Knowledge Articles, best practices, books & publications, case studies, legislation, research

Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 16:07
Rising house prices and incomes, an aging housing stock, and a pickup in household growth are all contributing to today’s strong home improvement market. Demand is robust in coastal metros with especially high house values and household incomes. Demographic trends should continue to buoy the market over the next decade, with the rising tide of older homeowners accounting for more than... Read more
Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 15:03
Cities around the world face the challenge of understanding why, how and where they are growing; an understanding that is crucial if they are to realise opportunities to steer this growth in ways that promote sustainable and equitable urban development. Being able to measure, visualise and analyse these often complex patterns of growth is essential to effective policy design and implementation.... Read more
Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 11:18
This paper attempts to understand the nature of the impact informality has on inclusive growth by comparing the cases of Colombia and South Africa: two upper-middle income countries with very different views and government approaches to the issue. Colombia and South Africa are both upper-middle income countries struggling to break out of the middle-income trap, yet current debates surrounding... Read more
Posted on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 - 10:39
This is a defining moment. Together, we are starting to build towards the low-carbon era. This is indeed a collective effort. States, communities, civil society organisations, businesses, international and intergovernmental organisations: we are all mobilised for the challenges that face us. The complexity of the climate challenge requires us to not only work at the global level but also to... Read more
Posted on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 - 10:15
As part of the Global Call to Action in Indigenous and Community Land Rights, this brief puts the spotlight on the need to secure land rights for the world’s pastoralists, as pastoralism is practised by an estimated 200-500 million people.1 Pastoralists manage rangelands that cover a quarter of the world’s land surface but have few advocates.2 Indigenous and community lands are used, managed or... Read more
Posted on Friday, December 16, 2016 - 10:19
Could urbanization lead to more democracy and better government for the mega-cities of the developing world? This paper reviews three channels through which urbanization may generate political change. First, cities facilitate coordinated public action and enhance the effectiveness of uprisings. Second, cities may increase the demand for democracy relative to dictatorship. Third, cities may... Read more
Posted on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - 12:02
Last month, I made the case at the Grey to Green conference (put on by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities in Toronto) that there are 30 expressions of urban agriculture that either prevent damage (mitigation is the official phrase), or adapt positively to damage, caused by global warming. Last week, at an Urban Food Systems Symposium at Kansas State University in Kansas City where I spoke, I learned... Read more
Posted on Friday, February 26, 2016 - 15:19
Despite numerous studies on townships, research into township economies and related commercial real estate markets is limited. The majority of studies refer to the economy only as part of a broader discussion about other themes such as housing. And, while the information in these studies is useful, it is not captured and discussed within an overarching conceptual framework, which would allow the... Read more
Posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - 10:46
Humans bond to bacteria as they (the humans) are born. When emerging from a vagina, babies are immediately covered in, well, vaginal bacteria. As babies become children, they are exposed to new bacteria of harmless and not-so-harmless variety. Historically, immunity has emerged from these interactions on individual and community levels. The explosion of urban growth is, unfortunately, making it... Read more
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - 12:34
Sandy Ikeda and I have published a new Mercatus paper on the regressive effects of land use regulation. We review the empirical literature on how the effects of rules such as maximum density, parking requirements, urban growth boundaries, and historic preservation affect housing prices. Nearly all of the studies on the price effects of land use regulations find that — as supply and demand... Read more

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