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San Diego homes / Photo by Sam Hodgson

Housing dominates California politics. It will shape big cities like San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco this year and in the future.

Josh Stephens is the author of a book dedicated to this issue, “The Urban Mystique,” which focuses on the potential of such cities — what they are and what they could be — through the lens of housing and development.

VOSD host Andrew Keatts interviewed Stephens, a Los Angeles-based journalist, about his book and some of the most pressing California housing issues.

Keatts and Stephens both have reported on land use and housing politics over the last 10 years, as the state recovered from the Great Recession, saw the rise of the YIMBY movement and how political parties adapted to the new demand and circumstances. (Plus, Stephens points out how the historically “conservative” San Diego may have some of the most progressive housing efforts in the state.)

Keatts interviewed Stephens last week for an event put on by the San Diego-Tijuana Urban Land Institute. The folks at ULI were kind enough to lend us the audio of this discussion for a bonus episode of the VOSD Podcast.

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Nate John

Nate John is the digital manager at Voice of San Diego. He oversees Voice's website, newsletters, podcasts and product team. You can reach him at

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