Affordable housing and the law of supply and demand

CC image from Thomas Hawk.

Some great articles on the challenges to affordable housing in high-demand cities over the past few days, worthy of some reflection:

San Francisco’s Housing Crisis Explained – an epic long-form article from Tech Crunch looking at just about every angle of San Francisco’s affordability issues.
The Spectre Haunting San Francisco – Ryan Avent’s

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The zoning straightjacket

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

DC is nearing the end of a lengthy process to re-write the city’s zoning code. The re-write is mostly a reorganization, combining overlays and base zones in an effort to rationalize a text that’s been edited constantly over the better part of half a century. While

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Updating the reading list

CC image from carnagenyc.

Reading and writing about Vishaan Chakrabarti’s A Country of Cities reminded me that I need to add a few titles to the reading list. I’ve read several of these in the past year but since I haven’t been the most diligent in updating the list, there are also several that I’ve

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A country of hyperdense cities

“How to build good cities,” from Vishaan Chakrabarti’s ‘A Country of Cities.’

Well, that was fast.

Based on the heft of my gift, I expected to take more time to read through Vishaan Chakrabarti’s A Country of Cities. The book, however, is wonderfully illustrated and laid out, thanks to Chakrabarti’s firm, SHoP (for a sampling of the illustrations and an essay

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Fearing 'hyperdensity' in urban areas

Aerial view of Toronto. CC image from rene_beignet.

One of the books I picked up through the rounds of exchanging holiday gifts is Vishaan Chakrabarti’s A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America. I’ve read an excerpt of the book published in Design Observer and watched Chakrabarti’s accompanying lecture; I’m looking forward to reading

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646,449 - DC's population continues to grow

Cranes. CC image from Daniel Foster.

The latest state-level population estimates show another year of 2%+ growth for DC, bringing the city’s estimated population to 646,449. Former Mayor Tony Williams set a goal in 2003 of adding 100,000 new residents to the city back when the city’s population growth was essentially nil, following decades of population

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Challenges to affordable housing in growing cities and regions

Suburban Apartments and Estates – Now Renting. CC image from moominsean.

Call it gentrification, call it renewal, call it anything you like. Intense demand for city living is putting tremendous pressure on urban housing markets. Meeting that demand with new development reshapes the physical fabric of the city, but preserving the physical status quo in

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Link dump - all things 'affordable housing'

DC Construction that comes up on a Flickr search for Inclusionary Zoning – CC image from Adam Fagen.

I’ve got far too many tabs sitting open in my browser, awaiting some form of linkage in the blog (the dates of publication might show how long they’ve been sitting). But, I want to put some of

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Parking is in the news

CC image from Peter Rosbjerg

It’s hard to miss the discussion these days about parking, from sources as varied as Grist and the Wall Street Journal. Some links and brief discussion:

Matt Yglesias writes about the negative consequences of mandatory parking requirements. Matt’s headline editor takes the same Shakespearian tack as Aaron Weiner in the Washington

Continue reading Parking is in the news: the trend of cities rolling back zoning requirements for off-street parking

Development and the path of least resistance

A quick link that builds on a couple of themes I’ve written about here – development following the path of least resistance, and the need for cities and urban areas to grow in the face of demand for additional development in those places.

Winchester, MA – aerial image from Google Maps

Zoning makes Massachusetts housing expensive - from

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