Lunch with John Mangin
Within a given city, neighborhood land use fights used to be first-order fights over regulations within a given regulatory regime – upzoning v. downzoning, residential v. manufacturing – but are now second-order fights about the nature of the regulatory regimes themselves – basic zoning v. special frameworks that offer endless customization and control, today and in the future. The result is that many cities now have completely different regulatory regimes – completely different cities – within the city itself.
The difference is of kind, not degree, and gives local politicians and policymakers the ability to be endlessly solicitous to certain neighborhoods while providing few hooks to address similar concerns in different neighborhoods elsewhere in the city. This phenomenon has the potential to amplify the inequities that relentlessly embed themselves in land use regulations. Issues of second-order “regulatory equity” deserve close attention from policymakers and scholars as zoning evolves in an era of urban resurgence.
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