Could Good Design Have Prevented the Housing Crisis?

Architect Jeanne Gang and scholar Greg Lindsay have penned an opinion piece in which they investigate the ways in which designers and planners can fix the housing crisis by responding to economic, demographic, and cultural changes.
February 12, 2012, 5am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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It is an old story amongst the planning profession: poor urban design leads to an unsustainable community. Multiple unsustainable communities stitched together with an unsustainable highway system leads to unsustainable regions and states. How much of the housing crisis that faced the United States these past 6 years was a result of speculation on housing constructed without sufficient consideration of good urban design and community building is a big debate right now.

Gang and Lindsay wade into the debate by stressing the importance of bringing coordinated multidisciplinary creativity to the planning and governance of our struggling cities and towns. The challenges of the housing crisis have presented an opportunity to understand the myriad demographic, cultural, and economic changes affecting American cities and suburbs; and to create forward-thinking financial, regulatory, and design solutions to address them.

Challenging the accepted definition of what a family is and how to provide multi-generational housing. Challenging the established zoning and separation of uses. These are paramount in making sure that the communities we build have underlying value.

Thanks to Blake Laven

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Published on Thursday, February 9, 2012 in NY Times
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