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...]
Why Do We Hate Developers?
Earlier this year, researchers Paavo Monkkonen and Michael Manville at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) conducted a survey of 1,300 residents of Los Angeles County to understand the motives behind NIMBYism. As part of the study, they presented respondents with three common … [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...]
California Legislation Threatens to Become Law and Build More Housing
On August 23rd, a California assembly bill aimed at increasing transit-oriented development, like housing, was passed by the state senate, confirmed by the assembly, and headed to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for signing. The bill, AB 2923, specifically targets the San Francisco Bay Area—making it … [Read more...]
Two cheers for subsidized housing
A pure libertarian might argue that in an ideal world, there'd be no need for government-subsidized housing for low- and moderate-income households. Nevertheless, it seems to me that in the world we actually live in, even people generally opposed to the welfare state should favor more such … [Read more...]
How Much Should We Blame Planners for Sprawl?
How much should we blame planning for the degree to which cities sprawl? As much time as we (justifiably) spend here on this blog explaining how conventional U.S. planning drives excessive sprawl, it's worth periodically remembering that, at the end of the day, the actual extent of the horizontal … [Read more...]
Morton’s Fork and land use issues
I recently discovered a new logical fallacy: the "Morton's Fork" fallacy. This argument is one in which contradictory observations lead to the same conclusion. For example, if I argue that new housing near public transit is bad because it (1) spurs gentrification by bringing rich people into the … [Read more...]