Housing provides shelter, in a variety of forms, but it is also resonant with meaning on many other levels--as a financial asset, a status symbol, an expression of private aspirations and identities, a means of inclusion or exclusion, and finally as a battleground for social change.
John Adams' impressive new study explores this complex topic in all its dimensions. Using census data and other housing surveys, Adams describes the recent history of housing in America; the nature of housing supply and demand; patterns of housing use; and selected housing policy questions. Adams supplements this national and regional analysis with a remarkable set of small-area analyses, revealing how neighborhood settings affect housing use and how market forces and other trends interact to shape a neighborhood. These analyses focus on a sample of over fifty urbanized areas, including the nation's three largest cities (New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago). Special two-color maps illustrate the dynamics of housing use in each of these communities.
Clearly and insightfully, this volume paints a unique picture of the American "housing landscape," a landscape that reflects and regulates significant aspects of our national life.
JOHN S. ADAMS is professor of geography at the University of Minnesota.
A Volume in the RSF Census Series