Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Edward L. Glaeser, "What Makes Cities Great"

Edward L. Glaeser, an economics professor at Harvard, published this morning on the New York Times Economix Blog his thoughts about land use in the Big Apple.  Read his full article here.  Usually we tend to think of land use in broader terms--residential v. commercial v. mixed use, etc.--but Professor Glaeser turns his lens on the specific uses that take place in those zones, making the argument that reliance on single industries can destroy innovation and entrepreneurship (i.e., coal and Pittsburg, cars and Detroit).  If this is true, then perhaps the recent financial crisis helped New York City avoid an overconcentration in finance.  Natural resource abundance is another factor Glaeser evaluates.  Too much of one resource may not be a bad state of affairs for a city or a country, he argues, but too much dependence on that resource may ultimately lead to decline.

Will Cook, Charleston School of Law

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