The Housing Theory of Everything
As we've described above, better jobs drive up the price of housing when it's difficult to build more. The new park would make people more willing to pay to live nearby, bidding up the price of housing in that area, so that existing landowners captured much of the value the park created. The aggregate, countrywide effect of housing being so limited in supply has been that economic growth in most Western countries has accrued more and more to landowners and less to everyone else. Combine these effects with the fact that higher incomes allow people to have more kids because they can more easily afford things like childcare, and housing costs may be causing dramatically fewer children to be born than people would like to have. The health effects of more, denser housing are often ignored. If walkable cities ban new homes, their residents will move to more affordable places like Atlanta which build larger, more carbon-hungry homes, drive more and emit far more carbon than they would if they had the freedom to live where many of them really wanted to. Older generations sit on housing property worth many times what they paid and, stuck in a zero-sum mindset, often prioritise the protection of their own neighbourhoods over the need to build more homes.