Are We There Yet? Affordability in the 'New Normal'

In the new normal, an affordable lifestyle is suddenly of interest to a larger circle of us. Here's what some interesting innovators are doing about it, between now and when our politics and legal structure fully align with our needs.
Tony Fischer / Flickr

"The ways in which we’ve designed, financed, constructed and regulated land use development need some serious tweaking if we’re to align the ambitions of families and businesses in the new era with the infrastructure of community essential to their success."

"The trouble is, investing so much of our energy and so many of our resources in fine-tuning the Ponzi scheme has left us bummed and broke. If only there were some quick and easy way to reverse the trend and put us all back on track to enjoying the happiness and prosperity we were deprived of during the recent unpleasantness."

"Well, good luck with that."

Ben Brown goes on to use stories from his friends to address the recalcitrance in the economic recovery:

  • Aligning affordable scale with design worthy of high-end, mixed-use infill in town sets standard for future growth in Chico, California, a la R John Anderson.
  • Demographic change and economic pressures challenge communities to accommodate the reset Richard Florida predicts.
  • Mercy Housing & Human Development (Hurricane Katrina) and Next Step (Hurricane Sandy) show the way toward design savvy affordable housing, thanks to Bruce Tolar and others. 
  • Affordable lifestyle isn't necessarily that affordable per square foot, as Ross Chapin shows in his beautifully-designed pocket neighborhoods of the Pacific Northwest.


Full Story: Are We There Yet? Affordability in the ‘New Normal’

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month
City Plate table setting

New Arrival! City Plates

City downtown cores printed on gorgeous decorative collectible porcelain plates.
$50.00
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95