We have an exciting upcoming event we wanted to make sure that you learned about! On Mon, Oct 5, our monthly meeting will be Beyond Towers and Sprawl. Today our partners hosted a forum on how Measure RR can help support public transit. Sign up to support Measure RR here.
We're glad that Gov. Newsom signed SB 288! Thanks to those of you who may have emailed him.
Beyond Towers and Sprawl
It's OK if you like towers-- we do too! But when most people in the US think of housing possibilities, their minds immediately go to single-family detached houses on the one hand, and austere high-rises built from steel and concrete on the other. But this dichotomy itself is historically anomalous and a product of the mid-20th century pro-sprawl agenda. Worse, the specter of a century of racist housing policy looms over the conversation. First we had poorly conceived and maintained high-rise public housing projects, where Le Corbusier's Towers in the Park aesthetic met America's tragic commitment to segregated communities. More recently, the tables have turned and we have seen much of the new housing construction in American cities focused into a small area, taking the form of large condo projects marketed at the wealthy, often in rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods. (At the same time, far too few homes have been built altogether, and much of what has been built consists of new sprawl.)
Allowing a broader range of housing types over a broader geographic area, in the form of "missing middle housing," can be a big part of the solution: especially if this encourages housing designed to be car-light and facilitates building smaller, more affordable homes, even absent subsidies. One recent study found that the entire housing shortage in the US could conceivably be filled by missing middle alone (though the shortage is more pronounced in California). The movement for 15-minute cities and the rise of micromobility could synergize with the movement for missing middle to support Urban Environmentalist goals.
This is why we are excited to be in conversation with State Assembly candidate Alex Lee and Missing Middle expert Karen Parolek to explore this concept next week on Oct 5 at 7:30pm: please RSVP here. We thank South Bay YIMBY and East Bay for Everyone for cohosting.
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