… and it turns out that the answer is not “New York.”
From the virtuous Editorial Board of the New York Times, “California Has a Housing Crisis. The Answer Is More Housing.”:
California finally is beginning to consider solutions to its housing crisis that are on the same scale as the problem.
The state is desperately in need of more housing. Home prices are the highest in the continental United States, and population growth continues to outstrip construction.
The city of Los Angeles calculates that 43 percent of its developable land would be opened to higher-density development. For wealthy cities like Palo Alto, the Silicon Valley community that abuts Stanford University, the legislation could increase permissible density virtually everywhere. Palo Alto has two commuter rail stations, but like much of suburban California, it has long resisted construction of anything but detached, single-family homes.
The state’s population continues to grow; the question confronting policymakers is where to put those people.
Did they forget about quality of life? That a resident of Los Angeles might spend five hours per day commuting through traffic jams? That California city-dwellers might have to travel for 30 minutes or more to find a green park? The existing Blade Runner-type crowding is acknowledged, but it turns out to be a good thing for Mother Earth:
The bill also is a necessary piece of the response to another crisis: climate change. Cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles — landscapes of tall buildings, concrete and traffic-clogged streets — are the most environmentally friendly places for human life on earth. The Harvard economist Edward Glaeser has calculated that the residents of California’s core cities use about one-fourth less carbon per year than the residents of the surrounding suburbs. Better yet, the residents of California’s cities use less carbon than the residents of any other large American cities because the temperate climate limits the use of air-conditioning and heating.
It is time to rewrite the rules: The solution to California’s housing crisis is more housing.
(Do we believe this? These “are the most environmentally friendly places for human life on earth”? A resident of Los Angeles generates less CO2 than someone who lives in Ethiopia or Madagascar? (Wikipedia per-capita CO2 emissions) Or maybe they are saving the planet by sending healing vibes?)
Readers: Does it show a lack of self-awareness to publish something like this? Saying that people on the other side of the country need to suck it up and wait a few more hours in traffic every week for the good of Planet Earth?