A concerted research effort has brought minimum lot sizes into focus as a key element in city zoning reform. Boise is looking at significant reforms. Auburn, Maine, and Helena, Montana, did away with minimums in some zones. And even state legislatures are putting a toe in the water: Bills enabling … [Read more...]
Book Review: The Making of Urban Japan
If you read one book about Japan this year, it should be the beautiful, new Emergent Tokyo: Designing the Spontaneous City by Jorge Almazan and his Studiolab colleagues, including Joe McReynolds. But if you read two books about Japan, as you should, the second one should be André Sorensen's … [Read more...]
California should indeed build new cities – but don’t let Nathan J. Robinson anywhere near them
Urbanist and YIMBY Twitter had a field day dunking on Nathan J. Robinson, whose essay in his publication Current Affairs (yesterday's tagline: "the one thing left that isn't disappointing") called for building new cities in California.The essay was a typical of the "anti-anti-NIMBY" genre: he … [Read more...]
The banks aren’t beating first time buyers – It’s the NIMBYs.
A few weeks ago the Times reported that Lloyds Banking Group had purchased 45 new homes to let in Peterborough. This is part of a plan for Lloyds to own 50,000 homes by 2031. Given the median home in the City is now worth over 7 times the annual earnings of the typical resident, it is understandable … [Read more...]
Reading Hayek in Holland
Reading Hayek in HollandPhoto by Peter FurthDuring a working vacation in the Netherlands, I had the dissonant experience of reading Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom in one of the most comprehensively planned environments on earth. Hayek’s thesis is that central economic planning displaces … [Read more...]
Why rents aren’t keeping up with house prices
Global house prices have been out of control for quite some time. This has helped to reduce economic growth, increase unemployment and was even diagnosed as the greatest cause of inequality in the developed world in a 2016 paper by Matthew Rognlie. However, rents have failed to show the same … [Read more...]
How YIMBYs used Ostrom to recruit conservatives
A major barrier to the market urbanist’s ability to make the case for building more housing is the question of aesthetics. When you refer to density in cities, it’s easy to picture large brutalist towers and the slum-like conditions that can be seen in much of the developing world. Of course, this … [Read more...]
Are Dollar Stores Wiping Out Grocery Stores?
I had always thought dollar stores were a nice thing to have in an urban neighborhood, but recently they have become controversial. Some cities have tried to limit their growth, based on the theory that "they impede opportunities for grocery stores and other businesses to take root and grow." … [Read more...]