William Fulton is the director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University and the author of Guide to California Planning and The Reluctant Metropolis. Fulton came to Rice from California where he served as the planning director for the City of San Diego. He formerly served as mayor, deputy mayor and a member of the city council in the City of Ventura, Calif.

William Fulton
August 9, 2018

Despite Political Divides, Suburbs Need Cities

Outlying communities and central cities should do more to work together.
June 18, 2018

In Fights Between States and Cities, It's Not Just Red vs. Blue

Preempting local laws is no longer a trend in just conservative states.
April 26, 2018

How to Test Your Economic Development Strategy

It’s not about how successful any business is but what the city has left after it leaves.
February 16, 2018

There Are Changes Bigger Than Self-Driving Cars Coming

Online shopping and the automation of jobs are going to transform cities.
December 12, 2017

After Harvey's Rainwaters Receded, Fears Rose

Like Katrina and Sandy, Harvey shook Houstonians' from their complacency.
October 25, 2017

The ‘New Urbanism’ Movement Might Be Dead

City revival has ceased to be a radical idea, and that’s a good thing.
August 15, 2017

Why Sun Belt Cities Need Unique Solutions to Common Problems

The typical tools of urban America don’t always work in the rapidly growing region.
June 1, 2017

The Transportation Side Effects of 'The Great Inversion'

Low pay and long, pricey commutes often go hand in hand.
April 12, 2017

Have States Lost Their Place as Labs of Democracy?

Experts say cities will be the new place for innovative policy. But there are two reasons that might not happen.
February 13, 2017

A Low-Cost Solution to Traffic

Instead of building expensive roads, we should be building housing that limits how far people have to drive in the first place.
December 1, 2016

How Can Cities Get Denser and Sprawl at the Same Time?

There’s a dispute about whether the movement toward city living is real. But this either/or battle is a distraction.
October 17, 2016

Are Cities Growing or Not?

As it turns out, there is no one answer.
August 18, 2016

To Subsidize Development or Not?

Often-uninformed city leaders struggle with the decision, and taxpayers pay the price for their lack of financial knowledge.
June 10, 2016

The Urbanization of the 'Burbs

Regardless of where they live, urban amenities are no longer a bonus but a requirement for many millennials.
April 26, 2016

In Defense of the Urban Freeway

There's a push to tear them down. But they're one of the biggest things driving the urban renaissance.
February 1, 2016

Why We Shouldn't Let the Sharing Economy Kill Zoning

The sharing economy is challenging the demand for land-use regulations, but they're still necessary.
December 1, 2015

When Less (Regulation) Is More

A solution to a decades-old parking problem in one city shows how others can harness the power of market economics.
October 1, 2015

To Help Poor Neighborhoods, Urban Planners Have to Do More Than Urban Planning

They can't just improve the physical environment if they want to revitalize poverty-stricken areas.
August 1, 2015

Drowning in Data, Cities Need Help

Urban planners have historically had to do their jobs with only the dimmest understanding of what’s going on. Now they have more information than they can handle.
June 1, 2015

Are Millennials Really More Urban Than Previous Generations?

Most of them actually live in the suburbs.
April 1, 2015

The Future of Parking in an Era of Car-Sharing

Services like Uber and Zipcar could radically change city streets.
February 1, 2015

Houston: From Sprawl to City

Once wide open and famous for sprawl, the Texas city is becoming increasingly crowded and expensive.
September 1, 2013

Goodbye Governing, Hello San Diego

After 26 years, this journalist will stop writing and start doing in San Diego as the city’s newest urban planner.
April 30, 2013

Is Texas’ Economy Really Better Than California’s?

Gov. Rick Perry often touts Texas’ economic success, which he attributes to lower taxes and fewer regulations than cash-strapped California. But if Texas is so compelling, why did Perry go to California looking for new companies?
February 28, 2013

Why States Keep Playing the Losing Tax-Incentive Game

Elected officials and experts aren’t sure if tax breaks actually create jobs. So why do they keep offering millions of dollars worth of subsidies to companies?
December 28, 2012

Sandy Forces Northeast to Rethink Infrastructure

In an effort to emerge more resilient and prosperous, states and localities are rethinking power grids, roads and sewers in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
October 31, 2012

Do Millennials Want to Call Your City ‘Home’?

