The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

Archive for the tag “academia”

Housing Idea 4-Be Careful of Academics

I have a personal tendency to like academics and their approach to the world. Still as a practitioner of housing, I have found them to be of little benefit.

It is difficult to think of any academic idea that has substantially furthered the cause of affordable housing. Inclusionary zoning is an example of a popular academic idea. It is the policy that every housing complex that is developed needs to set aside a certain percentage of units for affordable housing. After years of talk, very few communities have initiated such policies because there is not the political will to do so. (Academics usually do not pay attention to politics). Similarly, I hear talk from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University about “organic” urban development. What does that mean? We will all long be dead and gone before we see any organic growth on the north side of St. Louis.

Hopefully you get the picture. Pay attention to people who have actually built housing, not academics. Written by Paul Dribin


Academia and Urban Development

This is a serious question. Does anyone know of any programs or techniques developed in the academic world that has been beneficial to your work? I do not? Nor does a friend of mine who is a student at the Kennedy School. The closest I see is inclusionary zoning which is a good idea but will never work because it is political poison. My friend states that most of the policies that he sees are geared to an eastern United States environment which is not practical in the midwest

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