William H. Lucy
William Lucy's recent work confirms that the trends described below in Foreclosing the Dream and in Tomorrow's Cities Tomorrow's Suburbs continued and are discernible in trends through 2011 for income and 2013 for foreclosures. This work will be included in a forthcoming book about Adapting Infrastructure for a Sustainable Future: Behavioral Economics and the Social Psychology of Everyday Life. In Foreclosing the Dream: How America's Housing Crisis is Changing Our Cities and Suburbs,Planners Press, 2010, William Lucy identifies foreclosures occurring more frequently in outer suburbs in 2008 and 2009 than in central cities and closer in suburbs. He attributes this pattern to less demand for large exurban houses, fewer households headed by persons age 30 to 45 who traditionally have been prime home buyers for households with children at home, and more attraction to convenience and variety in central cities. He reports that from 2000 to 2008, central cities tended to improve in income and housing values relative to their suburbs in the 35 largest metropolitan areas. Income improvements were particularly strong among non-Hispanic whites in central cities, while minority groups tended to experience rising incomes in suburbs.
Foreclosing the Dream was selected for a Choice Award by the American Library Association as one of the best academic books published in 2010.
Tomorrow's Cities, Tomorrow's Suburbs, William Lucy's previous book (with co-author David Phillips) was published in January 2006 by the American Planning Association's Planners Press. Lucy and Phillips describe the comebacks of many pre-1940 neighborhoods during the 1990s in large cities and their suburbs. During the 1990s, middle-aged neighborhoods, especially those developed in the 1960s, tended to decline. Lucy and Phillips attribute these trends to the increasing preference of middle-income households for larger houses, which usually are farther out, or for greater convenience, which usually is achieved by being closer to the metropolitan center than the typical post-World War II bedroom suburb. They predict that the prevalence of small houses in many suburbs, houses that often are functionally obsolete and need repair and replacement of basic components, will lead to severe deterioration of neighborhoods and suburbs, given current housing preferences. Lucy and Phillips previously published Confronting Suburban Decline (Island Press 2000). Lucy was a member, Vice Chair, and then Chair of the Charlottesville Planning Commission from September 2004 to March 2008, Co-Chair of the Town Reversion Committee from 1996 to 1998, Vice Chair of the Charlottesville Urban Design Task Force from 1985 to 1988, Chair of the Charlottesville Social Development Commission from 1980 to 1984, and Co-Chair of the McIntire Road Design Advicory Committee in 1979. In 2012, he received the Citizen Community Service award of the Central Virginia chapter of the American Institute of Architects.