Stack ‘Em and Pack ‘Em


Many of the mid-rise developments American planners favor today resemble this east German stack-and-pack built during the Soviet era.

The vast majority of Americans aspire to live in a single-family home with a private yard, but for decades, urban planners have sought to use urban-growth boundaries and other rules to force people to live in higher densities. Planners think that people living in multi-family, mixed-use developments drive less, use less energy, and produce smaller amounts of greenhouse gases. These publications and PowerPoint shows by American Dream Coalition experts and members argue that the costs of density are far greater than the benefits.

The 2013 Preserving the American Dream conference will include numerous presentations on so-called sustainability plans that aim to increase urban densities. Be sure to attend the conference to gain the tools you need to oppose “stack-and-pack” plans in your city.

Click images to download publications.

The Myth of the Compact City: Why Compact Development Is Not the Way to Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emission was published by the Cato Institute in 2009.
A densification plan in the San Francisco Bay Area will require the destruction of tens of thousands of single-family homes to make room for apartments that few Americans aspire to live in, says this 5.3-MB PowerPoint show that was given by Randal O’Toole during a debate over Plan Bay Area. The presentation is also available as a 3.1-MB PDF.
Slouching Toward a Huddled Masses Housing Policy by Ron Utt argues that the president’s proposed housing policies will be highly coercive but will do little to save energy.
Far from helping to clean the air, smart growth and densification will actually make air pollution worse, says Wendell Cox writing for the Heritage Foundation.