Neighborly Housing

Two recent articles of note.

1. Buyers Value ‘Neighborly’ Housing, Study Finds
College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, University of Illinois
February 5, 2007

Chicagoans who buy new housing in low-income neighborhoods prefer homes that are integrated into the neighborhood and not isolated from it, according to a new report by University of Illinois at Chicago researchers.

Buyers are willing to pay 33 percent to 50 percent more for units in single-family or small multi-family buildings with entrances that face the street and parking that faces the alley, according to the report published in the Winter 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Planning Association. Buyers also favor relatively short setbacks from the street and construction materials similar to those used in neighboring buildings.

The working paper is available from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy: Does Urban Design Influence Property Values in High-Poverty Urban Neighborhoods?

2. Rethinking Suburbia
Style Weekly, Richmond VA
February 7 – 14, 2007

Neighborhoods that once held the suburban dreams of many have become havens for crime and the all-too-familiar problems of the inner city.

… It’s difficult for many to fathom that the old suburbs, even in their grimiest state, could somehow foster the kind of crime and dereliction that plagues the inner city, places like Gilpin and Mosby courts. But it’s already started.

Combined, Chesterfield and Henrico recorded 14 murders in 2006 and 23 murders in 2005, the biggest indicator that violent crime has moved in, albeit mild compared with the 83 murders in Richmond last year.

The signs of decline, however, are everywhere. In “Tomorrow’s Cities, Tomorrow’s Suburbs,” University of Virginia urban studies professors William Lucy and David Phillips argue that the older suburbs are actually far worse off than many inner cities for several reasons.

More information about “Tomorrow’s Cities, Tomorrow’s Suburbs,” including the table of contents and ordering info, is available from the American Planning Association.

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