Articles from the internet that support intensification of Anglo-Centric cities
London’s Adam Smith Institute makes a compelling, free market argument for removing restrictions on housing intensification, so more people, can live more affordably, in places where there is the most economic activity.
John Myers co-founder of London YIMBY in his latest paper argues;
we could easily treble the number of homes in London by allowing Georgian or Edwardian densities again …attractive rows of gorgeous terraced houses or maisonettes and mansion blocks…. it would vastly reduce the cost of land per home… (making) better housing more affordable.
London YIMBY proposals are not pie in the sky ideas, there is genuine experimentation on the ground in London with this new type of development as a socially acceptable way to relax planning restrictions for existing neighbourhoods. For example;
Patrik Schumacher is an outspoken London architect. He has polemic free market views for how removing government regulations can solve the housing crisis. I think he goes too far in some of his prescriptions, such as privatising public land -like Hyde Park. He seems to have pulled back on some of these extreme ideas in his following paper.
Sometimes though to make a dent in public opinion, especially in such a intractable problem like the housing crisis, someone has to express extreme polemic views to move the Overton window. This public service by Patrik Schumacher is recognised by others in London, even when they disagree with him, by their acknowledgement -“his heart is the right place”.
In general, I have nuanced views on the continuum between the free market and state control. In the housing sphere, I believe that mostly regulations need to to be freed up, although in New Zealand, building (construction) standards for healthy homes (warm, dry, ventilated, mould-free) should be raised.
In New Zealand, the new coalition government has indicated that although they are not interested in private capital provision for hospitals, schools and prisons. For transport and housing related projects they are “open for business”.
Patrik Schumacher in his paper alludes to a possible solution along the lines of my Master Planned Block proposal.
To the extent that collective decision making is called for to regulate development rights in the light of externalities, I suggest that an organized association of property owners should set regulations. Voting rights could be distributed in accordance with the relative value of the respective holdings, analogous to shareholder rights in stock companies. Such a privately organized planning system (similar to how many successful industry self-regulation initiatives operate) can be expected to maximize total social value, in contrast to our current political processes.
A related idea has recently been proposed by John Myers as key proposal of his YIMBY campaign. The proposal involves allowing individual streets to vote on giving themselves permitted development rights, to build upwards to a maximum of six storeys and take up more of their plots.
A less confronting discussion of the need for western cities to improve the cultural acceptance of living in higher densities is presented by American/Japanese aspiring musician Ryan Tanaka.
The failure of many western cities to provide affordable housing in comparison to cities which have different cultural and community values, such as Tokyo is remarkable.