1. This week at Market Urbanism
Does President Obama Have A ‘Regionalism’ Agenda? by Scott Beyer
Such policies represent less a turn towards socialism, than one away from the nation’s existing socialized paradigm favoring suburbs, wherein housing regulations restrict dense infill development, while the public foots the costs of state highways, local roads, and other sprawl infrastructure. Obama, for all of his supposedly urban bias, has not been immune to extending this paradigm; for example, his stimulus package, writes economist Ed Glaeser, disproportionately benefited low-density states with low unemployment.
Zoning is segregation – not only of land uses deemed incompatible, but of people deemed “undesirable.” Progressives behind New York City’s 1916 zoning ordinance regarded immigrants moving into northern cities from Europe and the South as “undesirable.”
NIMBYs Outdo YIMBYs In Organizing Ability by Krishan Madan
The reason boils down to the classic problem of concentrated costs and dispersed benefits: the beneficiaries of new housing are scattered, while those who benefit from a housing shortage–and thus higher prices–are concentrated. These organizational skills enable NIMBYs to dominate the discussion.
2. Where’s Scott?
Scott Beyer spent his 3rd week in Austin. His two Forbes articles were Dallas And Houston: Centers For Economic Development and Austin’s Commuter Rail Is A Monument To Government Waste
In 2014, the rail line had an operating deficit of $12.6 million. The upfront capital costs of $140 million, when amortized at 2% over 30 years, creates an additional $6.2 million annual cost to taxpayers. Add these two sums up, and then divide them by the line’s number of annual unlinked trips—763,551—and the per-trip subsidy works out to $24.62.
3. At the Market Urbanism Facebook Group:
A Market Urbanism podcast with Nolan Gray? Yes, it’s coming, and some hints leak on facebook…
Zachary Caceres shared a video where he shows the effects of removing zoning in his Startup Cities video game
Roger Valdez wants to know what Market Urbanists think of Anarcho-Capitalism
Roger Valdez wrote, Zoning: Like Cap And Trade For Housing (Why do we treat housing like pollution?)
Harriet Charlotte Gale reports “Auckland Independent Panel of Experts this week returned an Updated Unitary Plan for Auckland with changed rules and densities.”
via Will Muessig, “Strong Towns ran a series this week about big box stores, much of it flirting with a market urbanist critique of these institutions.”
via Krishan Madan, “Great article on how a city developed by spontaneous order and without overwhelming laws guiding its construction.”
via Adam Hengels: Economist video with Ryan Avent on “How cities grow, slump and recover.”
via Jake Thomas: Housing can’t be a good investment and affordable [City Observatory]
via Sanford Ikeda: Land Everywhere and Not a Place to Live by Alex Tabarrok
via Matt Robare, “Build housing, prices drop. Amazing.” San Francisco Rents Slip, East Bay Rents Climb
via Eliza Harris Juliano, “being car-centric can lead to increased negative interactions with government:” It’s Time To End The Routine Traffic Stop
via Sandy Ikeda: Silicon Valley 1.0 (Cleveland)
via Mark Frazier: Does Elon Musk Understand Urban Geometry?
Streetsblog Chicago refers to Krishan Madan‘s article on NIMBY’s organizing ability
City Observatory: The party platforms on housing
5. 100 Years of New York City Zoning bonus links:
Bloomberg View: Zoning Has Had a Good 100 Years. Enough Already.
Stephen Smith: The little-known history of “light and air”
Emily Hamilton: Edward Murray Bassett’s Early Defense of Zoning
Fordham Law Review: The Uneasy Legacy of Progressivism in Zoning [pdf]
American Planning Association: The Real Story Behind the Standard Planning and Zoning Acts of the 1920’s [pdf]
Hopes&Fears: The lingering effects of NYC’s racist city planning
6. Stephen Smith‘s tweet of the week:
5th Ave. Assoc. (main backer of 1916 zoning code) argues for 100′ (later 75′) height limit on 5th Ave. on the park: pic.twitter.com/L4vAEMdrjY
— Market Urbanism (@MarketUrbanism) July 23, 2016