Jul 23, 2014
Welcome to Episode 29 of the Talking Headways podcast. In it, we evaluate the potential of Boston's attempt to "gentrification-proof" the Fairmount Line, building affordable housing to keep transit from displacing people with low incomes. Too often, the allure of transit raises rents, bringing in a new demographic of people who can pay them -- and who, ironically, usually have cars.
One innovative way to build affordable housing -- and keep your not-quite-grown kids under your watch at the same time -- is to build accessory dwelling units, or backyard cottages. They're a great way to increase density without bringing a lot of cars into the neighborhood, but see if you agree with our conclusion that they have limited utility.
On the other side of the spectrum is the McMansion, object of desire and scorn in equal measure. You might be surprised to hear Jeff's defense of the 3,000-square-foot house. And as a bonus, you'll get his distance runner's analysis of the difference between runability and walkability, in which he circles back yet again to the idyllic nature of his McMansiony suburban upbringing.