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New York Times Editorial Takes Pro-Development Stance

The Editorial Board of the New York Times offers perhaps the highest profile support to date for overthrowing the status quo of slow growth and development opposition.
June 17, 2019, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Can the New York Times move the ball down the field against the political forces that resist new development?
Elvert Barnes

An editorial by the New York Times Editorial Board (noted to represent the opinions of the board, its editor, and the publisher), weighs in on the great debate of the age in planning: how to solve the ongoing housing affordability crisis gripping cities all over the United States.

The editorial says government is the problem for the lack of affordable housing around the country, creating the shortage by preventing construction. The editorial also debunks the notion of building boom in many of the most expensive cities in the country.

Don’t be misled by the construction cranes that punctuate city skylines. The number of housing units completed in the United States last year, adjusted for the size of the population, was lower than in any year between 1968 and 2008. And the problem is most acute in major urban areas along the east and west coasts. Housing prices, and homelessness, are rising across the country because there is not enough housing.

Given this framing, it shouldn't be surprising that the editorial expresses support for the idea of building more housing to help alleviate pressure on the housing market. The editorial says new development in dense urban areas could also create new jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and address inequality.

As its example of a new way of planning things, the editorial showcases Minneapolis, would recently adopted the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan, which sets the city on a course to eventually end single-family zoning.

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Published on Saturday, June 15, 2019 in The New York Times
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