jeff

Jeff Merkley’s Dilemma

[Originally published by HousingOnline.com]

 

Portland, OR—If U.S. Senators weigh in on America’s housing crisis, they need to understand the complexity of the issues. Of course we need more affordable housing almost everywhere, but the problems go beyond that. There is rampant academic literature showing how high housing costs in key metro areas are discouraging business formation, suppressing GDP, perpetuating class divisions and forcing environmentally-harmful sprawl. It’s essential that some of our most influential political leaders take notice.

Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, is one of those Senators, and he embodies both the upsides of having a Senator engage in pro-housing advocacy; along with the ongoing failure of Washington’s political class to truly understand this issue.… Read more

Read More

Houston Or Portland: Which City Is Doing Urban Density Better?

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

Among those who appreciate cities and urban density, there are often very different associations about Houston and Portland. To many, Houston is a pro-growth metro where “the market” has led to a sprawling, incohesive hellscape. Portland, meanwhile, is considered a metro where enlightened government planning has produced walkable, European-style urbanism. Because both started from roughly the same place—as post-WWII, automobile-oriented metros—and because one has presumably become cool and cultured, while the other is disperse and smoggy, urbanists seem to believe that this validates the pro-planning model….[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

Read More

portland ugb

Portland’s Urban Growth Boundary: A Driver of Suburban Sprawl

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

Portland, OR–Ever since Portland adopted an urban growth boundary (UGB), there have been numerous and very legitimate criticisms of the policy. The boundary has increased housing prices, devalued the properties of certain land owners, and robbed consumers of housing styles they might prefer. But there is one potential negative that has been overlooked–and is rather ironic–given the plan’s original intentions. The boundary may be driving suburban sprawl to points well beyond the Portland metro area…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

Read More

Will San Francisco’s Creative Class Leave For Portland?

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

Several summers ago, while living in San Francisco, I would attend a weekly writer’s group that mirrored the ones likely found during the city’s artistic heyday. It was a bunch of unknowns who would gather in a room downtown to read their works aloud, and then await the avalanche of criticism from other participants. I remember one particularly quirky guy (he wrote sci-fi novels featuring graphic sex scenes between aliens) who told me one night that he liked my article on the city’s expensive housing market.… Read more

Read More