"Why downtown Oakland is booming"

SF Chronicle | November 29, 2019

“…For the first time in more than a decade, Oakland’s skyline has a new office tower — and many more to come.”

“…A wave of migration from San Francisco, along with local business growth, has made Oakland one of the hottest local economies in the country. Additional office projects totaling more than 4 million square feet, or room for 20,000 more employees, are under construction or planned downtown, which currently has around 80,000 jobs…”

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"Vancouver approves new rental housing policy"

Brandon Donnelly | November 28, 2019

New rental housing measures were approved by Vancouver City Council this week. I haven’t gone through the policies in the detail (you can do that here), but they aim to increase rental housing supply by doing things such as “pre-zoning” for 6-storeys on main streets and by allowing rental apartments to be built on some side streets (up to 150m away from arterial roads).

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"Public Housing Becomes the Latest Progressive Fantasy"

The Atlantic | November 25, 2019

A new generation of activists seeks to revive an old urban policy, despite its troubled history.

“…Housing for low-income communities consisted of small homes and buildings, close together—rowhouses in Philadelphia, three-decker homes in New England, walk-up apartments in New York.

Rooming houses abounded. In the years since then, new housing of this nature has been zoned or otherwise regulated out of existence…”

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"Myth of the Silicon Valley garage, and loss of a dream"

SF Chronicle | November 24, 2019

In the technical, secular Silicon Valley, one temple commands a following. The famous garage.

On a recent Saturday, drenched in California sunshine, I visited three. First, the garage in which Hewlett and Packard first collaborated, on a quiet suburban street in Palo Alto not far from where I live. Their company HP would go on to become the largest manufacturer of personal computers.

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"The city as labor saving device"

City Observatory | November 14, 2019

Great cities, especially ones with dense, walkable mixed use neighborhoods are an economic boon to households because they save the precious commodity of time

Stories of economic progress appropriately revolve around major technological breakthroughs.

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"Capsule living: a ‘cheap’ option for young people flocking to LA"

Yahoo News | November 11, 2019

Los Angeles (AFP) – Kay Wilson packed up her life in a hurry and moved to Los Angeles… only to find that what she paid in Pennsylvania for a nice studio apartment would only get her a 2.9-square-meter box in California.

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"Are Micro-Apartments a Solution for Affordable Housing?"

Realtor Magazine | November 9, 2019

Patrick Kennedy knows how outlandish real estate prices in the Bay Area have become. Owner and president of Panoramic Interests, a development company, Kennedy has seen the cost per square foot of a high-rise in San Francisco go from $272 in 2001 to $833 today. Construction costs in the Bay Area are the highest in the world, he said Friday at the Commercial Economic Issues & Trends Forum during the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco.

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"San Francisco’s housing crisis needs political will"

Financial Times | November 8, 2019

State government still has to pull its weight in changing zoning laws

In 1848, it was the lustre of gold which lured thousands to California. Today, cutting-edge technology is the Golden State’s draw, especially in the Bay Area. But Silicon Valley’s limited housing supply is squeezing out locals.

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"How California Became America’s Housing Market Nightmare"

Bloomberg | November 6, 2019

California, the land of golden dreams, has become America’s worst housing nightmare.

Recent wildfires have only heightened the stakes for a state that can’t seem to build enough new homes.

The median price for a house now tops $600,000, more than twice the national level. The state has four of the country’s five most expensive residential markets—Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Orange County and San Diego. (Los Angeles is seventh.) The poverty rate, when adjusted for the cost of living, is the worst in the nation. California accounts for 12% of the U.S. population, but a quarter of its homeless population.

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"Apple wants affordable housing in California—but laws stand in the way"

arsTechnica | November 4, 2019

California can’t end its housing crisis without an overhaul of zoning rules.

Apple has pledged $2.5 billion to help address California’s affordable-housing crisis, the company announced on Monday. In recent years, the San Francisco Bay Area has become the most expensive housing market in America. Los Angeles also suffers from housing costs far above the national average.

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