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Full-Text Articles in Urban Studies and Planning

Against The Neighborhood Veto, Michael Lewyn Dec 2014

Against The Neighborhood Veto, Michael Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

American zoning often gives neighborhoods elective veto power over nearby real estate development. This “neighborhood veto” sometimes artificially reduces housing supply and urban density, thus making housing more expensive and making American cities more dependent on automobiles. This article criticizes the common arguments that neighborhood activists use to restrict development.


No Parking Anytime: The Legality And Wisdom Of Maximum Parking And Minimum Density Requirements, Michael Lewyn, Judd Schechtman Dec 2014

No Parking Anytime: The Legality And Wisdom Of Maximum Parking And Minimum Density Requirements, Michael Lewyn, Judd Schechtman

Michael E Lewyn

This article focuses on two aspects of smart growth policy that have thus far received little attention: maximum parking and minimum density requirements. To ascertain the frequency of such regulations, we examine the zoning regulations of twenty-four mid-sized cities, defined as those with populations between 500,000 and one million residents. The article concludes that the first type of regulation is somewhat common, but is usually restricted to certain types of land uses or sections of a city. Minimum density requirements, by contrast, are quite rare and quite lenient. Because these types of regulations have received little scholarly attention and ...


The (Somewhat) False Hope Of Comprehensive Planning, Michael Lewyn Dec 2014

The (Somewhat) False Hope Of Comprehensive Planning, Michael Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

Some commentators equate municipal comprehensive plans with "smart" growth (that is, development that considers the needs of nondrivers as well as the needs of automobiles). However, comprehensive planning. although desirable, is neither necessary nor sufficient for smart growth. Plans are not necessary because zoning reforms can achieve the same smart growth objectives as plans, and are not sufficient because many comprehensive plans support sprawl rather than smart growth.


The False Hope Of Comprehensive Planning, Michael Lewyn Mar 2013

The False Hope Of Comprehensive Planning, Michael Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

Some commentators on sprawl and smart growth speak of municipal comprehensive plans and sprawl as polar opposites: but in fact, a comprehensive plan can be used to further auto-oriented sprawl just as easily as it can be used to encourage more pedestrian-friendly development. This speech uses parts of Jacksonville, Florida's plan as examples of pro-sprawl planning.


Why Leave It To The Liberals? Conservative Views On Smart Growth, Michael E. Lewyn Feb 2013

Why Leave It To The Liberals? Conservative Views On Smart Growth, Michael E. Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

Part of panel discussion on "Why Leave It To The Liberals? Conservative Views on Smart Growth"


Our Own Private Sustainable Community: Are Green Covenants, Conditions, And Restrictions A Viable Alternative To A More Environmentally Sustainable Future For Homeowners?, Darren Prum, Robert Aalberts Jan 2013

Our Own Private Sustainable Community: Are Green Covenants, Conditions, And Restrictions A Viable Alternative To A More Environmentally Sustainable Future For Homeowners?, Darren Prum, Robert Aalberts

Darren A. Prum

Residential and commercial property owners have sought for centuries to develop and enrich their physical environment through private land use planning. In more recent decades, residential owners residing in community interest communities have been particularly active in crafting an evolving array of deed restrictions contained in Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions( CC&R’s). CC&R’s, which are generally created by the CIC developer , are mutually binding and enforceable against all those who live or conduct business in self-selected residential subdivisions or commercial developments . Importantly, CC&R’s are monitored sometimes quite forcefully, under the watchful eye of an empowered ...


Plans Are Not Enough, Michael Lewyn Dec 2012

Plans Are Not Enough, Michael Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

Some commentators see comprehensive municipal plans as a remedy for suburban sprawl. But in fact, a plan can be used to promote sprawl as well as to prevent sprawl.


Sprawl In Canada And The United States (Powerpoint), Michael E. Lewyn May 2011

Sprawl In Canada And The United States (Powerpoint), Michael E. Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

PowerPoints for a speech explaining that sprawl in Canada is (1) less extensive than in the USA and (2) caused partially by government regulation.


What Would Coase Do? (About Parking Regulation), Michael E. Lewyn Dec 2009

What Would Coase Do? (About Parking Regulation), Michael E. Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

American municipalities typically require landowners to provide visitors and guests with ample amounts of parking, in order to prevent externalities such as cruising (drivers wasting gasoline and polluting the air while searching for scarce parking). However, minimum parking requirements may create social harms that outweigh this benefit. By artificially increasing the supply of parking, minimum parking requirements effectively subsidize driving, thus increasing rather than decreasing pollution and congestion.


Sprawl In Canada And The United States, Michael E. Lewyn Dec 2009

Sprawl In Canada And The United States, Michael E. Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

The purpose of this paper is to ascertain (1) whether suburban sprawl is as widespread in Canadian metropolitan areas as in their American counterparts, and (2) whether Canadian government policies, and in particular Canadian municipal land use and transportation policies, encourage sprawl. The thesis concludes that sprawl is less widespread in two respects. First, Canadian central cities have not declined to the same extent as American central cities. Second, urban and suburban Canadians are less dependent on automobiles than are Americans. The thesis goes on to point out that in Canada, as in the United States, government land use and ...


