Political controversies over building new homes, shops, and offices have long revolved around an axis of "neighborhood vs developer." Depending on your perspective, the "neighborhood" side was either the feisty underdogs looking to maintain the character of the neighborhood they love or the … [Read more...]
The Human Cost of Zoning in Indian Cities
by Shanu AthiparambathYears ago, I worked for a magazine in Delhi. I wanted to live near the magazine office, but the rent was too damn high. In a low-rent area nearby, I rented a dingy room my girlfriend named “The Black Hole.” In buildings sitting across the street from mine, rents were many … [Read more...]
What Should I Read to Understand Zoning?
We are blessed and cursed to live in times in which most smart people are expected to have an opinion on zoning. Blessed, in that zoning is arguably the single most important institution shaping where we live, how we move around, and who we meet. Cursed, in that zoning is notoriously obtuse, with … [Read more...]
Why Is Japanese Zoning More Liberal Than US Zoning?
Over the past few years, Japanese zoning has become popular among YIMBYs thanks to a classic blog post by Urban kchoze. It’s easy to see why: Japanese zoning is relatively liberal, with few bulk and density controls, limited use segregation, and no regulatory distinction between apartments and … [Read more...]
What Should YIMBYs Learn From 2018?
Believe it or not, the YIMBY movement won a lot in 2018. It kicked off with January’s high of California State Senator Scott Wiener’s introduction of SB 827, which would have permitted multifamily development near transit across the state, but fell to a low after its eventual defeat in committee, … [Read more...]
Any Green New Deal Must Tackle Zoning Reform
With the Democrats scrambling to come up with a legislative agenda after their November takeover of the House of Representatives, an old idea is making a comeback: a “Green New Deal.” Once the flagship issue of the Green Party, an environmental stimulus package is now a cause de celebre among the … [Read more...]
“Order Without Design”, a new guide to urban planning
This book is an attack on current city planning and rebuilding. This is how Jane Jacobs opened her 1961 classic “The Death and Life of Great American Cities”. It wouldn’t be an inappropriate opener for Alain Bertaud’s upcoming “Order Without Design”.While Jacobs was an observer of how cities … [Read more...]
Two Cheers for PHIMBY
One alternative to market urbanism that has received a decent amount of press coverage is the PHIMBY (Public Housing In My Back Yard) movement. PHIMBYs (or at least the most extreme PHIMBYs) believe that market-rate housing fails to reduce housing costs and may even lead to gentrification and … [Read more...]