Urban containment [AKA, smart growth] has its roots in the British 1947 Town and Country Planning Act. This act created green belts around British cities and is a proximate cause of the present housing shortage and crisis. The general philosophy of the 1947 Act is evident throughout urban planning in the United States and has been implemented in Oregon, part of Washington and California.1947 being shortly after UK voters cut off their noses to spite their faces. Which we've commented on before in this piece on 84 Charing Cross Road. The same dynamic rules today in California, according to Cox;
Today, California house prices are far higher than in the rest of the nation. This is taking a toll on the standard of living and increasing poverty. The Census Bureau's supplemental poverty measure, which adjusts for housing costs shows California's poverty rate to be the highest in the nation. It should be of concern that California's poverty rate is 50% above that of perennial poverty leader Mississippi....As goes California, so...
Because so much poverty is concentrated among minority ethnic populations, California's urban containment policy is particularly disadvantaging Hispanics and African-Americans. The Thomas Rivera Institute at USC published a detailed examination of California's land-use regulations and found that "Far from helping, they are making it particularly difficult for Latino and African American households to own a home."
Between 1993 and 2010, there was net out-migration from California to 42 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Immigration to Los Angeles and Orange from abroad has also declined, as immigrants too look for more affordable alternatives. People seeking sun, glamour or a good time will continue to flourish in southern California, but it seems likely that more families, and middle class households, will continue to ebb out, seeking somewhere else the dream that was once so closely identified with Southern California.And, of course, the same can be said of Australia and New Zealand.