It is indeed possible to have a city full of low-rise buildings that is still compact enough for excellent transit service—but only if most side streets are used for mid-rise buildings instead of houses.
It started in Seattle with the Amazon Tax to pay for transportation and housing needs exacerbated by the city's largest employers. Last month, a Google Tax was placed on the November ballot in Silicon Valley. A landlord tax in Oakland could be next.
As recently as a half-generation ago, California passed anti-immigrant laws, routinely elected Republican politicians, and wallowed in land use laws—like Prop. 13—enacted by conservatives. Manuel Pastor explains California's change of heart.
"Comrades, rejoice: In the face of the counter-revolutionary neo-liberal onslaught, there’s at least one arena where the people’s inalienable rights reign supreme: we embrace socialism for car storage."
The Los Angeles Transit-Oriented Communities program, which offers development bonuses in exchange for affordable housing in developments near transit lines, is the city's most successful affordable housing tool.
New York is the first city in the world to report to the U.N. on SDGs in the arenas of clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, and land conservation.
Cities like San Francisco or New York can suck up all the oxygen for the conversation about housing affordability in the U.S. Meanwhile rapidly growing cities like Nashville, where the scope of a crisis of affordability is no less dire.