By Timothy Egan in the Opinionator Blog - NYTimes.com
Look at the cities with stable and recovering home markets. On [the Pacific] coast, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and San Diego come to mind. All of these cities have fairly strict development codes, trying to hem in their excess sprawl. Developers, many of them, hate these restrictions. They said the coastal cities would eventually price the middle class out, and start to empty.
It hasn’t happened. Just the opposite. The developers’ favorite role models, the laissez faire free-for-alls — Las Vegas, the Phoenix metro area, South Florida, this valley — are the most troubled, the suburban slums.
Come see: this is what happens when money and market, alone, guide the way we live.