Housing

Stockton, Fresno and Bakersfield Lead San Francisco Metro in Growth

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In a March 26 article, The New York Times headlined: "Even before coronavirus, America's population was growing at slowest rate since 1919." Experts suggested that, with the coronavirus and falling immigration rates, the country could see a population decline next year.

Lurking behind this overall assessment was even bigger news for Californians. Improbably, the much smaller Stockton, Fresno and Bakersfield metropolitan areas are now growing faster than the San Francisco and Los Angeles metropolitan areas, as well as the San Diego metropolitan area.  read more »

The Coming Age of Dispersion

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As of this writing, the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic remain uncertain. But one possible consequence is an acceleration of the end of the megacity era. In its place, we may now be witnessing the outlines of a new, and necessary, dispersion of population, not only in the wide open spaces of North America and Australia, but even in the megacities of the developing world.  read more »

Grass Roots

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A couple of weeks ago I was visiting friends and the conversation turned to the ever more visible dilemmas in the neighborhood. We focused on two specific problems: the continuing expansion of the homeless population, and the record number of vacant storefronts.  read more »

Millennials Find New Hope in the Heartland

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In “Millennials Find New Hope In The Heartland,” Heartland Forward Senior Fellow Joel Kotkin and his contributors address a fundamental topic for future economic success in the Heartland: Will Millennials return and remain at higher rates?  read more »

Upzoning — Be Careful What You Wish For

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I have a difficult relationship with "upzoning", the reform of zoning ordinance codes that allows for a wider range of housing types and greater densities than typically seen in single-family-home dominant areas. It's clearly a positive strategy for cities with strong growth and demand for housing, and it clearly leads to the kind of urban development that I find most pleasing -- dense, walkable, a mix of uses, transit accessible. But cities that relax zoning standards without super-hot economies may be creating cities that end up being more unequal, not less.  read more »

Studying the Wrong Cities Will Lead to Repeating Their Mistakes

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The junket factor must be the only logical criteria by which various industry “study tours” overseas are planned. How else to explain how entirely inappropriate the choices are? The list of cities identified for “study” by Australian development and planning industry bodies reads like the pages of a glossy weekend travel magazine: we’ve seen study tours to New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Copenhagen, London, Vancouver and (of course) Portland. The purpose? One recent blurb promises it is “to expand our horizons and bring new ideas back to Aussie shores.”  read more »

The Battle of Oak Grove

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“People Come and Go. I Plan for the Land.”

Our initial efforts to save Oak Grove from densification were pretty naïve. First, we thought we could persuade the Clackamas County planners that densification was a bad idea. We invited the lead planner to walk the neighborhood with some of us, a walk that ended with a visit in Jeanne Johnson’s home.  read more »

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 »

Home Ownership: Cornerstone of Singapore’s Housing Policy

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The following is the Introduction to the 16th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, which rates housing affordability in more than 300 metropolitan markets in eight nations in the third quarter of 2019. This Introduction relies on Internet and academic sources and information from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) of Singapore.  read more »

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