In the News

The Toxic Results of NIMBYism

An article in today's New York Times discusses population growth patterns over the past several years, and suggests that population growth is fastest in the inland Sun Belt-places combining relatively warm weather and cheap housing. ... read more »

Don't Blame the Rich for High Rents

One common explanation for the high housing costs of New York and San Francisco is that the wealthy are pricing everyone else out of the market.  According to this narrative, there are so many obscenely wealthy people in such cities that developers are only building housing for the rich, thus m... read more »

Great post on how regulation really is expensive

Those of us who believe in the laws of economics keep trying to explain that land use regulation really does make development (especially infill development) more expensive.  A recent blog post by James Bacon includes a wonderful essay quantifying the impact of regulation in Austin, hardly one ... read more »

New York's problem (or more broadly, the problem of medium density)

After reading yet another blog post talking about how New York is losing migrants to other cities, I had an extremely insightful date.  My date was with a woman who lived in Flatbush, at the outer, more car-oriented edge of Brooklyn.  She drives everywhere.  When I told her about my y... read more »

Thoughts On Rails and Buses

Randall O'Toole recently published a paper attacking rail transit, focusing in particular on four transit lines (Los Angeles' Regional Connector train, San Francisco's Third Street train, Seattle's University line, and Honolulu's new rail system).  These transit lines are essentially hybrids be... read more »

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 »