Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Shinzo Abe, prime minister of Japan, has an interest in land use. Zoning restrictions featured prominently in a list of changes Abe promised will sweep the country in the coming months:
Soon, our deregulation package will be set in motion. Over the next two years, in designated areas, no vested interests will remain impervious. For example, in Japanese cities aspiring to world-class status, limits on floor space will become a thing of the past. We will soon see high-quality housing, business complexes, and zero-emissions towns appearing, one after another.
Matt Yglesias provides a brief analysis:
Japan already has very dense cities and a falling population, so this reform is probably less necessary than in a country like the United States or France or the United Kingdom. That said, I believe the typical Japanese dwelling is quite small so upzoning could do a lot to improve quality of life.