There is a crisis in America that’s not being attended to. It is the housing crisis, and its tentacles reach deep into the decline of the American middle class. Particularly, the interlocking dynamics of foreclosure, abandonment, and blight are draining the net worth of millions of Americans. The solutions to date have been piecemeal and ineffective. read more »
One of the most important turning points in the social history of the United States occurred at the beginning of the 1940s. This is not about Pearl Harbor or the Second World War, but rather about the economic, housing and transportation advances that have produced more affluence for more people than ever before in the world. read more »
Just six years since the last housing bubble, California is blowing up another. This may seem like good news to homeowners and speculators alike but it could further accelerate the demise of the state's middle class and push more businesses out of the state. read more »
“It took a bit of wind out of my sails, watching what happened in this neighborhood, watching how it happened…I don’t know how to beat this [gentrification]. I don’t know how anyone can beat this machine.”—From the article The Ins and Outs
The Generalization of Gentrification read more »
Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Brazil from before independence from Portugal was declared in 1822. That all changed in 1960, when the capital moved to the modern planned city of Brasilia, more than 500 miles (800 kilometers) inland. The move, however, did nothing to slow Rio de Janeiro's growth, as the metropolitan area (as designated by Brazil's census agency, the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística), added 7 million people – a 150 percent increase in population – over the ensuing 60 years read more »
For twenty years British house building has fallen behind demand, forcing up prices and rents. Here's a series of photos showing some of the things people have had to do to live.
Victoria Campbell was living in a shed in her parents' garden in Havant, while she and her fiance saved up for a deposit, but the Council has told her that she has to move out. read more »
Demographic and Economic Challenges: The 9th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey
The just released 9th Annual Demographia Housing Affordability Survey (pdf) indicates that housing affordability has deteriorated modestly in the last year. A number of major metropolitan areas remain severely unaffordable.
Highlights: Metropolitan Areas
Among the 337 Metropolitan markets analyzed, Hong Kong remained the most unaffordable, with a median multiple (median house price divided by pre-tax median household income) of 13.5, up nearly a full point from last year's 12.6. read more »
Progressives may be a lot less religious than conservatives, but these days they have reason to think that Providence– or Gaia — has taken on a bluish hue.
From the solid re-election of President Obama, to a host of demographic and social trends, the progressives seem poised to achieve what Ruy Texeira predicted a decade ago: an “emerging Democratic majority”.
Virtually all the groups that backed Obama — singles, millennials, Hispanics, Asians — are all growing bigger while many of the core Republican groups, such as evangelicals and intact families, appear in secular decline. read more »
How we, as a nation, find bounty and beauty in the future depends upon how we react to two trends emerging from the recent difficult period in American urbanism. The first of these trends is the increasing lack of affordability in mainstream urban America, with the costs of maintaining a middle-class lifestyle at a level where distinct have/have-not lines are now drawn. The second is the increasing authoritarianism in mainstream urban America, where decisions about how our cities function are guided by a new array of authority figures that represent the common good. read more »
Hong Kong is a city of superlatives. Hong Kong has at least twice the population density of any other urban area in the more developed world, at 67,000 per square mile or 25,900 per square kilometer. The Hong Kong skyline is rated the world's best by both emporis.com (a building database) and diserio.com, which use substantially different criteria. read more »