The Gated City (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Using a series of examples, the argument is put forth that dense cities are good for both human and economic progress, that market forces should be allowed to work, and that NIMBY instincts are ultimately counter-productive. In the short section presenting possible solutions, the author highlights strengthening urban property rights, building "alternative downtowns", and compromising with anti-development forces by offering new connections to mass transit systems.
This is a sensible persuasive piece, the kind of compassionate libertarianism you might expect to read on a particularly good blog. It would have been improved if the author had gotten to the point a bit faster, but it is an argument worth considering.
Avent presents transit-oriented-development as a uniquely American solution to combat the effects of NIMBYISM. The pamphlet is concise and Avent focuses on his core argument. Thus, he only touches on how transit-oriented-development can mitigate the negative impacts associated with higher densities. I was left longing for more of Avent's prose focused on strategies to address NIMBYISM and combat its effects on non-incumbent households and national productivity.
NIMBY (not in my backyard) attitudes held by long time residents of urban areas restrict the implementation of affordable housing, increase the cost and as a result the price of new homes in areas like New York City. Home prices then soar into the stratosphere pricing out young, energetic singles and families that tend to be the source of innovations. These families tend to leave high priced urban areas and move to areas where home prices are affordable and jobs that pay decent salaries (even if lower than the urban areas they moved from) are available.
So families are moving to the sun belt not primarily for the nicer weather than where they came from, but rather, they can afford a single family, detached home to call their own. As a result, dense urban areas are losing their intellectual and educational wealth to less dense areas that foster less innovation than the city environment.
The above is just a snippet of Ryan's thesis which is built up slowly and thoughtfully as the book progresses along.
My Personal Thoughts:
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Can't even walk down the street I grew up on. It's way too dangerous now even in daytime. Nighttime is a nightmare. I now live in a beautiful, safe, suburban community with my family in California. Home prices are only one of the reasons people abandon the cities.
The Gated City is an interesting read and was worth my time reading and considering carefully what Ryan had to say. Especially since I left dense city living and moved to a far less dense suburban environment.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Important issue that is too often ignored. Ryan Avent does a great job explaining the problem. I'd say this is really important for liberals to read and more importantly- take... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Fred Goodsell
Seriously one of the best books on zoning law and housing policy. A must read. Love love love it. Buy it!Published 19 months ago by Jolanta Domalewski
Not much new here, but I will read all of these books to feed my righteous anger at urban Nimbys.Published on July 20, 2014 by JDPink
good information about a subject I never thought of before. How home prices can move people to move. How this can interrupt the income of the entire country. Easy to understand. Read morePublished on June 20, 2014 by jodyt
It seems like the author collected failed blog posts and put them in this repetitive and disorganized tome. Read morePublished on April 22, 2014 by greg alexander
As a sometimes reader of Free Exchange on the Economist website I have come to see Mr. Avent's take on things as ranging from pretty solid to very insightful. Read morePublished on January 27, 2014 by Jason Francis
An interesting thesis on the importance of relaxed planning laws in the US. OK, but perhaps an article would have been sufficientPublished on December 1, 2013 by Varied reader
I don't believe it's the authors fault; rather it's my inability to stick with academic writings. In this case, it's a great preview and topic but the dialog is somewhat... Read morePublished on September 15, 2013 by Woodski
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