Where Have all the Affordable Cities Gone?

Angie Schmitt follows up on an earlier report by the Citizen's Budget Commission that made an argument for the affordability of cities like New York City, with its large network of cheap transportation.
Doug Letterman / Flickr

Since Planetizen caught news of the Citizen's Budget Commission (CBC) report via Crain's New York Business, the report has made news at the Washington Post, CityLab, and Michael Lewyn's blog for the Congress of New Urbanism, so people are interested in the idea of alternative measures of transportation.

Like Michael Lewyn, Angie Schmitt is skeptical about the implications of the conclusions produced by the report, instead arguing that "[between] the high cost of transportation in sprawling regions and the high demand for housing in compact cities with good transit, very few places in America are looking genuinely affordable these days."

Although Schmitt agrees that the CBC's report uses a better measure of affordability than housing costs alone, she also argues that "[while] abundant transit is absolutely essential to keeping household transportation costs down, and it provides a lifeline to low-income residents of major coastal cities, the report still tends to exaggerate overall affordability in these areas."

Full Story: Are There Any Affordable Cities Left in America?


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.
Red necktie with map of Boston

For dads and grads: tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.

NEW! City Map Posters

Available in 9 different cities.

NEW! Get the "Green Bible"

Understand the complexities of planning at the local level while preparing for the AICP* exam. Find out why this edition is included in the APA's recommended reading list.