Sprawl In Europe And America, Michael E. Lewyn Dec 2008

Sprawl In Europe And America, Michael E. Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

Rebuts the "Inevitability Theory of Sprawl"- the common argument that anti-sprawl policies would be futile in the United States because sprawl has grown even in Europe. Although Europeans are far more likely to travel on foot, bike or public transit than Americans, some commentators argue that these realities are irrelevant because European cities are trending towards sprawl- that is, that Europeans are far more likely to live in suburbs and drive to work than they once did.

This article argues that the European "trend to sprawl" is in the process of reversing itself. Over the past decade, some European cities ...


Why Pedestrian-Friendly Street Design Is Not Negligent, Michael E. Lewyn Dec 2007

Why Pedestrian-Friendly Street Design Is Not Negligent, Michael E. Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

American streets are typically designed for fast automobile traffic. As a result, those streets are often dangerous for pedestrians.

In part, the anti-pedestrian design of American streets is a result of transportation planners' perceptions of American tort law. In negligent street design cases, courts and juries sometimes rely upon guidelines set by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), a national association of government transportation officials. Because AASHTO's street-design rules have historically favored wide streets built to accommodate high-speed traffic, planners sometimes assume that in order to avoid liability, they must do the same.

The purpose ...


Five Myths About Sprawl , Michael E Lewyn Aug 2007

Five Myths About Sprawl , Michael E Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

In Sprawl: A Compact History, Robert Bruegmann, an art historian, has painted a superficially convincing case for the status quo, asserting that sprawl is “a natural result of affluence that occurs in all urbanized societies.” Bruegmann's book has generated glowing media publicity. This article suggests that Bruegmann overestimates the universality of sprawl, by overlooking the differences between pedestrian-friendly cities with some sprawling development and cities in which automobile-dependent sprawl is the only choice available to most consumers. In addition, Bruegmann understates the harmful social effects of sprawl, especially the effect of automobile-dependent development upon non-drivers. Bruegmann also consistently underestimates ...


Watts My Line? Energy Generation Siting Strategies For Urban Areas, Caleb W. Christopher Feb 2007

Watts My Line? Energy Generation Siting Strategies For Urban Areas, Caleb W. Christopher

Caleb W Christopher

The growth of urban areas has historically been both constrained and encouraged by energy and related infrastructure. Varying degrees of regulation have been sought to respond to compelling public safety needs: more recently, modern environmental law system was derived from public conflicts over siting of an energy plant. While the greater urban density offers reduced per-capita energy consumption rates, contemporary urban revitalization has brought a greater amount of people into closer contact with their energy sources. The unique geography, and increased securities needs, of urban areas demand both reliability and local proximity in energy source production. Urban siting issues will ...


Takings Formalism And Regulatory Formulas: Exactions And The Consequences Of Clarity, Mark Fenster Dec 2003

Takings Formalism And Regulatory Formulas: Exactions And The Consequences Of Clarity, Mark Fenster

Mark Fenster

A vocal minority of the U.S. Supreme Court recently announced its suspicion that lower courts and state and local administrative agencies are systematically ignoring constitutional rules intended to limit, through heightened judicial review, exactions as a land use regulatory tool. Exactions are the concessions local governments require of property owners as conditions for the issuance of the entitlements that enable the intensified use of real property. In two cases decided over the past two decades, Nollan v. California Coastal Commission (1987) and Dolan v. City of Tigard (1994), the Court has established under the Takings Clause a logic and ...


How City Hall Causes Sprawl - A Case Study, Michael E Lewyn Sep 2003

How City Hall Causes Sprawl - A Case Study, Michael E Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

A book review addressing the city of Atlanta's pro-sprawl transportation, zoning and urban renewal policies.


Sprawl, Growth Boundaries And The Rehnquist Court , Michael E Lewyn Sep 2002

Sprawl, Growth Boundaries And The Rehnquist Court , Michael E Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

This article addresses the constitutionality and wisdom of Oregon's urban growth boundary (UGB) program. The article concludes that the program is constitutional under current precedent, and that (contrary to claims made by UGB critics) there is little evidence that the UGB has caused Oregon's runup in housing prices. On the other hand, UGB supporters may have exaggerated the UGB's positive environmental results.


Campaign Of Sabotage: Big Government's War Against Public Transportation , Michael E Lewyn Oct 2001

Campaign Of Sabotage: Big Government's War Against Public Transportation , Michael E Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

This article discusses a variety of state, federal and local policies which have reduced transit ridership, such as unfunded mandates, anti-transit zoning policies, and highway funding policies that shifted development to areas with minimal or nonexistent transit service.


Suburban Sprawl: Not Just An Environmental Issue, Michael E Lewyn Dec 2000

Suburban Sprawl: Not Just An Environmental Issue, Michael E Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

Explains why conservatives should be concerned about suburban sprawl, and how market-oriented solutions can mitigate sprawl.