November 4, 2010
Shoup on Graduated Density Zoning
Prof. Donald Shoup (Urban Planning, UCLA) contributed a comment to our recent post on Daniel Kelly's eminent domain paper. In case you missed it, I wanted to be sure you had the chance to get the link to Prof. Shoup's important paper Graduated Density Zoning, from the Journal of Planning Education and Research (2008). The abstract:
The difficulty of assembling sites large enough to redevelop at higher density can impede regeneration in city centers and accelerate suburban sprawl onto large sites already in single ownership. One promising new planning strategy to encourage voluntary land assembly is graduated density zoning, which allows higher density on larger sites. This strategy can increase the incentive for owners to cooperate in a land assembly that creates higher land values. Graduated density zoning will not eliminatethe incentive to hold out, but it can create a new fear of being left out. Holdouts who are left with sites that cannot be combined with enough contiguous properties to trigger higher density lose a valuable economic opportunity.This article examines the difficulty of assembling land for infill development, and explains graduated density zoning as away to encourage voluntary land assembly. Finally, it presents the results of graduated density zoning in practice.
Graduated density zoning is a compelling idea. You may also be familiar with Shoup's influential work on parking, including his book The High Cost of Free Parking (APA, 2005), and very recent articles quoting him in the New York Times (Tyler Cowen, Free Parking Comes at a Price, Aug. 2010) and Slate (Tom Vanderbilt, Time Expired: The End of the Parking Meter, Oct. 2010).
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