Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

Focus on Affordability at APA National Conference

For all the discussion about affordable housing at the APA National Conference in Seattle last week, clear solutions have yet to emerge. Polycentric regional planning is one long-term goal.
April 28, 2015, 10am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments
Ryan Lackey

The majority of us agree: vibrant cities shouldn't be only for the rich. But today's real estate market urban centers that only decades ago were considered undesirable: "Intensifying this dynamic is a supply and demand problem, as two groups—highly educated millennials and retiring boomers—compete with working-class residents for the same types of housing: smaller and efficient, and above all close to transit, jobs, and urban amenities."

For some, the only solution is to build our way out. "The shortfall of affordable housing arguably would take 50 years to fill at the current rate of production in San Francisco [...] It might take 25 years in New York City. But betting it all on increasing supply is fraught, too." Besides, haven't we already discovered that adding lanes doesn't solve traffic?

Perhaps the most promising solution involves emancipating the urban promise from exclusive city centers. "In a broader view, a more regional approach, with polycentric, high-density centers supported by transit, has the advantage of breaking out of the borders of the super-hot markets."

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 in CityLab
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email