Another piece on the dilemma faced by our neighbours down the coast – from John Graham:

Here’s an interesting article comparing housing costs and development policy in San Francisco and Seattle, both going through tech booms – but only Seattle responding with a massive increase in supply.


“All options need to be on the table. If a taller, denser San Francisco will make the city more affordable, then it’s time we study how to make that happen,” Says Mission District Supervisor David Campos, who has, in the past, supported some of the most restrictive zoning laws in San Francisco history. For Campos, density may be the only way his residents can keep their homes.

Campos may be reading the political tea leaves correctly: I ran a small zip-code targeted public opinion poll showing simulations of a taller San Francisco to respondents and found that a slight (statistically insignificant) majority of residents support a Manhattan-like city landscape if it meant affordability (data here). …

Of course, not every city suffers from high-tech growth. Berkeley Economist Enrico Moretti credits Seattle for blunting the forces of inequality by supporting their tech hub with a surge in new apartments.