Seattle Space Needle. Photo by author.
The feature piece in The Stranger last month delved deeply into Seattle’s trend of micro-apartments. Dominic Holden offers an in-depth look at not just the development trends, but the politics of the policy and planning conversation around development in an expanding city.
A few things popped out:
Room for rent: The article describes
Continue reading Housing demand and the regulatory path of least resistance: Seattle and microapartments
Vancouver towers along False Creek. Photo by author.
Two competing narratives often emerge when talking about policy responses to housing costs. One asserts that lowering the costs of construction and development will allow those savings to be passed on to eventual users of the real estate; the other asserts that markets set prices, and lowering
Continue reading Development costs and housing affordability
San Francisco skyline w/ crane. CC image from Omar Omar
Tales from two cities:
San Francisco: From Ilan Greenberg in The New Republic – San Francisco’s Gentrification Problem isn’t Gentrification. Greenberg compares the public debate (often writen, and discussed previously here) in San Francisco compared to more the more familiar narrative in other cities.
Here, the debate is
Continue reading Prescriptive urbanism vs. market urbanism – the tension between demand for more housing and the desire to curate great cities
Recently, everyone in DC has been hopping on the bandwagon to bash an extensive redevelopment of a 2-story rowhouse into a 5-story condominium. Headlines make liberal use of middle finger references, with photo angles to match the description.
In the comments of one PoPville post on the house, a representative from DC’s
Continue reading Perspective on pop-ups
CC image from Joe Philipson
Following up on the previous post…
Matt Yglesias links to Michael Manville’s paper, also highlighting the dual areas of inflexibility with zoning parking requirements: that the requirement is fixed at a level above market demand, and that the parking must be provided on site. On top of the rules themselves, the
Continue reading What would happen without parking requirements? Part 2 – Process
Downtown Los Angeles. CC image from Nadia Kovacs.
The paper of the day, from Michael Manville: “Parking requirements as a barrier to housing development: regulation and reform in Los Angeles”
Abstract: Using a partial deregulation of residential parking in downtown Los Angeles, I examine the impact of minimum parking requirements on housing development. I find that
Continue reading What would happen without parking requirements?
Park sign. CC image from Pixel Jones.
We don’t manage our limited parking resources very well. However, that leaves us lots of room to improve our policies.
A recent Freakonomics podcast entitled ‘Parking is Hell’ provides a nice entry-level synopsis of the challenges involved in using market forces to better manage this valuable resource. The podcast
Continue reading Managing on-street parking: zoning is not the way
Mush on my windowsill.
I’m sitting in DC, looking out a window at a mushy, mostly liquid ‘snow’ storm named after an obscure federal budgetary procedure. There’s a joke in there somewhere about failing to meet the hype. But instead, I’ll offer some links to articles of interest over the past few weeks.
Regulatory challenges. Slate blogger
Continue reading ‘Snow’ links: finding the right level of regulation
Manhattan. CC image from sakeeb.
Breaking news! Last week, the New York Times reported that it is expensive to live in Manhattan. The Times frames the question through the lens of the middle class, asking what the definition means in the context of they city’s densest borough.
In a city like New York, where everything is
Continue reading Middle class in Manhattan?
San Francisco. CC image from C1ssou
A few days ago, Charles Marohn posted “It’s so much more than density” on his Strong Towns blog. In it, Charles pushes back against the idea that density is good, arguing that the reality of great places is more complex. Marohn’s conclusion is spot on, but throughout his post
Continue reading Density – the limitations of zoning