Like many attractive, economically successful cities Seattle has a housing crisis, but not a land crisis. There is plenty of land if the city will just grow up.
Patrick Condon's new book, "Sick City: Disease, Race, Inequality and Urban Land" recommends tax reforms and housing subsidies to create more affordable and inclusive communities. It is attractive propaganda that deserves critical analysis.
As California continues to grapple with staggering housing issues, France's experience offers lessons about the kinds of housing policies and strategies that work.
San Francisco Chronicle
To increase affordability communities should support moderate-priced housing development. This increases housing options for middle-income households, and for lower-income through filtering, as households move from low- to moderate-priced units.
A thought experiment compares the carbon impact of three new single family homes with the same block if it contained a duplex, a triplex, and a fourplex.
The Charter of the New Urbanism favors infill development, yet new urbanists sometimes oppose infill, especially in historic urban areas. This post speculates on why that might be the case.
They're a good start. But compared to similar policies in cities like Portland and Vancouver, Seattle's new policies around accessory dwelling units may be lackluster.
Conventional planning is static, designed to lock in existing land use patterns. We need more dynamic planning to respond to changing household needs and community goals.
Because it forces infill and efficient transit, among other things, traffic is actually good per capita GDP and jobs.
Public Square: A CNU Journal
California State Sen. Ben Allen has authored SB 961 to finance optional neighborhood infill TOD districts, with support from fellow legislators. Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand is considering an initiative to protect local zoning.
The Planning Report
The International Housing Affordability Survey rates affordability in selected urban regions. Although presented as objective research, the IHAS is actually propaganda. Users of this information should be warned about its biases
True Affordability. Critiquing the International Housing Affordability Survey
For the first time in four years, a quarterly survey indicates “market saturation in urban areas.”
A huge public response shows that the booming city is defining a new future with smart growth.
Urbanites' complaints about gentrification have much in common with suburbanites' complaints about commutes. Scarcity due to the ridiculous amount of land zoned for single-family housing deserves as much blame for displacement as gentrification.
Pro-housing activists in San Francisco are blamed for displacement of vulnerable communities because they support luxury housing developments. A report from the independent progressive website, Truthout, ties YIMBYs to the "alt-right."
The author of California’s successful accessory dwelling unit legislation last year discusses this session's efforts, as well as the role of the state in determining local housing supply.
The Planning Report
A Santa Ana small lot development could be an example of how California could become more affordable by building more dense urban-style homes throughout the state.
Los Angeles Times
A major study by the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, "Revitalizing Places: Improving Housing and Neighborhoods from Block to Metropolis," identifies planning strategies to improve housing and urban development practices.
Rethinking Social Housing in Mexico Project
Some commentators on urban containment treat the issue as all-or-nothing: either strict limits on suburban development are good public policy everywhere, or they are good public policy nowhere. Perhaps a more nuanced view is appropriate.
If Detroit needs to be "rebuilt" or "reimagined," why not do so around a walkable, convenient ideal? A compact Motor City where essential goods and services are available within a 20-minute walk?
Detroit Free Press