Good Morning Mission!

La Eneida

It is 7 a.m, 52° and headed to 69°. Details for the next 10 days are here.

Interesting piece in New York Magazine on Vienna architecture with the subhead, “Vienna is full of affordable apartments that look great.” Justin Davidson makes the argument that New York — and I’m suggesting SF — need look no further than Vienna for ideas on affordable housing.

At the Gasometer complex, celebrity architects refitted a set of immense gas-storage silos with offices, shopping, and affordable apartments. Bike City, another elegantly designed building, is geared to residents who don’t own cars.

These projects emerge out of a 100-year history of high-design, low-cost housing and an apparatus that has placed nearly two-thirds of Vienna’s rapidly growing population in subsidized housing. The city government effectively controls the real-estate market and maintains a housing-research department that puts academic conjecture into practice. The model works because it combines generosity, rigor, and competition. READ MORE.

And, as long as we’re looking at the New York press (yes, I am so tired of food news and you are probably tired of it as well) there is a lovely look at the work of the poet who won this year’s Pulitzer Prize, Vijay Seshadri, on the New Yorker’s website. 

Meanwhile, Napster co-founder Sean Parker is the latest tech mogul to enter the media world with a new start-up aimed at engaging readers with politics. Brigade Media will launch before the next elections, reports the SF Business Times

Filed under: Mobile, Today's Mission

You may also like:


  1. John

    The link to the Vienna article didn’t send me where I expected.

  2. nutrisystem

    Sure, it’s simple to build good and inexpensive housing. And doing so is good for people and for business.

    But it’s bad for the bloodsucking class which now rules America, and therefore is forbidden.

  3. BackToTheBurbs

    Yes, affordable housing is possible. But then where would the wealth mongers get their power and riches from, to distinguish themselves from the masses and wield unauthoritative power?

    Would certain unnamed people still want to move to SF if they didn’t have to go through bidding wars with consistent overbidding? Or if regular people had a stable perspective for spending their life in the city. If it was too easy it wouldn’t satisfy uber competitive appetites for faux status.

    Sadly it’s not difficult to see strong parallels emerging between the tech culture and daily life in the area these days. Things have become hyper competitive, cliquey, exclusive, with scorn for history and context, a need to groom image and public face, with love of disruption for the sake of disruption (and money).

    • John

      But what kind of subsidies were needed in Austria to provide large amounts of “affordable” housing?

      The problem here is that even if we could create 100,000 affordable units overnight (and we cannot because that would require a subsidy of about 25 billion dollars) people would simply respond to that by declaring that SF is now affordable for them, and they would flood here giving us the same problem.

      It’s the unaffordability of SF that keeps the population manageable and the skyline low. You can go cheap if you want to stick high-rise towers everywhere, but then the NIMBYs kick up.

      There are many affordable units outside of SF within a 30 minute BART ride.

      • nutrisystem

        No subsidies at all.

        The Austrian government (really the Austrian PEOPLE) own these apartments, and operate the whole system at cost.

        The dirty little secret of the real estate industry is that apartments aren’t very expensive to create, and they generate revenue for a long time. So once the profit aspect is removed, housing is inexpensive.

        Vienna is a beautiful city (arguably more so than SF), and they make quality affordable housing work. So do most cities in continental Europe.

        The difference is that Austria frowns on blood-sucking and the USA celebrates it.

        • John

          I am well aware that homes can be good investments, thank you.

          But there is nothing to stop you doing the same thing here. You do not need any changes in the law.

          Simply raise some funds, buy a property in the open market, and invest in it. Bingo, the Austrian solution can be yours. What are you waiting for? What is your excuse for not doing that now if you believe in it?

          Of course, some would argue that public housing in the US hasn’t worked too well, e.g. the projects and the many corrupt Housing Associations.

          But hey, maybe it all just needs a little Austrian flair and know-how. Again, why whine when you can act?

Comments are closed.

Full name required to post. For full details, read our Policy