Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Clarification on Sprawl and Zoning

Zoning is not the only reason we are spreading out--as my colleague Peter Gordon shows (go to minute 50), people are spreading out around the globe. Our increasing affluence and rise of the automobile have also led us to spread out. The fact that gasoline is so much cheaper in the US than other places has led us to spread out faster.

But our particular brand of single-use zoning has doubtlessly had an impact on settlement patterns. At minimum, we have insufficient land zoned for apartments. We know this because land zoned for multifamily use often sells for more (controlling for location) than land zoned for single-family use. This is not the market--this is local government holding back the supply of a certain type of land use. Moreover, minimum lot size, set back and street width requirements mean we use more land than necessary to build even single-family housing.


John said...

Great info in clarifying the different of two. I bet people still want to live outside the country. If we can only stay as one for the economy things will be better.

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing this information. Peoples are trying to goto outside country and so the new areas are developing day by day. Its the right opportunity of many home seekers that they can buy cheapest homes at new places.