Free conference this Wed on the issues of smart growthHRG is putting on a free conference this Wednesday afternoon at the GRB downtown: "The Truth About Smart Growth: Setting the Stage for the Housing Collapse - National Conference About What Works & What Hurts." I will be doing some speaking at the event, and look forward to seeing as many of you as possible there. Should be a lively discussion. We're even hoping for some of the mayoral candidates to come by for a briefing. Details and registration are here.
Experts from around the nation and world will be on hand in Houston, October 21st to discuss the advantages and pitfalls of “Smart Growth” approaches to urban development. Of national significance is the role that market distorting policies have had on the housing collapse and, by comparison, alternative growth strategies used by some cities that have avoided such pitfalls. We expect both local and national media attention to this timely topic.
The conference is set for the George R. Brown convention Center from 2 to 5 pm on October 21st and will feature speakers and topics including:
1. Ron Utt, The Heritage Foundation - Price Inflation Through Public Policy” “Housing Bubbles” evidence from UK study indicating price inflation as a direct result of the Town and Country Planning Act.
2. Wendell Cox, Demographia- How Texas’ regulatory environment helped us resist the economic downturn.
3. Sam Staley, The Reason Foundation - How Houston’s free market land use system is superior, the advantages of it, and how it compares to the traditional planning process.
4. Mike Inselmann, Metro Studies - Case study of national housing prices and trends - Which areas were most affected during recent housing bubble crisis and what types of regulations caused the problem.
5. Randal O’Toole, The Cato Institute - Present an alternative vision that achieves same goals. What are mild incentives to encourage market driven growth? The fiscal impacts on local governments.
6. Luis Vera, Pacific Legal Foundation, LULAC – “Protecting land owner/ home owner rights” in courts - will examine what smart growth policies do to affordability and the damaging effects that they have had on the middle and lower class.
7. Special Guest: Todd Staples, PAC! Off: It's My Land - Presentation of a new pro-Proposition 11 coalition comprised of associations and state leaders concerned about abusive takings of private property by government eminent domain.
As you can see, this respected group of scholars will be discussing the myths and the realities of centralized government growth and development controls, significantly, here in the largest American city without zoning—and in the city that has resisted the worst effects of the housing downturn.