MLewyn's blog

zoning budgets- one way to keep NIMBYism under control

Roderick Hills and David Schleicher, two law professors, have proposed one way to limit NIMBY-inspired downzonings: a "zoning budget."  Specifically, they propose that cities require every downzoning to be matched by an upzoning somewhere else, so that the city's "budget" was always balanced.  (See for the article, or for a shorter version).


Housing costs and centralization

In my limited experience, commentators who oppose regional land use regulations like urban growth boundaries (or at least worry about the impact of such regulations on housing costs) tend to favor keeping cities constrained within their 1950 boundaries, while people who favor such regulations tend to favor city-county mergers, revenue sharing, and other ways to essentially merge city and suburb. 

Why we shouldn't get too obsessed with congestion

As I explain in my most recent Planetizen blog post, there isn't really a strong correlation between regional growth and traffic congestion.

Maybe transcripts as well as presentations?

I just started reading the slideshows of CNU 17 presentations- certainly an excellent resource, since there were typically several presentations going on at one time (which means that I inevitably mis

What I remember most about CNU 17

*The tours. Boulder's success in building a prosperous, pedestrian-friendly downtown and its utter failure in promoting affordable housing.

another environmental cost of sprawl

Randall O’Toole has another piece out on Cato Institute letterhead ( ) in which he argues that rail transit is less efficient than bus service.

More evidence that sprawl means more pollution

Edward Glaeser of Harvard and Matt Kahn of UCLA have a new study out, showing that sprawling cities really do consume more energy and pollute more. Some of their conclusions:

Take a look at China

It is an article of faith among some defenders of the sprawl status quo that China is inevitably trending towards sprawl (thus allegedly proving that the human desire for sprawl is universal).

Another cost of car dependency

A recent AAA study on the costs of car accidents lists the areas with the highest accident costs per capita. (See )