The New York Times Opinion Page published this article on Saturday, November 25, 2011 discussing the move towards density. It builds a case that cites the car dependent fringe suburbs as the primary cause for the mortgage meltdown leading to the recession. Perhaps an over simplification, but I believe that it does address the root of the problem.
More space, bigger houses, more opportunity to buy products to put in all those rooms all went hand in hand with easy money and low downpayments to encourage people to take on more than what was prudent.
But my point is not to look to the past to uncover issues, but to look forward and try to find trends to be on the front side of them. Most all of my posts deal with things that will affect property values in my market, downtown Charlotte. Energy prices, downsizing, walkability, new companies relocating, strong infrastructure, easy transportation, all these trends contribute to wanting to relocate to the central core of the city, and that is the downtown area and it's Four Wards.
Please follow the link and read the entire article. I toyed with the idea of just reprinting it here, but thought that the link would accomplish the same thing, and it would be easier for me to add my $0.02 to the debate.