A Series of Essays on the Urban Future
The Future of Cities
From the end of World War II until 1970, owner-occupied housing was broadly affordable across the entire country. The standard measure for measuring affordability —the price-to-income ratio— was at about 2.8 in 1950, 2.5 in 1960, 2.6 in 1970, 3.4 in 1980, and 4.2 in 2020. This meant that, to a large extent, factors other than housing, such as climate, amenities, and job and economic opportunities, drove migration, which builders were in a position to respond to. However, as shown in Table 1, a number of metros on the coasts now have much higher ratios today, evidence that supply has not kept up with demand.
This book is being published as a series, with permission of the American Enterprise Institute. Each week a new chapter will be published, with links to each chapter.
Click or tap a link below to read or download each chapter. (PDFs open in new tab or window)
Housing Unaffordability: How We Got There and What to Do About It – Tobias Peter and Edward J. Pinto (new this week)
Tobias Peter is the director of research of the AEI Housing Center.
Edward J. Pinto is the director of the AEI Housing Center.
Read the Series:
Introduction: Welcome to the Urban Future – Joel Kotkin
I. The Big Picture for Global Geography
American Aspiration is Metropolitan – Ryan Streeter
The Urban Future: The Great Dispersion – Wendell Cox
The Future of the Big American City is Not Bright – Samuel J. Abrams
II. The Variety of Urban Experiences
The Future of Chinese Cities – Li Sun
Africa’s Urban Future – Hügo Krüger and Bheki Mahlobo
Recalibrating Expectations: Lessons from Youngstown, Ohio – Sherry Lee Linkon and John Russo
The Texas Triangle: An Emerging Metropolitan Model in the Lone Star State – J. H. Cullum Clark
The Evolution of New York City Politics – Harry Siegel
California’s Inland Empire: Harbinger of the New Multiracial Suburb – Celia López del Río and Karla López del Río
III. The Policy Agenda
Housing Unaffordability: How We Got There and What to Do About It – Tobias Peter and Edward J. Pinto