Place to be

August 6th, 2002 § Three comments

The San Jose Mercury News is running a series about the Bay Area’s chronic housing shortage. Part one describes some causes of the shortage; part two considers how people have benefited and suffered as a consequence; and part three examines why cities prefer retail developments to new housing.

However the problem is solved, housing density in the Bay Area will have to increase significantly. People in the Bay Area (and elsewhere) need to understand that a neighborhood with medium- and high-density housing can be more livable than the poorly-planned sprawl of a typical suburb. It would help if local governments held charrettes while planning new development, so communities could make sure that the new, higher-density projects addressed their needs. (Charrettes would also give governments a chance to win support from communities.)

Three comments

  • Anonymous says:

    an interesting tidbit of information: emeryville’s tax revenue per capita is signifcantly higher than its income per capita.
    it seems like the sort of thing that’s going to lead to contentiousness between cities in the near future; what exactly is emeryville obtaining this huge amount of tax revenues for, and how is it possibly going to use them for such a small populace? what does a city government have to gain by obtaining capital apparently for no greater purpose than the acquisition of capital? what power do surrounding communities have to stop cities like emeryville?
    an aside: beyond liking you because you’re my brother, i also greatly appreciate that you’re one of the seemingly few people who is aware of these sorts of issues but doesn’t turn into a humorless ideologue over them. reality doesn’t seem to have much of a place in most of the stuff i wind up reading; the fact that a trade-off of american society is going to be participating in capitalist institutions one way or another is seen for some reason as selling out, not as an acknowledgment of reality.
    i will not miss hard-line social scientists too much once i’ve graduated.

  • steve says:

    that last comment was by me, as you probably figured out by the reference to you as my brother.

  • Jeff says:

    What’s that? You want me to turn into a humorless ideologue? I’ll do my best.
    I bet Emeryville is planning to invest that money in sustainable communities and high-quality housing for low-income residents. That or the World’s Biggest Parking Garage.

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