Planning

To The Economist: Planning, Not Home Ownership, Caused the Housing Crisis

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The January 16, 2020 cover story in The Economist magazine trumpeted “The West’s biggest economic policy mistake: It’s obsession with homeownership undermines growth, fairness and public faith in capitalism. “The Economist explains:  read more »

Make America Affordable Again

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The Department of Housing and Urban Development has asked for comments on eliminating regulatory barriers to affordable housing. This is my response.  read more »

Sydney High-Density Planning

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High-density planning policies have become fashionable and Sydney planners are among the most enthusiastic adopters. New South Wales Government authorities claim that high density policies result in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (gge), provide improved housing affordability and result in reduced traffic congestion. No evidence has been provided to justify these assertions. Such claims need to be investigated as well as density’s detrimental effect on amenity and quality of life should also be investigated.  read more »

Standard of Living Crisis Evident in New Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

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One of the principal advances of the past two centuries has been the drastic reduction in poverty and the rise of a large middle-class, a process expertly detailed by economists Diedre McClosky and Robert Gordon.  read more »

California's Inept Central Planners

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Gov. Gavin Newsom, the Legislature and the state’s bureaucracy claim to be addressing the state’s much discussed “housing crisis.” But rather than improve the state’s awful affordability crisis, the policies being enacted are precisely the wrong medicine, more akin to witch-doctoring than a scientific curative.  read more »

Afterburn

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Here in California we’ve just received our first rain since last winter after another brutal round of massive forest fires. Our Mediterranean style climate cycles from a long dry hot period to a few short cool wet winter months. October is our most fire prone time of year. It’s hot, the earth is bone dry, the vegetation is brittle, and windstorms stir up fires like a giant hair dryer. Cyclical burns are part of the ecosystem here and are normal and necessary.  read more »

Report: California Getting In Its Own Way

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Although Governor Gavin Newsom promised to deliver 3.5 million new housing units in eight years, California severely missed this mark: as reported by the Public Policy Institute of California, housing production actually decreased during each of the past 2 years, and in 2019 is on track to fall about 80% short of the annual mark required to build 3.5 million new homes in 8 years. At this pace, it will take 39.6 years for the Governor to achieve his 8-year goal.  read more »

It's Organic! End of Conjecture and the Science Ahead

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A long succession of urban theorists, including Jane Jacobs, have intuited, implied, or proclaimed the “organic” nature of cities. This organic concept of cities describes them as self-organizing, complex systems that might appear messy, but that disorderliness belies a deep structure governed by fundamentally rule-bound processes.  read more »

New WPC Study: Expanding Seattle's Transit-Heavy Approach Will Not Improve Region's Quality of Life

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Washington Policy Center asked national transportation expert and urban policy analyst, Wendell Cox, to evaluate transportation planning in the Puget Sound region. Where do people choose to live, where do they choose to work, and how do they choose to travel? Does our regional transportation plan and subsequent spending by public officials reflect reality, or wishful thinking? These were just a few of the questions I had for him.  read more »

Planning for an Unattainable Fantasy

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Austin is one of the fastest-growing cities in America, and the city of Austin and Austin’s transit agency, Capital Metro, have a plan for dealing with all of the traffic that will be generated by that growth: assume that a third of the people who now drive alone to work will switch to transit, bicycling, walking, or telecommuting by 2039. That’s right up there with planning for dinner by assuming that food will magically appear on the table the same way it does in Hogwarts.  read more »