Can cities build their way to affordability? How do metropolitan cities deal with rapid growth and change? And what is the YIMBY movement?

Earlier this fall, Sightline welcomed two leading voices on urbanism, Kim-Mai Cutler and Daniel Kay Hertz, to Seattle to discuss these questions and report on housing lessons learned in their respective cities.

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  • Below is a video of the event for those who were unable to attend (and for those who want to re-live the night).

    • At minute 2:54 — Sightline executive director Alan Durning sets the stage by presenting on how the housing market is like a cruel game of musical chairs and introduces lessons learned from other cities around the world, including Houston, Tokyo, Vienna, and Montreal. (See Alan’s “Yes, You Can Build Your Way to Affordable Housing” article for more details.)
    • 15:56 — Daniel Kay Hertz explains how Chicago, the third-largest U.S. city, is dramatically more affordable than its peer cities on the coasts.
    • 30:20 — Kim-Mai Cutler reports on San Francisco’s housing shortage and growing pains, and ways the city can fully embrace affordability.
    • 57:45 — Q&A with the audience.

    More about the panelists below:

    Daniel Kay Hertz is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability in Chicago, and has written about urban demographics, neighborhood change, housing policy, and public transit in City Observatory and several other publications including the Washington Post, CityLab, and Next City. Hertz will report from Chicago, the third largest US city and one that is dramatically more affordable than its peer cities on the coasts. He will share research on how Chicago has kept home prices and rents to a fraction of the levels in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and other large US cities. Check out his article Finding Nuance in the Housing Supply Arguments and his other publications here. 

    Kim-Mai Cutler, Partner at Initialized Capital, an early-stage venture firm, in San Francisco and Contributor at TechCrunch, will report on San Francisco, a fellow West Coast city that has faced similar growing pains to Seattle. As a Bay Area native and in her previous career as a journalist, Cutler wrote several long-form pieces on the housing crisis in 2014 and 2015 that helped form the Bay Area YIMBY movement. Cutler will reprise highlights of her study on the Bay Area’s housing shortage (now a new graphic book), How Burrowing Owls Lead To Vomiting Anarchists. She has also worked for Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.