In recent years, I have thought of Herbert Hoover as sort of an urban policy villian, thanks to his promotion of zoning. But I recently ran across one of his memoirs in our school's library. (Hoover's memoirs were a multivolume set, and this particular volume related to his service as Secretary of … [Read more...]
Getting to “Yes”
In laudable news, the Pew Charitable Trusts have backed a research project at NYU’s Furman Center to commission and publish work “to understand how specific land use reforms…have affected outcomes on the ground, especially with respect to residential development.”While looking forward to that … [Read more...]
Book Review: The Housing Bias
The best book on zoning and NIMBYism you’ve never read might well be The Housing Bias by Paul Boudreaux. The author is a law professor, but you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s a journalist. His writing is engaging - and occasionally funny – and he does what is unthinkable for many scholars: drives … [Read more...]
The Carnegie Library Apple Store is Fine
The Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C. is now home to the world’s newest Apple Store following an expensive rehabilitation funded by the retailer. Originally built as a public library in 1903, it reopened its doors to the public on May 11, 2019 following decades of disuse, neglect, and a slew of … [Read more...]
New Video: How Zoning Laws Are Holding Back America’s Cities
It's an understatement to say that zoning is a dry subject. But in a new video for the Institute for Humane Studies, Josh Oldham and Professor Sanford Ikeda (a regular contributor to this blog) manage to breath new life into this subject, accessibly explaining how zoning has transformed America's … [Read more...]
Light and Air, Sound and Fury; or, Was the Equitable Life Building Panic Only About Shadows?
When I first became interested in urban planning, I believed a piece of professional mythology that went like this: “For all its faults, Euclidean zoning was a well-meaning effort to expand nuisance regulation in the face of the urban industrialization. It was later practitioners who used zoning for … [Read more...]
How Should We Interpret Jane Jacobs?
At first blush, the enterprise of interpreting the Jane Jacobs' work might seem like one best left to the proud and peculiar few, or to put it less charitably, those of us with nothing better to do. Yet the forces of history militate against this apathy: Jane Jacobs has emerged as quite possibly the … [Read more...]
Why Walkable Cities Enjoy More Freedom
If you happen to visit Egypt and find yourself in the famous Tahrir Square, you might be puzzled: how could this space accommodate two million protesters? In fact, the square looked different at the time of the Arab Spring, up until the new military government ringed its central part with an iron … [Read more...]