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Articles by Roger Valdez

Roger Valdez is a research associate at Sightline Institute, a Seattle-based research and communications center working on sustainable solutions for the Northwest.

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Trulia just released some very compelling charts and graphs based off of recent opinion research suggesting it might be the end of the McMansion — the huge, mass-produced housing form associated with sprawl.

Their data, together with the drop in lot sizes for single family homes I wrote about last month, might point to a slackening in the demand for homes with lots of square footage. While this likely doesn’t mean a mass exodus of people from outer belts of sprawl into condominiums inside urban growth boundaries, it is a promising trend in tastes and economics that could be leveraged. Maybe now is the time to advance some policies to sustain this momentum. First, let’s check out the charts and graphs.

Here’s one that shows the evolution of American home preference from the 1950s to the present. House size exploded from an average of 983 square feet to more than twice that — 2,330 square feet today:

Images: Trulia

But it appears from Trulia’s research that American’s are shifting their expectations about the size of their homes. This chart shows the American’s ideal home size now:

Less t... Read more

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    Recently I wrote about a study that looked across a few decades of data about housing and health. And we have written more than once about the relationship between the environment, location, health and price as it relates to food. Certainly there are systems issues that conspire against us when we try to make the […]