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Talk of a "housing crisis" pervades American cities—whether off-the-charts rents in coastal cities or hyper-vacancy in the Rust Belt. These problems are symptoms of a deeper dysfunction. Over nearly a century, through often well-intended top-down policy interventions, we've turned a complex system that should be adaptive and self-correcting into one prone to a never-ending cycle of boom and bust, crises and overcorrections.
To address the dysfunction at the root of our housing problems, we need to shift our approach. We must move away from a model in which large developers and centralized financial institutions have unprecedented sway over what is built and where, to a more antifragile housing ecosystem in which the bar to entry is low, and every neighborhood can undergo incremental change over time.
A Breaking Out of the Housing Trap presentation will help you understand the root causes of America's interrelated housing crises, and identify some rational responses that your city (and every city) can take.