Time for Real Estate to 'Get Real'

Ventura, CA, City Manager Rick Cole Op-ed argues for a comprehensive paradigm shift in the real estate and development industries.
April 5, 2009, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"We are witnessing an historic sea change. It is no coincidence that the global economic crisis was triggered by the collapse of American sub-prime mortgages. Sprawl is now the poster child for our unsustainable way of life, starting with 'real estate.'"

"For thousands of years, people have built increasingly sophisticated and prosperous cities and towns, long before the advent of zoning, autos, cheap oil, real estate investment trusts, and corporate development companies. In the tough times ahead, we will need to relearn from those timeless ways of building. That does not mean turning back the clock on progress. It means adapting modern technology to human scale, harnessing private investment to life cycle returns instead of quarterly profits, and shaping great places instead of chasing great deals."

"There is money to be made in building places where people live and work-there always has been. But when local 'real estate' investments get bundled and traded on anonymous global markets, making money has eclipsed the creation of lasting value."

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Published on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 in The Planning Report
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