Millions of millennials will soon be putting down roots. Cities and suburbs that are less attractive to them have a limited window to turn things around.
August 31, 2012

University Business Parks Model North Carolina State’s Centennial Campus

The campus throws academics, nonprofits and businesses together to facilitate the constant and intense interaction required to bring research breakthroughs to market.
June 29, 2012

Rick Snyder Takes a Venture Capitalist’s Approach to Governing Michigan

The governor is redirecting economic development incentives. Will it work?
April 30, 2012

Silicon Valley Considers Personal Rapid Transit System

Can an innovative transit idea keep Silicon Valley -- home to tech giants like Google and Microsoft -- from choking on congestion? Or is the answer to their problems much simpler?
February 29, 2012

Redevelopment Financing Gets an Overhaul in California

The governor eliminated the state’s redevelopment agencies -- and the way it funds urban revitalization. Now the Golden State must find new money sources.
January 1, 2012

Cities Push the Business ‘Start-up’ Envelope

The business incubator is no longer a new idea. Cities are pursuing business accelerators, a kind of incubator on steroids.
October 31, 2011

Should Government Spend or Invest Money?

In order to ensure long-term economic prosperity, states and localities should focus on investment.
August 31, 2011

Jobs Aren’t Enough

Economic development’s key measure of success is not the only approach to turning lagging economies into prosperous communities.
June 30, 2011

Tax Credit or Tax Cut?

Political rhetoric comes down to being for or against taxes with little discussion about their effect on economic development.
April 29, 2011

Economic Development in the 1099 Economy

Temporary work is becoming the norm. Economic developers must change their focus if they want to create jobs in this new economy.
February 28, 2011

The Economic Development President

In his State of the Union speech, President Obama was using the language of economic investment -- language mayors and governors use all the time.
January 1, 2011

Young Professionals Return Home, and Stay

Cities are launching "boomerang" efforts to bring their young professionals back home.
November 1, 2010

The Search for Infrastructure-Driven Transformation

There are infrastructure projects, and then there are infrastructure projects that transform.
September 1, 2010

Measuring Economic Development Without Depending on Jobs

Can you have economic development without job growth?

Long-Term Remedies for Slumping Sales Tax Revenues

Short-term gimmicks to boost local sales tax revenue aren't working anymore.

Lending a Small Hand

A revived Small Business Administration is good news for local government.

Do Environmental Regulations Hurt the Economy?

Environmental regulations have transformed California's economy but it's not always clear if the result was positive.

Eminent Domain Outrage in Connecticut

A pharmaceutical giant bugs out, leaving a struggling town without any of the touted tax benefits or job creation.

Community Colleges: Today's Best Source for Job Training?

Academics still matter, but technical knowledge may matter more.

Economic Planning: More than One Agency Can Handle

There is a good lesson in the travails of a mammoth New York agency.

New Rules for Hard Times

Manufacturing is down even in China. Now what?

Why the Shovels Matter

The time to do strategic thinking is before you need to.

The Dying Auto Mall

The sale of cars isn't a public cash cow anymore.

Going for an Upturn

There's a calculus for figuring out what a state or locality can do to prime the development pump.

Down on the Farm

As an economic development strategy, agriculture usually looks like a loser.

Romancing the Factory

Forget about the brightly lit movie complex and pedestrian shopping patterns. The New Economy isn't for everyone.

A New Urbanist's Dream

To succeed, airports will have to provide travelers with many business services that are accessible without a car.

The Desert Driver

Commuters are infringing on resort communities, making it hard to keep cheap housing around for local workers.

Warming Up to BRAC

When the Pentagon targets a base near you, it could translate into serious economic opportunities.

The New Industrial Age

Cities on the cutting edge of the new economy are taking steps to retain their stock of industrial land.

Hyping the Hip

Cities need to attract both the "creative class" and blue-collar manufacturing to survive in the 21st century.

The Rich Get Richer

For states and cities, the trick is to capture the wealth when and where it's created and put it to long-term use locally.

Reversing the Brain Drain

Cities are starting to use scholarships to local colleges to keep promising young people from moving away.

The Retirement Factory

Building a local economy around retirees may seem like the perfect growth formula, but it has its flaws.

A Business Decision

When it comes to making loans to local companies, should a city act like a banker or a venture capitalist?

Stuck at Home

A vibrant local economy needs a good supply of housing for sale at lots of price points. But that's not what's happening right now.

This Old Factory

In a number of states, there's starting to be pushback against rezoning industrial land for housing.

Go Global, Act Local

The best trade missions aren't really trade missions at all. Increasingly, the goal is not to sell or trade but to learn.

