By Matthew McLarand – Building up and not out may be the solution many Western urban cores should embrace to provide housing to the masses.
While the latest demographic reports may show that California is experiencing slowing population growth, the housing crisis is far from being resolved. Decades of under-building combined with a dynamic economy and steady job growth have put relentless pressure on key markets like Los Angeles, the Bay Area and Orange County, with an estimated shortage of 3.3 million units across the state. At the same time, California environmental protections, an abundance of outdated industrial and commercial zones, and a myriad of local regulations and code interpretations have restricted land eligible for development and increased the cost of housing that does get built. High density is emerging as a solution for developers, renters and municipalities given the prohibitively expensive cost of land in these desirable markets.