Michael Lewyn's blog

Michael Lewyn is an assistant professor at Touro Law Center in Long Island.
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Progressives and Urbanists- A Difficult Relationship

Although conservatives don't always support urbanism, neither do progressives.

The Side Effects of Property Taxes

American reliance on property taxes leads to NIMBYism and periodic tax revolts, thus impeding both development and basic public services.

How to Encourage Terrorism

Shutting down cities as a response to terrorism makes such violence more rewarding and thus more tempting.

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.