People around the world associate the "universal dream of home ownership" with an unprecedented improvement in quality of life. But there is a war on this dream, the result of policies that seek to control urban sprawl or suburbanization. The proponents and governments that implement such anti-suburban policies do so with little debate and virtually without any serious analysis of the consequences.
Anti-suburban policies outlaw development on large swaths of land, creating scarcity and increasing housing prices. This means less home ownership in the future and less wealth creation. Anti-suburban policies hopelessly seek to force people to use mass transit instead of cars, while failing to build roadway capacity to accommodate rising demand. The result is more intense traffic congestion, air pollution, and less productive urban areas.
Author Wendell Cox takes a closer look at this growing problem in War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life. With most of the world still living in relative poverty, it is clear that neither economic growth nor wealth creation can be taken for granted. Anti-suburban policies must be rejected and repealed. Only by such actions will national economies and their urban areas be positioned to ensure that future generations have a better quality of life.
Wendell Cox is an international demographic, urban policy, and transport consultant. He is a visiting professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Paris and served terms on the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission and the Amtrak Reform Council. Cox lives in the metropolitan St. Louis area.