Tyler Cowen’s Marginal Revolution blog recently linked to this old (2005) paper by Michael Lewyn on “How Overregulation Creates Sprawl (Even in a City without Zoning).”
As readers well know, Houston does not have the sort of macro-level zoning that severely curtails how certain land can be used. However, Lewyn contends that some of Houston’s micro-level land-use restrictions are, in some ways, as far-reaching as zoning — and that a less restrictive environment might actually lead to less sprawl and less automobile dependency. We’ve seen some of these topics addressed on NeoHOUSTON and Houston Strategies, but this paper and the comments on Cowen’s blog make for interesting reading (be sure to look for Houston Strategist Tory Gattis in those comments).
Since our audience is more local, we’d be interested in your thoughts.