The China Connection

The Asian giant isn't stealing our manufacturing jobs. The jobs, themselves, are evaporating.

Nerdistan or Not

The latest wave of research parks have a different connection to the global economy and the small tech companies they serve.

A Season to Swarm

Policy wonks are having a field day with creative ideas to rebuild the Gulf Coast. But action is likely to be the same old-same old.

When Brac Comes Calling

Nothing is more political or emotional than base closures. But in the end, how much does it really matter?

Blindsided & Bummed About It

Here's a simple definition of business-friendly: Tell me what the rules are up front and then apply them fairly.

The Stimulator

President Bush's proposal to change the way urban grants work raises questions about local economic development that have been ignored for too long.
May 1, 2005

Refugee Renewal

Absorbing the displaced from overseas can be a tough urban task. But for a city in decline, it can be an unexpected opportunity.

Pushback Time

Economic development officials may be going too far and being too secretive in their deal making.

Upping the Ante

California's stem-cell gamble could profoundly alter the stakes for creating jobs and business opportunities in a state.
December 1, 2004

Open Innovation

R&D has evolved from a private company effort to a collaboration between private, public and academic partners.
October 1, 2004

The Panacea Patrol

A fresh idea about how to stimulate local economies is fueling a debate about whether it can solve all problems.
August 1, 2004

Living the Niche Life

Building housing downtown is the latest trend, but it's hardly the return to the past that people think it is.
June 1, 2004

The Job Hunt

The two-tier economy seems more of a reality in the America of today than it has in almost a century.
February 1, 2004

Big-Box Blues

A Wal-Mart grocery invasion could be very bad news for cities and the tax revenue they get from local supermarkets.
December 1, 2003

In The Zone

A new study finds that state enterprise zones don't do much good, partly because they suffer from fuzzy policy goals.
October 1, 2003

The Spawning Spark

Knowing how startups are born is vital to economic development: Entrepreneurs drive a lot of opportunities.
August 1, 2003

Creating A Land Boom

Some older cities are playing with an idea that would encourage landowners to develop or sell their 'fallow' lots.
June 1, 2003

Making Work

A new study suggests that state and local tax incentives for existing businesses don't create new jobs.
December 1, 2002

Angel at the Airport

Wichita is providing a discount air carrier with a $5 million subsidy in an effort to bring cheaper air service to its airport.
October 1, 2002

The Clawback Clause

If a company getting tax breaks doesn't deliver the goods, should the state or locality involved demand its money back?
August 1, 2002

Paying the Hotel Bill

Increasingly, cities and development authorities are building and owning the hotels that support their convention centers.
June 1, 2002

The 21st Century Ltd.

California's freight corridor is a prime example of the most important kind of development projects our cities will see.
April 1, 2002

Growth Without Growth

A new, provocative report finds places where the economy is growing strong even though the population isn't.
February 1, 2002

Twin Towers' Afterglow

While a new project will rise on the site of ground zero, the Twin Towers' legacy survives throughout metropolitan New York.
December 1, 2001

Growing Pangs

There's been a lot of hand wringing in my hometown. Our second largest private employer is leaving.
October 1, 2001

A Rural Knockout

The rapidly changing relationship between prosperous U.S. cities and their traditional hinterlands is creating 21st-century problems.
August 1, 2001

Getting the Job Done

It's become good politics in urban areas to advocate `skills training' for immigrant groups, even if the skills are pretty basic.
June 1, 2001

The e-Archivers List

When it comes to the New Economy, no metropolitan area is without assets--and precious few have a monopoly on success.
April 1, 2001

The Not-So-Boring Basics

Even in the era of the New Economy, a successful economic development strategy still depends on plain ol' infrastructure.
February 1, 2001

Big-Box Food Fights

There's a looming battle over groceries, but the battleground itself is the local government land-use approval process.
December 1, 2000

Local Hero V. Regional Champ

Very often, a big development project achieves regional goals but does so by flattening a local community. Or vice versa.
October 1, 2000

Will Retail Still Rule?

How the Internet tax war plays out will have a major role in determining future economic development strategies.
August 1, 2000

Mutual Attraction

The popular perception may be that all the jobs are moving to the suburbs. But the statistical data show otherwise.
June 1, 2000

Playing Off History

The charming but non-functioning Erie Canal could be the foundation for economic revival in Upstate New York.
April 1, 2000

The Fedex Story

Why did a fledging overnight-delivery company relocate in Memphis--and what does it take to keep it there?