The New York Times has a must read article this morningthat is a complete vindication of what some of us have been saying over and over again. Density us better for the planet and it makes economic sense too.
When local politicians force growth into the suburbs by squashing housing supply in the cities, the results are predictable. Density increases supply which is good for many reasons, but most importantly its critical for housing price and jobs
Factors like taste and taxes account for some of the migration, but the biggest reason for the shift is housing costs. The average Phoenix home is worth about 30 percent of the price of a house in San Jose. The difference in prices is mostly due to differences in building. In every year from 1992 to 2009, Phoenix granted permits for two to three times as many new homes as did the San Francisco and San Jose metropolitan areas combined. Around the San Francisco Bay, neighborhoods dead set against change successfully squeezed the housing supply, just as OPEC limits the supply of oil when it wishes to raise its price.
Now, maybe, the City Council will stop acting like OPEC, and take the idea seriously that suppressing density is bad for the planet andthe economy. After all this isn’t just me, the fire hose of Urbanist kool-aid: this is the New York Times!