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Originally published in 2010 — e-book version released in 2013.
Winner of the 2010 Outstanding Academic Title sponsored by the American Library Association's Choice magazine
That America entered a profound housing crisis in 2008 is well known. The wave of foreclosures that began to sweep the nation has had radical economic effects. But the force, ramifications, and implications for communities across America have never been spelled out as clearly and thoroughly as they are in Foreclosing the Dream.
As he did in Tomorrow's Cities, Tomorrow's Suburbs, William H. Lucy has taken a clear-eyed and meticulous look at the latest data and found lessons that the mainstream discussion has overlooked — particularly with regard to the spatial and demographic implications of the housing crisis. The housing market did not collapse uniformly, and the pain has not been felt equally in all age groups.
Planners, public officials, activists, students, and others will benefit from Lucy's analysis of the real shape of the crisis, for what happens next will reflect these inequities. Lucy pulls no punches in this taut, readable assessment of what the crisis will mean for the shapes of our exurbs, older suburbs, and central cities. No responsible planner or housing professional can afford to miss this book.
About the Author
William H. Lucy is the Lawrence Lewis, Jr. Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Close to Power: Setting Priorities with Elected Officials and (with David L. Phillips) Tomorrow's Cities, Tomorrow's Suburbs.
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Table of Contents
List of Tables and Figures
Chapter 1: The Ring of Death
Patterns of Foreclosure
The Pattern of Home Values
What Accounts for These Patterns?
Chapter 2: What Income Reveals
Chapter 3: Old Neighborhoods Lead the Way
Empty Downtown Blocks
Blank Spots on the Map
Other Common Settings
Chapter 4: Coping with Global Warming
Transportation and Oil
Reducing Energy Use In Transportation
Goals for Households and Governments
Political Support for Transit
Policies to Increase Transit Use
Tyranny of Easy Development Decisions
Transportation Planning for Results
Sustainable Region Incentive Program
Accounting for Behavior, Scale, and Incentives
Energy Use in Buildings
Energy Savings in New Buildings
Chapter 5: The Outmoded Metropolis
Smart Growth and States
Coping with Mismatch of Needs and Resources
Enhancing Governance Capabilities with Transit and Revenue Sharing
Two Options for Declining Suburbs
Suburban Downtowns, Shopping Centers, and Housing
Rebuilding Accessibility and Nature
Chapter 6: The Future of Politics
Appendix 1: Demography Is Destiny
Housing and Demographics
The Role of Income
Pricing "Toxic Mortgage Assets"
How to Counter a "Bubble"?
Data Sources and Issues
Appendix 2: Foreclosures, Housing Units, Housing Values, and Family Incomes
See what journalists are writing about Foreclosing the Dream:
Check out some of the rave reviews:
"Experience is now showing that the foreclosure challenge is varied and nuanced — ranging from predatory loans to option ARMs (often accompanied by limited documentation and optimistic underwriting) to the more current situation of job losses, income reductions, and falling values. This book recognizes the breadth of that challenge and presents many useful solutions for meeting it."
Immediate Past President, National Housing Conference
"Housing foreclosures are the tip of the iceberg in William Lucy's tale of a brave new metropolitan future. Historic changes in housing development, revitalization of the central city, new demographic changes, and global warming all play crucial parts in the coming transformation. Offering a sweeping vision, Foreclosing the Dream is a planner's comprehensive guide to future metropolitan development, showing us how to fit together the many changes that might seem unrelated."
Professor of Urban Planning and Demography, University of Southern California
"In this timely study, Lucy (urban and environmental planning, Univ. of Virginia) delineates the American dream of owning a home, the recent housing bubble, the pattern of foreclosures, and the consequent economic downturn. He examines the causes and consequences of the housing crisis, presents quantitative data, and shows how demographics, housing units, and family income are intertwined. His account shows how the housing crisis was triggered by federal government policy aimed at increasing the rate of home ownership, easy credit with low down payments, deregulation of financial institutions, and the secondary mortgage market. Examining the implications of this crisis for future housing, Lucy focuses on the impact of suburban sprawl on increased use of automobiles and the resulting pollution and global warming. He argues in favor of smart growth: developing more compact urban areas, increasing the use of public transit, providing more alternatives to driving alone, and moving household locations closer to jobs, bus routes, shopping, etc. Furthermore, Lucy emphasizes the need for federal and state government policies directed at changing human behavior and lifestyles through finance, tax, home buying, and energy-related incentives, leading to a more compact and equitable metropolis. This book is a major contribution to the literature on urban housing and environmental policy/planning. Summing Up: Highly recommended."
—September 2010 issue of CHOICE