In the News

supply, demand and housing costs

I've read numerous blog posts and articles asserting that gentrification or rich foreign investors increase housing costs by increasing demand.  But people who raise this argument aren't always sensitive to the role of supply in the law of supply and demand: for example, one  New York Time... read more »

The Rise of De-Gentrification

A recent study by a Portland-are consultant and professor analyzed the rise of high-poverty neighborhoods, finding that only 105 census tracts with poverty rates over 30 percent in 1970 had poverty rates below 15 percent in 2010.  By contrast, 1231 tracts with 1970 poverty rates below 15 percen... read more »

John Norquist Commentary: Cities as Cradles of Progressivism?

This article was originally posted on Public Sector Inc By John Norquist Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia once said that there is no Republican or Democratic way to pick up garbage, and he’s still largely right. Most mayors focus much more on service delivery than ideology. There is just too much to do on... read more »

Cities, Suburbs and Commute Length

I recently discovered a fun tool: the Census Bureau's Census Explorer, which is full of maps about all kinds of things.  In particular, I spent some time exploring commute length. ... read more »

One reason why NYC is so expensive

Between 2000 and 2010, the number of renter-occupied housing units in New York increased by only 1.8 percent, while the number of households increased by 2.9 percent.  I would imagine that if you add that to the increased demand arising from the post-recession difficulty of financing a home, yo... read more »

DeBlasio's Unimpressive Housing Plan: No Substitute For The Free Market

New York's new mayor, Bill DeBlasio, has just proposed to spend $8 billion in taxpayers' money to create 80,000 new housing units.  80,000 is certainly better than nothing. On the other hand, New York has 3 million occupied housing units today, so even if the DeBlasio plan works, the city's hou... read more »

Yes, Upzone The Nice Areas Too

An interesting and provocative blog post by Chicago planner Pete Saunders argued that urbanites should not be pressing too hard for upzoning well-off urban neighborhoods because "maybe they ought to consider more of the city to live in. ... read more »

Extremist New Urbanism

A pitched battle has emerged in Minneapolis between two groups, one advocating for the preservation of a large single-family home and the other favoring its demolition to allow for a 45-unit infill project by the Lander Group. The preservationist have accused those in favor of demolit... read more »

Two Cheers For Negative Thinking

I recently read an article suggesting that Cleveland's problems were in part due to "negative thinking"- some fuzzy "vibe of negativity" that discourages people from moving to Cleveland.  I am skeptical of this claim for two reasons. ... read more »

Always Room For More

One common argument against infill: "but there isn't room for any more people!"  (or, alternatively, "we can't have more people without turning into a skyscraper monoculture!" Manhattan is far from a skyscraper monoculture- even in midtown there are lots of 2-6 story buildings of all types.&nbs... read more »