Remembering Anthony Downs, Ph.D., CRE® Emeritus

We are saddened at the recent loss of economist, author, and Counselor Anthony “Tony” Downs.

Tony Downs was invited to membership in The Counselors of Real Estate® in Spring 1990. He served CRE in several positions, including on the Board of Directors, the CRE Foundation, and he served three years on the Real Estate Issues Editorial Board. He was a frequent speaker at CRE events. Tony authored 24 books and wrote over 500 articles, a few of which we were lucky enough to publish in Real Estate Issues.

Prior to joining The Counselors of Real Estate, his groundbreaking observations on societal issues forever changed the way we think about the world.

In his first book, 1957’s An Economic Theory of Democracy, he studied why people vote. In 1962’s paper “Down’s Law of Peak-Hour Traffic Congestion“, he observed the phenomenon that on urban commuter expressways, peak-hour traffic congestion rises to meet maximum capacity.

Tony’s work was incredibly influential to U.S. leaders. He authored three chapters of the 1968 Kerner Commission report, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s investigation into the factors that lead to the social unrest in the summer of 1967. HUD Secretary Jack Kemp also appointed him to the Advisory Commission on Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing in 1989. He was often called upon to advise lawmakers, and appeared on C-SPAN 7 times.

Tony was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. beginning in 1977. He served for 18 years at the Real Estate Research Corporation, a nationwide consulting firm advising private and public decision-makers on real estate, which was founded by his father James Downs.

We are incredibly proud to have been able to call Tony Downs a Counselor of Real Estate, and he will be greatly missed.

Learn more about Tony’s life

Work in Real Estate Issues 

Real Estate Issues has a long and storied history of attracting and publishing insight and commentary from the world’s prominent thought leaders in the real estate profession. Some of Tony’s contributions are highlighted below.

The Outlook for Recovery in U.S. Real Estate Markets
Volume 35, Number 3
Winter 2010-2011
By Anthony Downs, CRE

Leadership Roundtable: Different Perspectives: Banking and the Outlook for Recovery in U.S. Real Estate Markets
Volume 35, Number 3
Winter 2010-2011
Panelists: K.C. Conway, CRE; Sandy G. Hostetter; Marc R. Thompson, CRE, FRICS
Moderator: Anthony Downs, CRE

CRE Perspective: “Some Principles of Real Estate Counseling”
Volume 25, Number 3
Fall 2000
By Anthony Downs, CRE

Published Books

A prolific writer, Tony Downs was the co-author of 24 books and wrote over 500 articles.

Real Estate and the Financial Crisis

Calling Anthony Downs’ book, “…literary efficiency in action,” reviewer Steve Price, CRE, can’t give the author enough praise. Apart from the subject matter, which deals with the impact of the residential housing market on the economy, and what economic scenarios we may now face as a result, Price promises one can, “…finish the book in about three hours yet still absorb an enormous amount of information.”
Read the Real Estate Issues review by Steve Price, CRE

Still Stuck in Traffic: Coping with Peak Hour Traffic Congestion

In this book, Tony addresses the problem that directly affects (and causes outrage and frustration for) millions of Americans every day – traffic congestion. Included are examinations of the benefits and costs of various anti-congestion strategies, environmental impacts, mass transit, government transportation spending and, unexpectedly, some benefits of congestion. This is a revised and expanded edition of his earlier landmark work Stuck in Traffic.