The Revolution Will Be…Built

by Yahya E. B. Henry

In case you have not noticed by now, I am truly an advocate of infill development. I think my fascination with this particular development was highlighted in this interview by CNN with Richard Florida. In the video he highlights how America bounced back after the Great Depression. The recovery was due in part to the flight from inner cities to the suburbs. That flight was a gift and a curse in that it took our best and brightest, along with their wealth, to the emerging suburbs. We effectively built our way out the Depression. Fast forward 75 years, here we are again at a crossroads where everyone from the President to economists are trying to figure out we recover.

“[We] must get back into the game…[we'll] be condemned to high unemployment and sluggish growth, if the 35% of the economy real estate represents is not engaged.” Patrick Doherty, Washington Monthly

What do I propose? I’m so glad you asked.

America can recover by rebuilding our cities.  The Urban Land Institute noted that there is demand for attached housing to the tune of 25 million units by 2025; that translates into 3 million acres of infill sites scattered throughout America prime for redevelopment and new uses. If history is any indicator, we will recover-the question is how we will recover.