Skip Navigation

Wendell Cox

Contact Wendell Cox 618-632-8507

Wendell Cox is a consultant specializing in urban policy (housing, land use, transportation, governance), demographics and intercity transport and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.

Mr. Cox is principal of Wendell Cox Consultancy, an international public policy firm. He has consulted for government and private organizations in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and for scores of public policy organizations. He served as a visiting professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers, a national university located in central Paris and has delivered guest lectures such as at Tongji University, (Shanghai), Cairo University, the University of Toronto, the University of Paris, the University of Sydney.

Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley appointed him to three terms on the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (LACTC), serving from 1977 to 1985. LACTC was the top public policy authority on public transport and highways in the nation's largest county. Out of 11 LACTC members, Mr. Cox was the only non-elected official. While at LACTC he authored the tax amendment that provided the initial funding for building light rail ("Blue" Line) and the subway ("Red" Line). He was elected chairman of the American Public Transit Association Planning and Policy Committee (comprised of transit planning department officials) and the American Public Transit Association Governing Boards Committee (comprise of transit board members).

He was chair of the Service Coordination Committee from 1977 to 1985. In this position, he was instrumental in the development of the state mandated Transit Service and Coordination Program for Los Angeles County, which led to the withdrawal from the regional transit agency (the Southern California Rapid Transit District) of the Foothill Transit District (San Gabriel Valley) and the express bus services within the city of Los Angeles. These transit systems, which rely on competitive contracting (competitive tendering) provide service less expensively. He also presided over two quasi-judicial dispute resolution processes between the regional transit operator and municipal operators.

In 1999, he was appointed to the Amtrak Reform Council by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, to fill the unexpired term of New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman.

He is co-author of the Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, which rates the cost of housing relative to incomes in approximately 300 metropolitan areas in eight nations. He is also author of Demographia World Urban Areas, the only regularly published compendium of population, land area and density data for all identified built-up urban areas with at least 500,000 residents. Both publications were in their 15th annual editions in 2019. He is a senior fellow with the Center for Opportunity Urbanism in Houston, the senior fellow for housing affordability and municipal policy at the Frontier Center for Public Policy in Winnipeg and on the Board of Advisors for the Chapman University Center for Demographics and Policy.

He has also created the City Sector Model, which provides demographic analysis of US major metropolitan areas at a small area level, based on a typology that captures land use differences between urban development before and after World War II.

Mr. Cox is a prolific writer and popular public speaker. He is the author of scores of monographs and book chapters addressing urban sprawl and smart growth, transportation, mass transit, congestion, and demographic trends. He has addressed hundreds of audiences at major industry and academic conferences, international symposia, and government-sponsored seminars. He always receives high marks for his enthusiastic and challenging presentations.

Recent Articles and Publications

view all by this author
May 31, 2016
By Wendell Cox
There is general agreement the financial crisis that began with the failure of Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008 was made worse by the bursting of the U.S. housing price bubble.
March 7, 2016
By Wendell Cox
The physical expansion of cities, known as “urban sprawl,” has been a principal concern of urban planners for decades, which has led to the adoption of “urban containment.
January 10, 2016
By Wendell Cox
There is an emerging consensus about the destructiveness of excessive land use regulation, both with respect to its impact on housing affordability but also its overall impacts on economies. This is most evident in a recent New Zealand commentary.
December 31, 2015
By Wendell Cox
After three decades of breakneck urban growth, there are indications of a significant slowdown in the largest cities of China.
December 3, 2015
By Wendell Cox
There is a growing body of research on the consequences of excessive land use regulation.
September 30, 2014
By Wendell Cox
Cox examines the ability of the Bay area to meet its fiscal obligations for the Bay Area Transit plan and finds is lacking. The plan anticipates spending more than $10.
July 1, 2013
By Wendell Cox
This report reviews the dominant strains of urban land-use and transport policy (urban containment) in metropolitan areas and evaluates its longer-term impact on households and the economy.

2018 By the Numbers

See what sets Heartland apart:
82% of state elected officials read Heartland publications
of state elected officials read one or more Heartland newspapers "sometimes" or "always."
45% of elected officials say Heartland led to a change in policy
of state elected officials say a Heartland publication influenced their opinions or led to a change in public policy.
3.2 Million
the number of times Heartland's six podcasts were downloaded in 2018
184 issues
of weekly e-newsletters sent to subscribers across the country
158 events
that Heartland hosted, attended, or spoke at, reaching over 34,000 guests in 2018.
100,000 fans
on Facebook posting and reposting over 1 million times a week