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Taxes & Mortgages

The Geopolitics of Gentrification

July 10, 2014 by Jim Russell

Gentrification and Politics

A bunch of Russian oligarchs want to buy some hot New York City real estate. How can we cool their jets? Greater density! Deregulate zoning and let developers build as the market demands. With greater supply, the returns on foreign investment diminish. Right? Wrong.[read more]


English Cities Demand More Power and Tax-Raising Abilities

July 9, 2014 by David Thorpe

Manchester sees a new dawn

English cities such as Manchester and Birmingham should have the right to raise more taxes, says an influential cross-party committee of MPs, who are calling for a transfer of power from central government to local authorities and local communities.[read more]

Illusion of Local: Why Zoning for Greater Density Will Fail to Make Housing More Affordable

July 8, 2014 by Jim Russell

Density and Housing Markets

Gentrification is an urban policy problem in need of a theory. Instead of theory, we have the geographic illusion of local: The current landscape is the result of community decisions. Gentrifiers, outsiders who move into a neighborhood, cause real estate prices to appreciate and displace more tenured residents.[read more]

Pop-Up Housing (It's Not What You Think It Is)

July 8, 2014 by Brandon Donnelly

Pop-Up Housing

You were probably expecting some kind of temporary housing solution. Because that’s certainly what I was thinking when somebody tweeted me about it. But it turns out that in D.C., “pop-up housing” has come to mean a pencil thin house rising amongst a bunch of low-rise rowhouses.[read more]

Stuck in Condoland?

June 27, 2014 by Brandon Donnelly

Toronto Life recently published an interesting article called Stuck in Condoland and there seems to be a lot of interest in the topic. It basically profiles the lives of a few young families who live downtown and are trying to raise young children in relatively small condos (think 700 square feet).[read more]

Why Vancouver's Housing Market Hinges on China's Economy

June 25, 2014 by Brandon Donnelly

Vancouver, Housing, and China

In case you weren’t aware, Vancouver is an incredibly expensive city when it comes to real estate. The average price for a single-family detached house is now around C$1 million. By some measures, that makes it the most expensive housing market in North America.[read more]

Use of Public Transportation in Brazil Dropped 25% in Past 15 Years

June 20, 2014 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Brazil and Public Transportation

The lack of adequate transportation policies and the frequent increase in taxes, as well as an increased purchasing power, caused a 25% drop in the use of public transport in Brazil in the last 15 years. Depending on the location, it is cheaper to use a motorcycle or a car than public transport.[read more]

Rising Property Taxes in São Paulo, Amongst Poor Municipal Planning

June 19, 2014 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Brazil, Taxes, and Planning

After a court barred a proposal to increase property taxes in Rio de Janeiro, the administration of Mayor Fernando Haddad chose another way to raise taxes. The administration proposed an increase in the calculation basis of the ITBI tax, to be levied in cases of a real estate transfer.[read more]

Not So Much 'New York Poor' as 'Pittsburgh Rich'

June 12, 2014 by Jim Russell

Local Economics and Income Inequality

If it isn't completely dead already, “Slacker” Austin is certainly dying. In its place comes things like ambition, purpose, and a career. Along with the embrace of success comes the gentrification of what made Austin, Texas, so attractive in the first place.[read more]

Why Fake Vintage Buildings are a Blow to Architecture, Historic Neighborhoods, and the Character of a City

June 9, 2014 by Tazmine Loomans

Vintage Buildings and Urban Character

Imagine a fake Mona Lisa hanging next to authentic masterpieces. People with an untrained eye would have no idea that it was fake, they would think it was real. And what if it was painted by a company standing to profit from making you believe that what you’re seeing is the real thing?[read more]

Guinness' Impact on Dublin's Public Housing: The Iveagh Trust & Hostel

Guinness and Dublin Housing

There is perhaps no brand that is more closely associated with Ireland, and in particular Dublin, than Guinness. The company has made a huge impact on the culture, economy, architecture, and even the history of the city in an immeasurable amount of ways.[read more]

How Melbourne's New Urban Growth Boundary will Shape the City

Melbourne Growth Boundary

The Melbourne Minister for Planning recently approved five new towers to be situated in the Southbank area of the central business district. This comes with the recent release of Plan Melbourne, a document on the future of Melbourne as it battles rising congestion and scarcity of affordable housing.[read more]