Housing lead an equivalent, if not better life


Affordable Housing

Affordable housing is one of the biggest advantages that
the suburbs has. Arthur Levitt first introduced affordable housing when he mass-produced
houses. The mass-produced houses were much bigger than typical city dwellings. Some
suburbs succeed because they provide an affordable, attractive lifestyle for
middle class people. Mass produced housing followed henry ford’s assembly line
process in mass producing homogeneous products using quality, but inexpensive


Given that some
cities already have demand that far exceeds the supply which is reflected
though the high prices, suburbs are necessary for middle income families. It
allows them to benefit from the cultural and economic activity that takes place
in a city while still living in a reasonably priced spacious house. Although
Glaser argues that this is a negative, I believe it’s a positive as it allows
people to enjoy an equivalent or greater quality of life at a cheaper cost. Considering
that most people who move out of the city are families, a large affordable
house is a very attractive investment. Living in an apartment with multiple
children is difficult and can be uncomfortable, but a house provides more space
which may be needed if the family is growing. I think regardless of cheap housing;
some families will still move to the suburbs just for the benefits of increased
space. The families that can’t afford it will have to stay in a small apartment
that may be insufficient space. The argument that cities are attractive to the
rich or poor but don’t really attract the middle class, as they can lead an equivalent,
if not better life in the suburb is apt and explains why the middle class leaves
the city. A larger, more affordable house as opposed to an apartment is a huge
draw to the suburbs. Suburban housing, sometimes have amenities that aren’t
provided in the city, which also attracts people.


Ultimately, however, I don’t
think the difference in relative outcomes enjoyed by these or any cities really
goes to household mobility but to the mobility of capital. To the degree that they even can move,
people are going to go where the jobs are, and if a coherently “pro-business,”
labor-hostile region exists (a situation Glaeser himself makes it clear obtains
in the US post-Taft-Hartley) and a sector has no particular requirement for
world-class talent, I’d imagine that’s where a greater proportion of companies
are going to site themselves.


Housing Policies

Federal housing policies that encourage home buying
though mortgage interest deductions and government guaranteed mortgages
encouraged people to leave the cities and purchase houses in the suburbs. People
in cities are predominantly renters so when the government enacts policies that
discount home ownership it encourages people to leave cities. There are other
factors that inhibit house construction like available space, type of land, but
that isn’t the largest causal factor for high prices. These high prices are
often caused by restrictive development policies, sometimes associated with environmentalism
and existing resident preference. Construction policies in the suburbs are usually
less restrictive than those in the city. Some cities have restrictions that
discourage construction, which keeps supply low, causing housing process to
increase. The lack of restrictions in the suburbs encourage new construction,
ensuring that housing prices are lower and more stable.


The issue of expensive
residences in the city reflects policies that discourage housing construction
in cities is an apt assessment. The lack of supply and large demand for city dwellings
cause housing process to increase. However, one could argue that even if policies
encouraged housing construction in the cities, and residences were cheaper as a
result, these cheaper residences would increase demand, causing prices to go
up. Even if supply increased and prices decreased, demand would increase,
causing prices to increase. For this issue to not occur, the supply would have
to increase in proportion to the increase in demand for cheaper housing. However,
that would be hard to estimate but the bigger issue would be that the
construction for the new houses would be done to encourage people to move back
into the city. Glaser argued that building new houses assuming people would
move into them was a risky move, as there was no guarantee. Granted, there is existing
high demand but estimating the demand for the new cheaper houses, is risky since
it’s not actual, real demand but rather an estimate. This strategy is extremely
risky given the number of houses that would have to be built and the fact that
economic fluctuations could have adverse, unknown affects.


School Quality

Improved transportation technology, improved infrastructure
to accommodate the new transportation technology, mass produced, affordable
housing, policies that encourage home ownership, and school quality caused
sprawl to increase. Sprawl is encouraged by policies that encourage purchasing
a house though mortgage interest deduction incentives, cars that allow for
people to travel further distances, and subpar urban schools

Big cities attract poor people but educating children of
poor parents can create stress for an urban school system. Cities schools have
heterogeneous student population which makes it more difficult to provide
education as needs are different. If education was a freely competitive
environment this issue wouldn’t exist. The school system however gives small
school districts local control.


issues with sprawl

Cities encourage growth and economic innovation as they
allow people to interact and share ideas and become more productive. When
people move to more productive area the whole country benefits. Suburban
offices tend to be more isolated which raises the economic question of whether
Suburban offices can generate the same degree of intellectual progress as
downtown’s as they have far less random interactions and are often concentrated
in one industry.
Suburban areas aren’t growing because of their High pays and temperate climate
but rather for various other factors that are more appealing for an increased
qualify of life.
Sprawling areas were developed because of the car but policies encouraged
people to leave the city Commute times, housing size, school quality are based
on policies


Eliminating pro-sprawl policies won’t bring back
every declining city, and it won’t tant pis? kill the suburbs, but it
will create a healthier urban system whereby walking cities can compete more
effectively against the car.