A Conversation with Alain Bertaud

Senior Research Scholar Alain Bertaud offers insights into urban planning in a Q&A with Yale's The Politic.

The Politic: How can housing affordability in one city affect neighboring regions? Are there different methods to have a unified solution? 

Bertaud: You find the problem of affordability practically everywhere in the world, [in part due to] a shift in urban planning starting in the ’60s. Planners have begun to design cities [according to] a preconceived idea of what the city should be like. Due to this change, many regulations were imposed, all of which are very drastic in terms of what you can do on a lot. The city is designed too far in advance for the planners to know what is affordable.  For instance, there has been a failure to anticipate the shrinking of household size. There is now a need for smaller apartments or smaller houses, but regulations have not adapted to that. 

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