Doom List – Listing the Worst Prophecies of Environmental Catastrophe, Part Six: Dumb Growth

At GreenWatch we now have archived an interactive list of the “worst environmental prophecies of catastrophic doom.” It is a list of eleven of the most interesting and pointed cases of environmental activists raising the red alert, and the unintended fall out from it.

Today we will look at  the theory of “Smart Growth” and the unintended consequences of growth management policies. In one phrase, “The Planning Penalty,” which locks many out of the American Dream of home ownership, via environmental regulatory fiat.  

Advocates claim high-density ”smart growth” land development will make homeownership more affordable and allow people to live nearer to their work.  Smart growth policies will keep housing prices down, expand choice, and make American homeownership dreams come true. Not so, warns the Heritage Foundation. Smart growth policies put limits on development causing increases in median single family home prices. Capital Research Center studies show smart growth inflates home prices and lowers homeownership rates.  When prices in the Washington, D.C. smart-growth suburb of Arlington, Virginia, more than doubled to $746,000 between 2000 and 2006 low to moderate income families were priced out of the housing market.

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