What City Observatory did this week

1. Three more takeaways from Harvard’s “The State of the Nation’s Housing” report. Daniel Kay Hertz picks out three important but overlooked findings from the massive study released last week:

  • a nationwide shortage of rental housing is pushing up prices
  • for many black and brown homeowners, home prices are too low, holding down household wealth
  • in the next ten years, more than two million subsidized homes will lose their subsidies

2. Climate concerns crush Oregon highway funding bill. Joe Cortright looks at an important precedent: a transportation package that was voted down because of its effect on global warming.

3. Paving Paradise. Joe Cortright puts the defeat of the Vancouver transit funding referendum in the surprisingly disappointing context of recent Pacific Northwest transportation policy decisions.

The week’s must reads

1. Transportation for America breaks down the Senate’s draft transportation bill, the DRIVE Act, and suggests three improvements. One of them: create a new way for local communities to apply for federal funds directly for smart, high-quality projects.

2. CityLab has an interactive history of the rails-to-trails movement, with lots of photos and maps to ogle.

3. In “Revisiting Black Urbanism,” the Chicago-area planner Pete Saunders asks an important question: Where are the black urbanists?

New knowledge

1. In “Spillovers from Immigrant Diversity in Cities,” Abigail Cooke and Thomas Kemeny ask whether a immigrants can make native-born workers more productive. The answer: yep.

2. University of Illinois professor David Albouy quantifies “quality of life” in over 2,000 sub-metropolitan areas around the country. What do people like? Density, sun, and good schools. (Non-paywalled version here.)

3. The Washington Post has compiled a database of every fatal police shooting so far this year.