Repost-Richard Epstein At Defining Ideas: ‘City Planners Run Amok’

Full piece here.

The Upper West Side wants to limit store frontage to prevent big commercial businesses from ruining the character of the neighborhood.  Epstein has focused particularly on land use in the past:

‘I begin with a cautionary note. It is too easy to treat “neighborhood character” as a loose and sentimental notion that should be excluded from urban planning deliberations. To do so would be to ignore what everyone knows: that the character of our surroundings makes a huge difference in how we live and organize our lives. The proper integration of public and private spaces is something people expect in deciding where to live and work. There is no question that private developers think about how to integrate aesthetics, access, and use into a harmonious whole; they know these amenities drive both the desirability and price of the units that they wish to sell. Ample evidence suggests that character also matters a great deal in public spaces.

But to stop there leaves the story incomplete, for it fails to address two questions: Will regulations, such as the ones discussed above, improve the “streetscape character,” as its supporters claim? If so, will it do so at an acceptable cost to all of the individuals and businesses that bear the brunt of the proposal?’

A pretty thorough analysis of likely consequences, especially for business owners and landlords and their limited legal recourse.

Related On This Site:  Covering the law and economics from a libertarian perspective: Richard Epstein At The Hoover Institution Journal: ‘Three Cheers for Income Inequality’Richard Epstein At The Hoover Institution: ‘Death By Wealth Tax’

Kay Hymowitz At The City Journal: ‘How Brooklyn Got Its Groove Back’…Is the same definition of ‘community’ connected with one that can stifle economic growth through political means?: Roger Scruton In The City Journal: Cities For Living–Is Modernism Dead?

Trade and commerce aren’t just vehicles for nanny statism, equality delivery services and racial harmony…they are well…trade and commerce:  Via Youtube: Ric Burns—New York: A Documentary Film – Episode One: The Country and The City (1609-1825)Joel Kotkin Via Youtube: ‘Illinois Is In A Competition’

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