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Hot Housing Market Spawns Urban Renewal

Leonard Gilroy
May 25, 2005, 2:47pm

According to the Wall Street Journal, the hot national housing market is spawning an organic revitalization of urban neighborhoods unaffected by traditional "urban renewal" programs: Full article here. Actually, "organic" may be somewhat of a stretch, as cities like Baltimore have gotten heavily involved in acquiring blighted housing (or demolishing aging public housing) and turning it over to private entities for redevelopment. The article correctly points out that interest in up-and-coming urban neighborhoods may fall off sharply as interest rates rise. So cities that want to keep the momentum moving in the positive direction would be wise to follow Joel Kotkin's advice (see my previous post) and focus on the basics, like reducing crime, reforming failing urban school systems, and improving infrastructure.

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform


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