When Conservatives Love Central Planning

A blog about business and economics.
Sept. 5 2012 8:28 AM

When Conservatives Love Central Planning

City Journal is a publication of the conservative Manhattan Institute, so if I didn't know anything about how American politics actually works I'd be surprised to see that they've published a Joel Kotkin article arguing against the recently adopt plan to upzone the Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The way this works is that Hollywood, which is currently a bit run-down but is also adjacent to some more expensive areas and features multiple stations of LA's growing Metro system, will soon become a place where landowners and developers are allowed to build taller and denser structures. This is not a devious plot to force people to engage in high density urban living. It's a plot to reduce the extent to which people are currently forced to engage in low density suburban-style living. But it's one form of deregulation that conservatives all-too-frequently can't countenance, often for reasons they have trouble explaining.

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But at any rate, it's a great idea. Los Angeles continues to add population at a rate that's unusual for such a large American city and the geography of the area dictates that some of that growth has to come from more intensive redevelopment of the already developed land.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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