On Broadway

The Broadway Plan is coming before council, time for a review of what's being proposed, which parts are good and which might need work, and how that fits into the historical context.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

13 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) We have finally found some time to take a closer look at the Broadway Plan. There are many good things to say about the plan, it adds housing in an amenity and job rich area about to get a new subway line. It promises to not just undo the downzoning the city imposed on parts of the area in the 1970s but enables a bit more housing to make up for lost time.

Children are good, actually

Cities are changing, how do we know if we are headed in the right direction? Looking at the change in children gives us a simple uncontroversial metric to assess that, most people can agree that children are good for cities.

Jens von Bergmann

16 minute read

There are many useful metrics to understand neighbourhood change, change in the income distribution, change in the share of population in low income and change in dwelling units, change in households who rent, or just overall population change and how that relates to zoning. All these tell us something about how neighbourhoods change, the metric we want to focus on in this post is the number of children under 15.

Estimating Suppressed Household Formation

Household formation is a complex process that is impacted by many factors. We explore the variation in household maintainer rates across Canada to estimate the CMA-level effects on household maintainer rates and suppressed household formation using Montréal as a counterfactual, paying attention to differences in age structure and cultural aspects.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

24 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) TL;DR We develop and elaborate a Montréal Method for estimating housing shortfalls related to constraints upon current residents who might wish to form independent households but are forced to share by local housing markets. Applying simple versions of the Montréal Method to Metro Areas across Canada suggests that Toronto has the biggest shortfall, which we estimate at 250,000 to 400,000 dwellings, depending upon assumptions.

Planning for scarcity

Vancouver's planning regime is set up to reinforce housing scarcity A closer look how Vancouver plans for growth, what's wrong with it, and some ideas how to fix it.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

8 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) This is the first in a series of posts where we will explore what’s gone wrong with planning for growth, how misguided planning and policy-making has exacerbated our housing shortage, and ways to start fixing things. The second post in this series tries to estimate suppressed household formation. Planning vs controlling Growth mostly happens along the intersection between markets and regulation. We are all for ramping up non-market housing, which is badly needed, but most housing creation and exchange in Canada occurs within market contexts.

What’s up with Squamish?

Squamish's dwelling stock grew faster than their population, what does that mean?

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

7 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) In our previous post we have outlined the broad problems with the recent UBCM report, in this post we return to one particular one, the comparison of dwelling growth to population growth for “BC Major Census Metropolitan Areas” (Figure 2 in the report), paying particular attention to Squamish as the largest outlier. To start out, let’s take a comprehensive look at how dwelling and population growth play out across BC’s CMAs and CAs.