I just had a debate with Joel Kotkin, whom many consider to be an apologist for sprawl. Surprisingly, there is a convergence between his view of the next generation of real estate and infrastructure development and mine: a constellation of pedestrian-friendly urban development spread throughout metropolitan areas, redeveloping parts of the central city and transforming the inner, and some outer, suburbs. There are certainly differences between the two of us: I happen to see significant pent-up demand for walkable urban development and massive over-building of fringe car-oriented suburban housi
David Brooks’ column in the New York Times today made reference to Joel Kotkin’s latest book, The Next Hundred Million; America in 2050.
A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Alabama and University of Florida, sponsored by the Natural Resource Defense Council , shows that car-dependent communities have statistically higher rates of mortgage foreclosure than communities with multiple transportation options, such as transit, biking and walking. This also explains to some extent why across the country that “walkable urban” home values over the past two years have been flat or slightly down while fringe “drivable sub-urban” communities have suffered the worst price declines. The average American household spe
The House passed their climate change bill last spring, and the Senate Environmental and Public Works (EPW) Committee passed their version last week. It now moves on to the Finance Committee and perhaps Agriculture. It will be well into next year by the time the bill gets to the Senate floor. The House and EPW versions have one major thing in common: They focus nearly all attention on reducing green house gases (GHGs) from the supply of energy.
As if we needed more reminding, the country has a huge gap between costs required for transportation needs and the funding sources to pay for them.
When the financial history of this era is told, it is possible that it will be seen as the bailout of not just the banks, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac, it will also to some extent be seen as the bailout of sprawl. The low density, single family houses on the fringe of American metropolitan areas have experienced high rates of foreclosures and substantial price declines, and we’re still looking for a bottom in many regions of the country.