Friday, July 25, 2008
The mainstream news is filled with stories and anecdotes about how Americans, to pay for gas, are doing things such as giving up steak and trying to trade in their SUVs for Priuses. But the big land use policy question remains unclear: Are Americans willing to change their driving habits? If not, the much- ballyhooed arguments about the end of sprawl and revival of density are likely to be unfulfilled. Here are two anecdotes that I discovered while driving through moderate income neighborhoods in the all-American auto-loving city of St Petersburg, Fla, over the past couple of days: (1) people left their engine running while eating burritos in a drugstore parking lot, and (2) there was an extraordinary gridlock of vehicles (SUVs and pickups mostly) at the local gas station at 12:15 p.m. It appears that Americans in cities such as St. Pete (of which there are a lot more than cities such as New York or San Francisco) still often drive to lunch.
Here’s a real test of whether the new gasoline paradigm really will lead to changes in land use patterns: Will Americans give up driving to lunch?
[Comments must be approved and thus take to time to appear online.]
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
In the 1950s, economist Charles Tiebout argued that people can choose where to live based on government. Citizens can choose, for example, whether to live a town that is noted for good schools, on one hand, or low taxes, on the other hand. Evidence of a vigorous marketplace for communities is evident in how Americans are segregating themselves politically, according to a new book by Bill Bishop, called “The Big Sort.” Statistics show that, among other things, far more American counties today than in the past tend to vote overwhelming for one candidate or the other.
Suburbanization certainly exacerbates this trend: As the boss no longer lives in the same jurisdiction as the employee, each is less likely to encounter persons of differing political viewpoints in the community. Some argue that this political segregation is socially corrosive. How could land use law fight this trend? By allowing or encouraging more low-cost housing nearby high-cost residences, of course.
And I promise that this will be one of my last references to political campaigns as 2008 wears on …
[Comments must be approved and thus take some time to appear online.]
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.
- Jamie Baker Roskie on Uber Goes to the State House Seeking Preemption of Local Government Control
- Stephen R. Miller on Why are building inspectors so often on the take?
- Josh Hightree on What makes people leave rural areas, and what makes them stay
- Jessica Shoemaker on What makes people leave rural areas, and what makes them stay
- Jamie Baker Roskie on Why are building inspectors so often on the take?
- What to make of the fierce new debate over the efficacy of California's energy codes?
- The W&L Top 100 Law Review Rankings and the Land Use Law Scholar
- CFP: 2015 Future of Places Conference (lead-in to Habitat III) in Stockholm: Deadline of April 15
- Water Down Under: A Report from Australia by Barbara Cosens: Post 7: Conjunctive Management Down Under
- Interior unveils final rule governing fracking regulations on public lands