California’s Fear of High-Rise Living Is Blocking Our View of the Future

Tall Residential Housing Would Spur Retail, Ease Homelessness, and Curb Pollution and Traffic

Want to spook your neighbors this Halloween? Don’t bother with big displays of goblins, ghouls, or ghosts. Instead, just decorate your door with a picture of an eight-story apartment building.

Californians are famously fearless in most things. We devote ourselves to extreme outdoor sports, buy homes near earthquake faults, and launch startups and make TV pilots against all odds. But in the face of tall buildings, especially multi-family residential high-rises, we turn into a bunch of scaredy-cats.

This statewide acrophobia has fueled a historic housing shortage that cuts into our …