Michael Lewyn's blog

Michael Lewyn is an assistant professor at Touro Law Center in Long Island.
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Planning is Not Necessary

Municipal comprehensive plans are neither necessary nor sufficient for smart growth.

A Minor Setback for Pedestrians

Municipal setback requirements inconvenience pedestrians for no good reason.

Which cities are (perceived as) safest?

A Gallup poll asked residents of each Congressional district whether they felt safe walking alone at night in their city or area. Although city residents feared crime more than suburbs, there were some surprises.

The "Vertical Sprawl" Myth

Opponents of high- and mid-rise development often use the term "vertical sprawl." But in fact there is little similarity between high-rise infill and suburban sprawl: the major arguments against one do not apply to the other.

Are Tall Buildings Bad For Downtown?

Do skyscrapers cause 9-to-5 business districts?

The case against mixed-use: not proven

A recent study suggesting that mixed-use zoning increases crime is not as persuasive as it might seem at first glance.

Form-Based Codes Lite

There may be a way to supply some of the benefits of form-based codes without heavy-handed aesthetic regulation. In theory, a form-based code could be limited to verifiable characteristics such as setbacks, yard types, building height, frontage size and lot coverage.

Yes You Can (Get Groceries Without A Car)

Shopping for bulky items can be one of the challenges of living car free. Here are three of the best ways I've found for dealing with the problem.

Density Reduces Driving (Even At Pretty High Densities)

Research supports the argument that increased densities reduce vehicle miles traveled, even in areas with minimal transit service.

Do Environmentalists Feed The Fire of Climate Change Denial?

Despite the extreme weather events of the past year, most Americans are still not persuaded that climate change is primarily the result of human activity. Why not?

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