Debate the Future of Urban, Attached Housing

From the Atlantic Monthtly writer Christopher B. Leinberger: "Twenty years ago, urban housing was a bargain in most central cities.  Today, it carries an enormous price premium.  There will almost certainly be more of a balance between walkable and drivable communities — allowing people in most areas a wider variety of choices.  This future is not likely to wear well on suburban housing.  Many of the inner-city neighborhoods that began their decline in the 1960s consisted of sturdily built, turn-of-the-century row houses, tough enough to withstand being broken up into apartments, and requiring relatively little upkeep.  By comparison, modern suburban houses are cheaply built."  Full article here. From Planetizen writer Todd Litman: "Alan Pisarski writes in a recent blog, 'It is clear that most people, excepting a small but often very loud minority, opt for lower density living when income permits.'  Smart growth criticism rests primarily on this claim.  Is it true?  I investigate this question in my new report, Where We Want To Be: Home Location Preferences And Their Implications For Smart Growth.  Households chose dispersed housing locations with little consideration to the resulting increase in transport costs.  Increased congestion, rising fuel prices, health and environmental concerns are forcing consumers to be more rational.  The current stock of large-lot housing should be adequate for decades, but the supply of small-lot and attached housing will need to approximately double by 2025 to meet consumer demands."  Full article here.

From New Geography writer Wendell Cox: "The University of Utah's Arthur 'Chris' Nelson, indicated in an article entitled 'Leadership in a New Era' that in 2003, 75% of the housing stock was detached. By 2025 he predicts that only 62% of consumer will favor detached homes.  This predication is largely made on the basis of 'stated preference' surveys which Emil Malizia of the University of North Carolina (commenting on the article) and others indicate may not accurately reflect the choices that consumers will actually make [see bar graph above]."  Full article here.  Peter Calthorpe predicts consumers will actually choose only 54% detached by 2050.