Kevin Williamson notes that America’s most progressive cities — New York, San Francisco, Detroit — are also its most segregated. And this is primarily due to progressive policies that discourage the development of affordable housing for the middle and lower classes.
New York City’s density is well under half that of such ordinary cities as Barcelona, Buenos Aires, or Warsaw. New York is remarkable among U.S. cities for its tall buildings – and remarkable among world cities for its lack of them. Only a tiny number of New York City residences — less than 2 percent — are located in tall buildings, meaning those 20 stories or taller, far less than in comparable cities around the world. The number is even lower for cities such as Los Angeles (which actually has a higher population density than New York) and San Francisco. Building taller buildings makes urban residential real estate less expensive per square foot — you can have higher buildings or higher prices. New York, where the nice progressives want to put caps on tall buildings, has chosen higher prices — and, therefore, economic segregation, pushing the poor farther into the Bronx or New Jersey.
I don’t expect many comments on this post. This kind of thing — the dynamic interaction of policy and demographic effects — interests me, but it isn’t everyone’s cup of Earl Grey.