Another spate of headlines suggest that rapid suburban growth means that Millennial homebuyers must prefer the greener pastures of suburbia to life in inner-city neighborhoods. Here’s why the real story is not that simple.
The growing movement to end exclusive single-family zoning—as Oregon just did in its cities—is not a radical or untested experiment: it’s a return to a historical norm. The actual radical experiment is the strange notion that a neighborhood should be required to contain only one type of home.
Google wants to dedicate $1 billion to creating housing in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is a big enough number to make a real dent, but will it help tackle the systemic issues driving the region’s housing crisis?
Incrementalism is not an end in itself. It’s not about stubborn insistence on some sort of small-is-beautiful aesthetic for its own sake. Incremental development is a practical means to the end of resilient, financially sound places.
Some YIMBYs don’t like Strong Towns and claim we are anti-development NIMBY. Yet, NIMBYs hate us because we insist neighborhood evolve, adapt, and change. What’s going on here?
We tend to talk about neighborhoods in a static way: if they’re not rapidly, visibly transforming, we assume they’re not changing at all. A look at the data provides a helpful reminder that the places we live are actually changing all the time.
Every time it seems like our housing crisis is going to bring everything crashing down, banks inject a dose of antigravity. How long can it go on?
Trying to navigate opaque bureaucracies, just to get permission to build something that used to be legal everywhere, is like eating Jell-O with chopsticks: tedious and unsatisfying. No wonder people find pragmatic work-arounds instead.
You might get more house for your money in an outer-ring suburb. But if you have to own and maintain multiple cars, are you better off? Common measures of housing affordability don’t include transportation costs, and so they fail to capture a realistic view of the true cost of living in certain places.
That high-end apartment building over there has nothing to do with the low-income families who need affordable housing over here, right? In fact, we’re all more connected than we tend to think—and a new study demonstrates this in a surprising way.
It’s hard to have a coherent conversation on affordable housing when most of those involved in the discussion directly benefit from — and in some ways depend on — higher housing prices.
What would it actually cost to put a roof over the head of every person experiencing chronic homelessness? Some number crunching suggests not as much as you think, and an amount we could afford—especially given what it already costs not to.
How is it possible that so many of our cities are seeing their footprints grow, but their populations shrink? The answer to this paradox might surprise you.
In many areas of modern life, the market provides a cornucopia of choices to accommodate people’s diverse needs, wants, and tastes: just visit a supermarket to see this. When it comes to housing options, though, the reality is starkly different.
Most apartments built today are in huge complexes along busy streets, not tucked away in quiet neighborhoods in “missing middle” buildings like fourplexes, which used to be common. But how did the missing middle go missing, anyway?
Every week, we take one of the best questions submitted to the Strong Towns Knowledge Base and answer it. This week, we tackle the arguments for allowing more housing across the board in your city, from a Strong Towns perspective.
An excerpt from our upcoming AMA webcast guest Alan Mallach’s book The Divided City explores the havoc that the Great Recession’s continuing aftermath has wrought on homeownership patterns, profoundly destabilizing many urban neighborhoods.
The newer generation of public housing projects offer a superficially pleasant facsimile of a New Urbanist neighborhood. But these are places built all at once, to a finished state, and deeply dependent on fragile institutional arrangements.
Not every city’s situation is the same—but just about every city that needs more homes could benefit from one or more of these policies.
Making Room: Housing for a Changing America is a new report from the AARP and the National Building Museum that explores how the way Americans live together has changed—and how our housing stock hasn’t, but could.