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Density, Affordability, and the ‘Hungry Dogs’ of Land Price Speculation – News

Central to arguments in favor of state control over local planning and land use decisions is the claim that increasing housing supply trickles down and increases the affordability of existing units. In his new book, Sick City: Disease, Race, Inequality, and Urban Land, author Patrick Condon, chair of the Urban Design program at the University of British Columbia, harkens back to 19th century political economist Henry George to argue that increasing density without affordability inflates urban land values to the benefit of speculators, resulting in nearly all of the value of individual labor and creative enterprise of entrepreneurs in regional economies being absorbed as land wealth.

Condon offers solutions for disciplining land markets and correcting land value inflation citing Cambridge, Massachusetts’ 100% affordable housing overlay and other regulatory mechanisms in Portland and Vienna for ensuring permanently affordable housing supply. TPR shares a presentation by Condon from a recent Livable California town hall providing an overview of his book, a full creative commons copyright version of which can be found online, here.

For the presentation, visit The Planning Report.

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