What The Height Limits Debate Is Really About

MLewyn's picture

It seems to me that the debate among new urbanist/smart growth types about height limits for office buildings* is really about one question: if businesses can't find enough office space in a low-rise business district, will they:

1.  move a few blocks away, thus improving a neighborhood adjacent to downtown?

2.  move to a suburb with more lenient height restrictions or cheaper land?

This story is strong, but anecdotal, evidence for view 2. 

 

*I emphasize office buildings because, except in a couple of the largest American cities, the tallest buildings tend to be commercial rather than residential. 

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