All posts tagged: population growth

What the Housing Shortage Is Doing to American Environmentalism

What the Housing Shortage Is Doing to American Environmentalism

Environmentalism has never been a stable ideology, and its adherents have never been a monolithic group. But, in Minneapolis, the green community has fractured as a wide array of self-described environmentalists find that they don’t agree on very much anymore. Back in 2018, Minneapolis generated national headlines for being the first major American city to eliminate single-family zoning. Under a plan called Minneapolis 2040, the city legalized duplexes and triplexes in all residential neighborhoods. The plan led to a frenzy of ambitious regulatory changes meant to yield denser, transit-accessible, and more affordable homes across the city. The stated goals of Minneapolis 2040 included housing affordability and racial equity, but supporters also stressed the environmental benefits of funneling population growth toward the urban core instead of outlying counties. “All the evidence and data shows that when you reduce your carbon footprint by, for instance, not having a 45-minute commute in from the suburbs … it helps the environment,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey told me at a downtown ice-cream shop in September. “It’s really simple, right?” Maybe. …

The Diamond Industry Goes Platonic

The Diamond Industry Goes Platonic

“It is one of my love languages to gift,” she says, looking lovingly at the woman to her right, after wiping a tear from her eye. The two are filmed in black and white, and one is wearing a diamond-pendant necklace that shines particularly brightly in the muted setting. Usually the giving of diamonds is associated with lovers making the leap into marriage. But here, in an ad for Jared jewelers, two long-lost sisters describe how, after meeting for the first time, they chose to honor the occasion with diamonds. Jared and other diamond merchants have similar ads. In another from Jared, a different pair of sisters speak of how they share an inherited ring, before a voice-over asks you, the viewer, to “express your extraordinary love” with diamond jewelry. A recent Brilliant Earth ad features a mother and a daughter showing off their jewelry, with one saying, “You are never too old to play dress-up.” Hallmark has a landing page that suggests that you buy diamond jewelry for your friends, to “show appreciation for …

The Abortion-Housing Nexus

The Abortion-Housing Nexus

Abortion access. Gun safety. The treatment of immigrants. The size of the safety net. Ease of voting. LGBTQ rights. On any number of policy issues, red states and blue states have drifted apart from each other over the past three decades, widening the gaps between what families in different parts of the country pay in taxes, receive in benefits, and experience when interacting with the government. At the same time, the cost of housing in these states has diverged, too. Blue states have throttled their housing supply, leading to dramatic price increases and spurring millions of families to relocate to red states in the Sunbelt. These trends have intensified in the past few years, as conservative legislatures have passed a raft of laws restricting abortion access and targeting LGBTQ Americans and as housing shortages have spread. Now many Americans find themselves stuck in states that are enacting conservative policies they do not support, but where real estate is cheap. That is one takeaway from a new Redfin survey of people who rent their home, are …