Smart Growth Weathered Housing Crisis Better Than Sprawl

Abigail Gardner of Smart Growth America takes aim at a recent article based primarily on Wendell Cox's correlation of smart growth policies to the housing market bubble and collapse.
June 23, 2011, 12pm PDT | Irvin Dawid
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Cox's report, "The Housing Crash and Smart Growth" (PDF), and summarized in Planetizen: Wendell Cox Blames Planners for Housing Crisis, "argues land-use restrictions and planning policies like smart growth fueled property prices and became the engine of the housing boom and bust."

Gardner sees the causes of the housing crash differently.

"The only national variable that correlates clearly with this overwhelmingly national trend was the loosening of mortgage lending rules and Wall Street's invention of new ways to profit from bad loans - not land use restrictions."

In fact, it is peripheral suburbs that are disproportionately affected by the foreclosure crisis, writes Gardener: "Areas that pulled out all the stops on new development suffered more than those that took a more measured approach."

Thanks to ClimatePlan

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Published on Thursday, June 16, 2011 in D.C. Streetsblog
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