Housing

How We Lit The Fuse On The Population Bomb

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We’ve been here before – concerns about our capacity to house a large population are not new. But lately, hostility to rapid rates of population growth is gaining traction. There have been calls for a population inquiry and former PM Hon Tony Abbott has called for immigration (and hence population growth) to be slashed. He joins a chorus of other voices, from business to community groups. Voters are pushing back against growth and political leaders are feeling the pressure.  read more »

If New Zealand is to crack the problems of unaffordable housing, government here must look seriously at how the better parts of

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This seems about the worst possible month to be suggesting that anybody should try to emulate anything going on in America. The place seems to be going mad in ways no longer funny to laugh at from very far away.

So it’s a bit of a shame that the best lessons on infrastructure financing and affordable housing come from a few places in the United States that have really figured things out. If the exact same lessons had come from Canada, or the UK, or Estonia, Infrastructure New Zealand would have an easier time marketing its latest report.  read more »

The Evolving Urban Form: Lisbon

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Lisbon, Portugal’s capital is located on the wide estuary of the Tagus River, with a bridge modeled after San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge connecting the core city to the suburbs to the south. Lisbon also resembles San Francisco in being picturesque, with the urbanization mixed with the complex geography of the coastal waters, dominated by hills.  read more »

A Personal Segregation Story

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I've written quite a bit about segregation and its impact on cities lately, and more specifically on its impact on people of color. I won't link to everything I've done recently but encourage you to scroll through articles here, and on my Forbes site. You'll find a reasonable flavor of the things I've written about segregation's legacy in cities.

But today I wanted to use my own family history to show how it's had a personal and generational impact.  read more »

Columbus, Ohio’s Structural Advantages

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The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is hiring a research associate for their global cities program. If interested, check out the listing.

In 2009 I posted an article that proclaimed Columbus, Ohio “the new Midwestern star,” a prediction which proved prescient. I won’t go too much into performance right now as I’m planning an article on the subject, but just as one quick stat, Columbus has been the fastest growing major Midwest metro in population since 2010 at 9.0%, with a bit of a gap to the #2 performer Minneapolis at 7.3%.  read more »

The Hollowing-Out of the California Dream

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Progressives praise California as the harbinger of the political future, the home of a new, enlightened, multicultural America. Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill has identified California Senator Kamala Harris as the party leader on issues of immigration and race.  read more »

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

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Urban planners predicted that Millennials would prefer renting apartments in dense cities over owning homes in low-density suburbs. So they told regional governments to restrict low-density development and promote high-density housing instead. Now, Millennials are 18 percent less likely to own homes than their parents did when their parents were young: in 1990, 45 percent of 25-34-year-olds owned their own homes; by 2015, it was just 37 percent.  read more »

Welcome To Ashburn (via WBEZ)

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Some recent pieces I wrote about segregation in the past few weeks got me thinking of how to express a particular feature of segregation I've witnessed in the Rust Belt, what one might call "diversity without integration", plays out in some cities.  read more »

American Migration: Exploring Where People Move Across America

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Just a few years ago, experts indicated Americans (especially young Americans) were more interested in a different lifestyle than previous generations. Instead of owning a house in the suburbs, the new American dream consisted of renting an apartment in the city.  read more »

Backyard Rental House Zoning Threatens Trees, Breezes, Birds and Neighborhoods

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The Dallas city manager and housing director are proposing a devastating blanket zoning change: allowing ADUs (additional dwelling units), better known as backyard rental houses, in single-family zoned neighborhoods. This change would allow a 44-foot wide by 30-foot tall rental house to be built on the back of a standard 50‑foot wide by 150-foot deep lot. Backyard rental houses would deforest the older neighborhoods, undermine neighborhood stability, accelerate gentrification, reduce diversity of housing, and diminish attainably priced opportunities for homebuyers.  read more »