Housing

Blog post
March 31, 2009, 3pm PDT

Watching Slumdog Millionaire, the Oscar winning film of 2008 that is being released on DVD today, can be a bracing experience for those accustomed to the conveniences of Western living. The destitute living is accurately and graphically depicted and is all too real for those that have seen it. Yet, the real danger is letting the poverty obscure a larger, perhaps more important lesson about urban places: Many of these urban slums are functioning, productive cities in their own right, and represent an intergenerational path toward economic improvement.

Samuel Staley
Blog post
March 20, 2009, 10am PDT

The planning profession’s ambivalence toward Houston has always been a little frustrating. In part, the profession’s attitude is understandable. Houston hasn’t embraced planning’s conventions, so why should the profession embrace Houston?

Fair enough. But the downside is losing the opportunity to look at core issues and problems from a completely different lens. This is especially true when it comes to housing development where Houston performs remarkably better than its peers.

Samuel Staley
Blog post
March 10, 2009, 6am PDT
In January 1992, The New York Times Sunday Magazine ran a piece by Columbia’s Nicholas Lemann, titled “The Myth of Community Development”.  It was then - timed to provoke critical thinking about the Clinton Administration’s vanilla urban policy of Empowerment Communities (EZ/EC) - a poignant evaluation of community development, and it asked hard questions.

Questions about the capacity of local organizations, the wisdom of economic development efforts in the hands of anemic CDCs.  Neither wholly right nor wrong, the piece put on the table a necessary skunk:  was it sensible to try to revitalize the inner city using the tools and thinking then at hand?
Charles Buki
March 9, 2009, 5am PDT
With housing values and sales continuing to plummet along with other major economic indicators, the concern should be about preventing a second great depression, not paying down the deficit, writes Dean Baker.
Guardian (UK)
Blog post
March 7, 2009, 11pm PST
 As the economy continues to lumber through the most protracted period of recession since the early 1980s, the financial sector has received the brunt of the blame. It’s been easy for the planning profession to distance themselves from what seem at first to be macroeconomic trends. That view, however, is becoming increasingly difficult to uphold.
Samuel Staley
January 1, 2009, 5am PST
The deepening of the housing market crisis is certainly a big deal in California. But the land use story of the year was the Legislature's passage of a measure mandating regional planning.
California Planning & Development Report
November 2, 2008, 7am PST
City Limits breaks down the differences between the two presidential candidates with a focus on urban issues.
City Limits
Blog post
October 14, 2008, 12pm PDT

James Howard Kunstler has been saying for some time now that when our "ponzi scheme" economy finally crumbles around us, people are going to be very angry, and looking for someone to blame.

Michael Dudley
Blog post
September 23, 2008, 6pm PDT

The on-going foreclosure and subsequent credit crisis should offer important lessons for housing policy and public policy more broadly. Chief among these lessons might be the falsity of the notion that government regulation is always bad. But some conservative commentators cling to the dogma that government intervention is the root of all evil. An explanation being offered by some is that government intervention in the form of Community Reinvestment Act encouraged irresponsible lending and led to the subsequent housing bust.

Lance Freeman
August 12, 2008, 8am PDT
The cost of commuting is beginning to trump federal policies favoring exurban development, and transit ridership is at a fifty year high.
The Washington Post
August 1, 2008, 1pm PDT
<p>Author Alan Ehrenhalt says that conditions are ripe for the permanent return of downtown residential neighborhoods, and that a "demographic inversion" has already begun in Manhattan, Chicago and Washington, DC, among other cities.</p>
The New Republic
July 25, 2008, 12pm PDT
<p>Moscow tops an annual ranking of the world's most expensive cities. The survey examines housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment for corporations and government agencies determining living costs for expats.</p>
Forbes
July 18, 2008, 11am PDT
<p>The Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae crisis is resurrecting the debate over the role the federal government should play in the housing market.</p>
The Christian Science Monitor
July 9, 2008, 8am PDT
<p>The Chicago Tribune examines what became of an ambitious city project, led by Mayor Daley, to revolutionize public housing. Private developers received public funding to tear down old projects and replace them with mixed-use neighborhoods.</p>
The Chicago Tribune
Blog post
July 1, 2008, 11am PDT
What do the residents of Vancouver's False Creek North think of living in one of the largest centrally located, high-density, pedestrian- and family-oriented mixed-use neighbourhoods in the world?   

Gordon Price
June 26, 2008, 7am PDT
<p>The economics of long commutes are forcing many to the conclusion that suburban living is no longer viable, and suburban housing prices are falling accordingly.</p>
The New York Times
June 23, 2008, 6am PDT
<p>A recent L.A. Times series suggests that we should build more Southern California freeways for long-distance commuters, and prevent additional job development in employment-heavy areas. Bill Fulton suggests a different approach.</p>
California Planning & Development Report
June 19, 2008, 12pm PDT
<p>A new AIA report shows that new homes under construction are getting smaller in response to market forces.</p>
AIArchitect
June 17, 2008, 5am PDT
<p>As the U.S. Congress and Senate wrangle with each other over how to address the housing crisis, housing advocates worry that federal assistance- if and when it comes- will be inadequate.</p>
Washington Independent
June 15, 2008, 9am PDT
<p>Despite the housing downturn, houses in excess of 20,000 square feet are still being built by the very wealthy — with no sign of a slowdown.</p>
The Los Angeles Times