In the News

The Attack on Airbnb

The room-sharing service Airbnb has become controversial in high-cost cities like San Francisco and New York, in part because of concerns about affordable housing. In fact, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein has recently written an op-ed attacking Airbnb. (In the interests of full disclosure, I note th... read more »

Announcement: new paper on smart growth and government regulation

I recently coauthored a paper on government regulations designed to promote smart growth and green building (published by the Mercatus Institute).   The paper examines the prevalence of minimum density requirements, maximum parking requirements, and green building-related regulations. ... read more »

Announcing....

I am happy to announce the birth of my new site, Auto-Free in Kansas City.  The purpose of this site is to help readers learn about Kansas City's neighborhoods and how to navigate them through public transit.   The site links to my Kansas City photos, as well as to my "Auto-Free in...." we... read more »

Is the Creative Class Really Taking Over Cities? Verdict: Not Proven

In today's Washington Post, Emily Badger uses a set of maps to prove her claim that an affluent "creative class" is taking over urban cores, and as a result  "service and working-class residents are effectively left with the least desirable parts of town, the longest commutes and the fewest ame... read more »

Are Suburbanites Happier?

... read more »

A Myth Exploded

Every so often I read the following argument: "We shouldn't upzone popular urban neighborhoods, because if we freeze the status quo in those areas, the people who are priced out willl rebuild our city's devastated neighborhoods."  This argument has a conceptual flaw: most middle-class peoples' ... read more »

Too Early To Declare Victory on Affordability

I just read numerous discussions about how high-cost cities really are cheaper than you might think, based on a study by New York's Citizens'  Budget Commission purporting to show that when housing and transportation costs are combined, New York is actually one of the most affordable cities in ... read more »

Mr. Kotkin Talks About What "People Really Want"

Joel Kotkin recently wrote in the Washington Post that unspecified urban planners want "to create an ideal locate for hipsters and older, sophisticated urban dwellers" rather than focusing on the needs of "most middle-class residents of the metropolis." He claims that these people want "home owners... read more »

What Ferguson Tells Us About Working-Class Suburbia

Recently, Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis, has received lots of attention because of a police officer's questionable decision to shoot an unarmed civilian, followed by demonstrations, followed by some even more questionable decisions by police (such as arresting journalists and tear-gassing the... read more »

The "Chains Are Ruining Our City" Myth

I recently read about a blog complaining that New York was "suburbanizing" due to the "disappearance of small stores and restaurants" and their alleged replacement by national chains. ... read more »