Michael Lewyn is an assistant professor at Touro Law Center in Long Island.
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.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 12:13pm PST
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.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 9:02pm PST
Research supports the argument that increased densities reduce vehicle miles traveled, even in areas with minimal transit service.
Monday, January 7, 2013 - 7:10pm PST
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?
Sunday, December 9, 2012 - 8:31pm PST
Even in cities without world-class transit systems, transit can reduce car ownership to some extent.
Sunday, November 18, 2012 - 6:22pm PST
In the 1990s, most public argument about suburban expansion was pretty simple. Environmentalists argued that sprawl increased pollution, while their opponents responded by invoking the free market. Environmentalists and other sprawl critics (including myself) responded that sprawl is the result less of the free market than of government subsidy and regulation.
Recently I have started to notice hints of a not-so-libertarian argument for sprawl: that pro-sprawl government policies such as highway construction open up real estate for development, and thus make housing affordable.
Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 9:18am PDT
The conventional wisdom among Americans who spend
lots of time thinking about public transit is that four more years of Obama
will be good news, and the election of the Romney-Ryan ticket would be
bad. I have to admit that this belief is
by no means completely irrational: after all, President Romney will be much
less likely than President Obama to veto a transportation bill passed by a
Republican Congress, and might propose a mere austere budget than President Obama. Nevertheless, I
think there are good reasons to believe otherwise.
Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 10:56pm PDT
Decades ago, ecologist Garrett Hardin wrote about the "tragedy of the commons"- when an action that is rational for one person becomes irrational when widely practiced.
For example, suppose that there are a few dozen cattle
ranchers near a pasture open to all. It
makes sense for each rancher to let as many cattle graze as possible on the
pasture, so that the ranchers can feed their cattle without buying additional
land. But if every rancher lets as many
cattle as possible graze, sooner or later the land will be overgrazed and the
cattle may starve.
Monday, August 27, 2012 - 2:01pm PDT
In the early 1990s, transportation politics at both the state and federal levels was often fairly simple: an all-powerful Road Gang (made up of real estate developers and road contractors) typically got whatever it wanted, rolling over a much weaker pro-transit coalition of environmentalists and urban politicians.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012 - 10:41am PDT
A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post
comparing the safety of inner suburbs and outer suburbs. (See http://www.planetizen.com/node/56468
My post showed that (in least in the metropolitan areas I looked at) inner
suburbs were safer than outer suburbs, because violent deaths from murder and
traffic combined were lower in the former.
Sunday, July 15, 2012 - 11:02am PDT