Comment on Anthony Downs's "Have Housing Prices Risen Faster in Portland Than Elsewhere?"

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9 Scopus citations


Forms of urban containment are found in more than a hundred jurisdictions across the United States. The lightning rod for the debate over urban containment is metropolitan Portland, OR, which has had an urban growth boundary for a generation. In the early 1990s, housing prices there soared, providing fodder to interests opposed to public interference in the private development market. Downs contributes to the debate by finding that over the long term, metropolitan Portland's housing prices are more in line with its West Coast and national contemporaries than not. This comment first reviews some of the literature associating growth controls and growth management with housing price changes. I then examine how Oregon's and metropolitan Portland's particular institutional measures ameliorate potential price effects, offering lessons for containment programs everywhere. I caution that urban containment is here to stay and that the best way for development interests to protect themselves from undesirable outcomes is to advocate Portland-style urban containment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9521433
Pages (from-to)33-42
Number of pages10
JournalHousing Policy Debate
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Growth management
  • Housing
  • Land use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Urban Studies
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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