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Full-Text Articles in Urban Studies and Planning

Smart Growth-Oriented Density And Parking Regulations, Michael Lewyn Feb 2015

Smart Growth-Oriented Density And Parking Regulations, Michael Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

Many articles have been written about pro-sprawl land use regulation, such as minimum parking requirements. This speech, by contrast, focuses on the frequency of land use regulation designed to increase walkability- in particular, minimum density requirements and maximum parking requirements. I conclude that the first type of regulation is quite rare and usually very lenient. The second type of regulation is more frequent; however, the impact of maximum parking requirements is not yet clear.


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.


Yes To Infill, No To Nuisance, Michael Lewyn Dec 2014

Yes To Infill, No To Nuisance, Michael Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

Criticizes attempts to use nuisance law to prevent infill development.


How To Make America Walkable, Michael Lewyn Dec 2013

How To Make America Walkable, Michael Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

Review of Walkable City, by Jeff Speck


Suburban Sprawl: Weaker But Still Alive, Michael Lewyn Dec 2013

Suburban Sprawl: Weaker But Still Alive, Michael Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

Review of The End of the Suburbs, by Leigh Gallagher.


How Real Is Gentrification?, Michael Lewyn Dec 2013

How Real Is Gentrification?, Michael Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

Some commentators argue that gentrification is turning many cities into a playground for the rich. This article rejects that view, pointing out that even relatively affluent cities are still poorer than the average suburb.


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.


Judaism And Urbanism: Jewish Communities React To Suburbanization, Michael Lewyn Feb 2013

Judaism And Urbanism: Jewish Communities React To Suburbanization, Michael Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

This speech addresses both how Jews should react to suburbanization and how they in fact have reacted in a variety of metropolitan areas.


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"


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, Michael Lewyn Dec 2011

Sprawl In Canada And The United States, Michael Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

The purpose of this Article is to ascertain whether (1) suburban sprawl is as widespread in Canadian metropolitan areas as in their American counterparts, and (2) Canadian government policies, and in particular Canadian zoning law and transportation policies, encourage sprawl. The article concludes that Canadian metropolitan areas are in fact somewhat less sprawling than most of their American counterparts, but that in Canada, as in the United States, government land use regulation and government transportation policy do favor sprawl to some extent. For example, in both nations municipal zoning regulations, by limiting density and forcing landowners to build parking lots ...


Regulated Into Automobile Dependence: How City Hall Mandates Sprawl And What Planners Can Do About It, Michael E. Lewyn Oct 2011

Regulated Into Automobile Dependence: How City Hall Mandates Sprawl And What Planners Can Do About It, Michael E. Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

A brief (about 20-minute) speech explaining why government regulation promotes automobile-dependent development.


Alternative Learning Formats In A Land Use Seminar, Michael E. Lewyn Aug 2011

Alternative Learning Formats In A Land Use Seminar, Michael E. Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

A symposium piece on my use of field trips and guest speakers in my seminar on sprawl and the law.


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.


Alternative Learning Formats In A Land Use Seminar, Michael E. Lewyn May 2011

Alternative Learning Formats In A Land Use Seminar, Michael E. Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

A discussion of my use of field trips and guest speakers in my seminar on sprawl and the law.


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 ...


A Libertarian Smart Growth Agenda, Michael E. Lewyn Apr 2009

A Libertarian Smart Growth Agenda, Michael E. Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

Discusses a variety of policies that both limit sprawl and enhance, rather than reducing, landowners' property rights.


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 ...


Sprawl, Y'All, Michael E. Lewyn Sep 2008

Sprawl, Y'All, Michael E. Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

Explains why conservatives should be worried about suburban sprawl.


Circular Logic, Michael E. Lewyn Aug 2008

Circular Logic, Michael E. Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

Criticizes cul-de-sacs on the ground that they detract from neighborhood walkability, and proposes a variety of alternatives.


Life After Oil, Michael E. Lewyn Jul 2008

Life After Oil, Michael E. Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

Asserts that the rising price of oil justifies land use reforms designed to facilitate walking and transit ridership, and in particular pruning back regulations that, by separating land uses and reducing density, increase automobile dependence.


Lots Of It, Michael E. Lewyn Jun 2008

Lots Of It, Michael E. Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

Criticizes municipal minimum parking requirements.


Pedestrian Safety Is Not A Tort, Michael E. Lewyn Dec 2007

Pedestrian Safety Is Not A Tort, Michael E. Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

In recent decades, American state and local highway officials have built wide streets and roads designed primarily to accommodate high-speed automobile traffic. However, such high-speed streets are more dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists than streets with slower traffic, and thus fail to adequately accommodate nondrivers. Government officials design streets for high-speed traffic partially because of their fear of tort liability. An influential street engineering manual, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ “Green Book”, has generally favored the construction of such high-speed streets, and transportation planners fear that if they fail to follow the Green Book’s recommendations ...


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 ...


Saving The Inner Suburbs, Michael E Lewyn Nov 2007

Saving The Inner Suburbs, Michael E Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

While Jacksonville's older, more walkable neighborhoods and its newest suburbs have been thriving, its 1950s and 1960s suburbs have been declining. This article analyzes the causes of (and possible solutions to) this problem.


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 ...


How Government Regulation Forces Americans Into Their Cars: A Case Study, Michael E Lewyn Jun 2007

How Government Regulation Forces Americans Into Their Cars: A Case Study, Michael E Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

Shows how zoning law in Jacksonville contributes to automobile dependence.