great reshuffling” happening in America’s largest metropolises, the fragile model that undergirds so much of the rental housing market in New York City, and how likely it is that New York will experience a long-term decline. They also discuss why “the Lindy effect”—named for a deli in Manhattan—gives hope that New York will survive the coronavirus fallout...though the journey is likely to be a painful one.
Then in the Downzone, Chuck describes his own journey back from an accident, as well as his experience with a doctor-prescribed media fast. Abby looks ahead to a mountain biking trip to northwest Arkansas and recommends a meditation app from neuroscientist Sam Harris.
Additional Show Notes

“Manhattan Vacancy Rate Climbs, and Rents Drop 10%,” by Matthew Haag


“This Is the Great Reshuffling,” by Johnny Sanphillippo


Abby Kinney (Twitter)


Charles Marohn (Twitter)


Gould Evans Studio for City Design


Theme Music by Kemet the Phantom (Soundcloud)


Additional reading related to this episode:

“10 Tasks for Cities Responding to the Pandemic,” by Charles Marohn


“Pandemics Take Advantage of Everything Good in Cities. Here’s How we Protect Them.” by Tristan Cleveland


“Is COVID-19 the End of Cities?” by Joe Cortright


“Effective Quarantines and Strong Towns” by Spencer Gardner
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