Upzone Rich Neighborhoods

America's housing crisis is a topic of constant discussion, yet few believe that we are doing enough to combat it. One obstacle to action is that problem is often considered in the context of rapidly developing urban districts, rather than in placid suburbs where un-used (but not exactly vacant) land sits idly. The capacity for change at the metropolitan level will be extremely limited if only middle and low-income urban districts are expected to densify.

 

This proposal posits the opposite: that rich neighborhoods should be aggressively up-zoned to allow for intensive development at both subsidized and market rates. Releasing this valve is not only a way to more equitably distribute the pressures of urban development. It is also a means by which the country's many inner-ring suburban districts can be transformed to accommodate new ways of living that are more environmentally sound and aesthetically pleasing. 

Windsor Farms, a wealthy inner-ring suburb of Richmond, Virginia, is considered in the illustrations shown here.

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