Last December, SF Mayor Ed Lee announced a Mayoral Executive Directive ordering all city departments with jurisdiction over housing permitting to prioritize housing construction, particularly for affordable housing, and his state of the city address in January called for 30,000 units of new housing by 2020 with 1/3 of them built as permanently affordable.Â Come hear… Continue reading 30,000 units of housing by 2020 and James Baldwin looks at race relations in 1963 San Francisco
â€œLet the voters decideâ€ has a certain immediate appeal. It implies that the will of the people will guide public decisions and create a more just and fair city for all. Thatâ€™s the idea at least. The reality usually ends up looking a lot messier. To say nothing of the huge structural issues direct democracy… Continue reading The Unintended Effects of Direct Democracy: Say “no” to ballot box planning on Proposition B June 3rd.
Yesterday’s huge fire on a construction site in San Francisco left people with a lot of questions, some of which were circulating on Twitter as the fire was still burning. The six-story, eighty foot tall uncompleted structure burned out of control for several hours as nearly 150 firefighters fought to contain the flames and keep… Continue reading After the Mission Bay fire: Construction types explained
Thanks to everyone that came to SPUR yesterday for the forum on housing construction costs, we’ll be having more events at SPUR on this topic including one that looks reducing the costs of providing housing on February 11.Â Just a quick post with a few things I’ve been reading and looking at this week: New… Continue reading Housing links for January 22, 2014
Oh boy. There is no easy answer to this question, but protests in front of buses are certainly not going to solve the problemÂ because it’s a problem that goes beyond the boundaries of the City of San Francisco. Saying that tech companies owe a billion dollars for doing curbside pickup are completely ignoring reality and… Continue reading Why have the tech buses invaded San Francisco?
My posts on housing costs have gained a lot of attention in the last week or two, and there have been a lot of comments. I decided to respond to Peter Cohen’s comments in this post, because his comments are similar to others I have heard on Twitter and elsewhere from people in the housing… Continue reading Housing Costs Controversy and the Math of BMR Ownership
One thing I left out of my calculation the housing unit costs the other dayÂ in the interest of simplification was the efficiency of the building, but I probably shouldn’t have because it’s a huge factor. David Baker pointed out in a comment: One thing, if the 800 Square foot is cost for the building… Continue reading Building Efficiency and Housing Cost
There were a number of suggestions from readers, via both the blog comments and Twitter, on how we could build cheaper multifamily housing. Here are a few ideas with my thoughts: Prefabrication – Most large projects already take advantage of this to some degree. Many contractors pre-frame wood walls in a factory and crane them… Continue reading How can we build cheaper urban housing?
A question I have heard a lot lately is â€œwhy canâ€™t developers build housing for the people who need it most instead of for the rich.” Letâ€™s look at what a typical multi-family development project in a reasonably central part of San Francisco would cost to build (in a very simplified way). Iâ€™m assuming an… Continue reading “Why canâ€™t developers build housing in San Francisco for the people who need it most instead of for the rich?”
The theme of the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale this year is â€œSpontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good.â€ Cathy Lang Ho, who helped to select the participants, discusses the criteria and the approach in this article over at the Architect Magazine site. This is hardly the first post about spontaneous or… Continue reading This is not Guerilla Urbanism: Architecture of resistance and capitulation