Two housing experts called for public policies that emphasize urban living at the expense of suburban and exurban housing in an extensive proposal in the current issue of Washington Monthly.
Patrick C. Doherty, director of the Smart Strategy Initiative at the New America Foundation, and Christopher B. Leinberger, a professor at the University of Michigan, argued that neither Baby Boomers nor their children — together comprising half the population — want to live in suburbia.
“Demand for standard-issue suburban housing is going down, not up, a trend that was apparent even before the crash. In 2006, Arthur C. Nelson, now at the University of Utah, estimated in the Journal of the American Planning Association that there would be 22 million unwanted large-lot suburban homes by 2025,” the authors wrote.
Instead, the authors urge federal support for development of urban, walkable, and transit-friendly neighborhoods. “All this rebuilding could spur millions of new construction jobs,” they write.
Source: Washington Monthly, Patrick C. Doherty and Christopher B. Leinberger (11/01/2010)