Monday, April 16, 2007
Good news is rare, and good news about land use law is no exception. But USA Today published today an interesting story about the revival of Jersey City, N.J., just across the Hudson River from Manhattan. Once reliant on railroads and other “rust” businesses, Jersey City has long been considered a sad exemplar of the difficulties faced by working-class urban communities as the United States turns away from an industrial economy.
But Jersey City’s economy is on its way back up. A lot of factors have contributed to the rebirth, including a government with a reputation for avoiding corruption. Another obvious advantage is the fact that because it is so close to lower Manhattan, Jersey City enjoys a “spillover” of businesses looking for lower-cost office space and office workers looking for convenient apartments and condos. The growth is dense “smart growth,” of course, because of the population and space pressures so close to the big city. To this extent, it appears that Jersey City might be “gentrifying,” with all the potential benefits and drawbacks that this phenomenon implies.
One factor especially caught my attention in Jersey City’s revival. Because the city’s industrial economy collapsed so completely, much of its land, especially on the waterfront, was abandoned or otherwise not occupied. Accordingly, there were few residents to complain about the shape of new development, or businesses to complain about changes in the area or new competition. When there’s no one nearby to complain, a developer doesn’t have to worry much about NIMBY. It’s as if the area was such an extreme “brownfield” that it eventually enjoyed some of the advantages for new construction of an unoccupied “greenfield.”
This blog is an Amazon affiliate. Help support Land Use Prof Blog by making purchases through Amazon links on this site at no cost to you.
- Jesse Richardson on Local Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing
- Jamie Baker Roskie on Local Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing
- Samuel on Schleicher and Rauch on local regulation of the sharing economy
- Timothy Wayne George on Is Reed v. Town of Gilbert an important sign case?
- Jessie Owley on 10th Circuit Disallows Conservation Easement Deduction Where Mortgage Not Subordinated at Time of Donation
- "Basic Human Right" to Farm Your Lawn?
- CFP: Fordham Law: Sharing Economy, Sharing City: Urban Law and the New Economy
- Fennell and Peñalver on Exactions Creep
- March 11-13: Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute's annual conference: Western Places/Western Spaces: Building Fair & Resilient Communities
- Local Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing