Green Urbanism's Affordability Problem

Nature writer David Oates embeds himself in green, urban Portland and finds much to like about the green city movement but also much room for improvement.

The main issue Oates confronts is how unaffordable this sort of green development is for the average American.

"It's a good vision, but, so far, the Green Urbanism I've seen glides on a silent lubrication of money. A lot of it. And on an enabling American silence about class. Both these silent premises have been deeply challenged in the economic catastrophes that followed my residency in South Waterfront.

None of the waiters or bank clerks employed in this neighborhood-or poodle-clippers, baristas, or construction guys working the next tower over-can live here. They do not walk to work. A two-bedroom in the John Ross cost $700,000 or more at the time of my stay in South Waterfront. For comparison the median two-bedroom house (on the West Coast) was $309,000, and the average worker couldn't afford that either. Prices in both categories have dropped in the economic free fall, but the problem remains. Several new towers have since risen in South Waterfront, some offering apartments instead of condos. Still nothing for ordinary working folks, though. That two-bedroom? Bring your cash: up to $5,000 a month."

Full Story: Eco City Dreaming

Comments

Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
$24.95
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Women's t-shirt with map of Los Angeles

City T-Shirts for the ladies!

Women's Supersoft CityFabric© Fashion Fit Tees. Now available in six different cities.
$24.00

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
$36.00