Central hubs for TODs

This is a photograph I took in Ballston in Arl...

More: people, vehicles, cost, etc.

Benefits are very questionable for coercing people into transit station areas.
Economic Development—while improving some areas, it can take capital and resources away from other areas; in other words redistribution. Areas that became “cheap” become more affordable to offer opportunity for investment. TIFs can take away future government revenue from normal services. Additional retail sales or similar in one area will mean less spending elsewhere. Read more of this post

Density Comparisons

An aerial view of housing developments near Ma...

Crowded Boring

This title could instead have the word “versus,” but it’s not a contest, despite what some people think. There is a growing movement, claiming that suburbia is bad and wasteful. Peoples’ choices of lifestyle should not be at odds with one another. Central cities actually gain taxes and other revenue from those living in outlying areas, from those who go to central cities for employment and visitation. A push in urbanism these days is for higher densities, to be like the central cities, but with even better, user-friendly forms. A big problem with increasing density is that traffic increases, without improvement (more lanes) to roads. You cannot double density and expect people to drive half as much. There certainly are not enough people transferring to public transit. Read more of this post

Density Perspectives

Greater Tokyo Area, the world's most populous ...

What beauty w/many?

There are various types of thinking that are at odds with one another. Well, actually, one type is not at odds; they are not just concerning themselves with other people’s personal choices. Many people want to live a certain lifestyle. Other people think that lifestyle should be a certain way, even though the claim is to have many choices, supposedly available all of the time. In making choices, there are trade-offs. This paper examines the various trade-offs, with the pros & cons of the concentration of living. The foci for one point of view are analyzed, and what that entails. The importances of those foci are examined, acknowledging that people have different tastes, desires and priorities. The ramifications of certain choices are analyzed Read more of this post

Development is bad? No growth?

San Jose, CA freeway interchange 280 and 87

Want nature, while in cities? Dingbat!

New development finances itself. Just last year, a developer wanted to build in the Evergreen Section of San Jose, and was going to supply $200 million for new infrastructure. The city denied it, wanting to save the land for industry. There is plenty of land for industry. Part of the want for the potential Coyote Valley development is for there to be businesses first. For that to be the case, where would people live? Residences and workplaces can be simultaneous developments. Either can lead or follow. It is actually hard for an individual to get both at the same time. For there to be jobs in a new area, people will commute there. For there to be housing in a new area, people will commute from there, to their existing jobs. People don’t always realize how economies tend towards equilibrium. Distortions do occur, many times with government intervention. There are many studies on that. People in power don’t read them or think that the source is biased. Those in power also have selfish motives for their property to increase in value. Read more of this post

Externalities, + or -, Ignored or Unknown

In residential development, there are stakeholder actors:

Existing residents, owners§ Many of their goals and interests are to limit the amount of additional residents and to increase the price of their own housing. Both of those goals have been achieved to some extent. The Bay Area has the highest housing prices in the nation. The internal domestic migration from the Bay Area to other states and regions has been greater than the natural growth rate (births – deaths), since 2000, based upon Census data. There has been population growth due to immigrants. That high housing cost has increased some workers’ pay (albeit less than housing) and thus the cost of goods and services, including government. Higher housing cost also increases the cost to move to another Bay location, due to higher property tax costs (Prop 13). Also if a homeowner wants a house of higher value, it has now become proportionally more expensive.  Read more of this post

Price increases (Housing)

An out-ward or right-ward shift in supply redu...

Demand seen as driver. Supply is trivialized, but important.

The national housing price is partially due to interest rates and the speculation, which increased the buying frenzy frequency. Another main culprit is the more widespread anti-growth/inward-growth emphasis, due to the HDC (high-density coalition) frame of reference. That has not been fully established yet by the “experts,” but it will be in a few years. Further study will show how the restriction of housing supplies has had a lot to do with causing the rapid housing price increase over the last few years. The market is in an adjustment period now, and may take years to be corrected. People were foolish to buy such highly price property. The rental market has not risen nearly as much. For new ownership, renting is a much better deal, even accounting for the equity. That should have been considered without even the inclusion of a potential drop. Of course, much of the equity is meaningless now or non-existent. It used to be that rent would be more than a mortgage, for the same property. That has been reversed for years now, in many markets. That should have been an indication not to buy. Read more of this post

Property Rights

In the Middle of a Forest. This property is sh...

Who's Land? Use restrictions?

It’s kind funny that this aspect of open space discussion is minor. The real discussion is about municipalities “appropriating” private land as “public open space” by zoning (no build), for the purpose of viewing or for there not be development there. “[pro-freedom people] disparage attempts to bring more housing choice”. Wrong!!! Holy firkin crap! How can you believe such nonsense? Read more of this post

UGBs (Urban growth boundaries): Against Nature and Humanity

Illustrates a rightward shift in the demand curve.

Simple S&D econ, but avoided

Growth management is practiced by many cities, for many reasons. The benefits are illusory, and for the few that materialize, are for the existing residents. There are many negative outcomes. What influence, on other factors, does limiting growth, in the attempt to increase density? That lowers the vacancy rate, which pushes up prices, due to fewer choices and less competition.   Read more of this post

Zoning, a few aspects

Do you ever wonder why certain building types are here and there, and not in other places? Occasionally we hear of zoning, but what is involved? It’s more than a framework,  for a type of building. Zoning precedes some new building, based upon what is nearby and wanted. Older areas were built first, then zoning was created later. What is zoned? The activity inside? The inside of the walls? Mmm, asbestos.  Zoning has pros and cons. Did zoning kill Detroit? No, that was the unions and the Democratic  policy of anti-business and pro-redistribution. Does zoning  pick the restaurant menu? Did ethnicities choose their settlement areas (ie Chinatown), because of minority zoning? Does wet zoning make for lakes? Read more of this post