California's housing crisis is a result of decades of policy. The state needs to build 3.5 million homes over the next eight years to meet anticipated population growth.
In a new report, McKinsey Global Institute details a few policies that could help California meet that goal, one being develop all the current vacant lots. According to its analysis, current vacant lots across the state could constitute another 225,000 units of housing. The New York Times put together two interactives that show all of the lots currently available in Los Angeles and San Francisco, where a majority of the state's vacant lots are located.
Just because vacant lots exist, that does not mean the owners want to use them or a particular city would allow new construction. Some are small and oddly shaped. Others have open fields or school playgrounds, which many local residents want to preserve.
Nevertheless, planners say vacant lots are a good, fairly conservative way to gauge a city’s development potential. Even in a place as crowded as urban California, there is still room to grow.