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.)