Curtains at last for McMansions?
How has the collapse of the housing market changed people's attitudes toward homeownership and their expectations for how they will live? Is the yearning for a McMansion on the edge of a corn field really dead?
In his column on Monday, David Brooks said that when the economy tanked, the "great age of headroom" -- supersized houses being the main example -- came to an end. "The oversized now looks slightly ridiculous," he writes, and "social norms have since changed."
Some urban planners and housing market analysts say that demographic trends back up that thesis: the housing landscape that emerges from the recession, they say, will be driven not only by older empty nesters who don't like to drive at night anymore but also by Generation Y, the millennials who grew up in supersized houses in far-flung suburbs and who want to live differently, at least as long as they are childless. But historians and other experts on sprawl are not so sure.
What will the housing landscape be, if and when the market recovers from the recession? What should government's role be in promoting where and how Americans live?
Read the debate at: Redefining Home in a Depressed Market - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com
Ellen Dunham-Jones andJune Williamson, architecture professors
Robert Bruegmann, University of Illinois at Chicago
Edward Glaeser, economist, Harvard
Laurie Volk andTodd Zimmerman, housing market analysts
Gregory K. Ingram, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy