Steven Greenhut

Blog

Read excerpt from new Free Cities Center book

Providing us with the transportation that planners want

One need only spend a little time on a transit-oriented social-media page or reading the thoughts of urban-focused writers to detect a certain disdain toward the automobile, suburbia and the construction of road and freeway lanes. Such attitudes are not outliers, as any quick search of New Urbanist and pro-transit …

Blog

Will we see the return of redevelopment agencies?

Redevelopment failed cities, but keeps trying for a comeback

This column was originally published in the American Spectator. Say what you will about Jerry Brown, but I’ll always think fondly of him because of his crowning achievement in his more-recent stint as governor. In 2011, he eliminated the state’s noxious, property-rights-destroying redevelopment agencies. He didn’t axe these locally controlled agencies entirely …

Blog

Read about debate over SB 9 and 10

Misguided fear and loathing over relaxed zoning rules

SB 9 essentially eliminated single-family-only zoning by allowing property owners – on a “by right” basis that avoids subjective local reviews – to subdivide their single-family properties and build additional units on the land provided it meets all the pre-existing local setback and land-use conditions. It would allow up to …

Blog

Public Employee Unions Are Obstacle to Urban Progress

Public Employee Unions Are Obstacle to Urban Progress A Free Cities Center Interview One of the key ways to improve urban life is to improve the level of public services offered in cities. People who flee some premier city for the suburbs or rural life will typically point to their …

Blog

Healthy cities matter – and not just to urbanites

Healthy cities matter – and not just to urbanites By Steven Greenhut Progressives loves cities, yet refuse to address the degree to which their policies have made urban life a bigger chore than needed. Conservatives depict cities as dystopian hellholes. They delight in highlighting the crime problems, poorly functional school …

Blog

U.S. land ‘shortage’ is result of artificial growth limits

Some of the social-media responses to a Wall Street Journal article in September headlined, “The U.S. is Running Short of Land for Housing,” were heated. They proved – for anyone who has yet to realize it – that Tweeters and Facebook users might not always read posted articles particularly carefully …

Blog

California pols push urbanism, as people flee cities

California pols push urbanism, as people flee cities Since the 1970s, California policy makers have embarked on a land-use strategy designed to promote “urbanism” – the idea that we all ought to live in dense housing developments, that suburban sprawl should be limited by government planning restrictions, and rural land should be …

Book

NEW BOOK RELEASE – Back from Dystopia: A New Vision for Western Cities

NEW BOOK RELEASE Back from Dystopia: A New Vision for Western Cities Steven Greenhut Cities throughout the West face rising crime, soaring housing costs, a sprawling homelessness crisis and devastated downtown areas following two years of COVID restrictions and the aftermath of destructive protests. Policymakers typically address these and other …

Blog

Union power makes urban reform nearly impossible

It’s well known that private-sector unions imposed higher costs and competitive disadvantages on companies that remained in cities. In a 2010 Cato Journal article, Stephen J. K. Walters explained that unions sparked their transformation “from engines of prosperity into areas afflicted by economic stagnation, chronic poverty, and all the social …

Blog

Anaheim’s freedom experiment still offers lessons to cities

It’s a distant and largely forgotten memory, but in the mid-2000s the city of Anaheim pursued a novel idea for bigger cities. Instead of pursuing development policies based on the usual array of central planning tools, the city decided to “pursue a market-oriented, freedom-friendly agenda that would create an atmosphere …

Blog

Read excerpt from new Free Cities Center book

Providing us with the transportation that planners want

One need only spend a little time on a transit-oriented social-media page or reading the thoughts of urban-focused writers to detect a certain disdain toward the automobile, suburbia and the construction of road and freeway lanes. Such attitudes are not outliers, as any quick search of New Urbanist and pro-transit …

Blog

Will we see the return of redevelopment agencies?

Redevelopment failed cities, but keeps trying for a comeback

This column was originally published in the American Spectator. Say what you will about Jerry Brown, but I’ll always think fondly of him because of his crowning achievement in his more-recent stint as governor. In 2011, he eliminated the state’s noxious, property-rights-destroying redevelopment agencies. He didn’t axe these locally controlled agencies entirely …

Blog

Read about debate over SB 9 and 10

Misguided fear and loathing over relaxed zoning rules

SB 9 essentially eliminated single-family-only zoning by allowing property owners – on a “by right” basis that avoids subjective local reviews – to subdivide their single-family properties and build additional units on the land provided it meets all the pre-existing local setback and land-use conditions. It would allow up to …

Blog

Public Employee Unions Are Obstacle to Urban Progress

Public Employee Unions Are Obstacle to Urban Progress A Free Cities Center Interview One of the key ways to improve urban life is to improve the level of public services offered in cities. People who flee some premier city for the suburbs or rural life will typically point to their …

Blog

Healthy cities matter – and not just to urbanites

Healthy cities matter – and not just to urbanites By Steven Greenhut Progressives loves cities, yet refuse to address the degree to which their policies have made urban life a bigger chore than needed. Conservatives depict cities as dystopian hellholes. They delight in highlighting the crime problems, poorly functional school …

Blog

U.S. land ‘shortage’ is result of artificial growth limits

Some of the social-media responses to a Wall Street Journal article in September headlined, “The U.S. is Running Short of Land for Housing,” were heated. They proved – for anyone who has yet to realize it – that Tweeters and Facebook users might not always read posted articles particularly carefully …

Blog

California pols push urbanism, as people flee cities

California pols push urbanism, as people flee cities Since the 1970s, California policy makers have embarked on a land-use strategy designed to promote “urbanism” – the idea that we all ought to live in dense housing developments, that suburban sprawl should be limited by government planning restrictions, and rural land should be …

Book

NEW BOOK RELEASE – Back from Dystopia: A New Vision for Western Cities

NEW BOOK RELEASE Back from Dystopia: A New Vision for Western Cities Steven Greenhut Cities throughout the West face rising crime, soaring housing costs, a sprawling homelessness crisis and devastated downtown areas following two years of COVID restrictions and the aftermath of destructive protests. Policymakers typically address these and other …

Blog

Union power makes urban reform nearly impossible

It’s well known that private-sector unions imposed higher costs and competitive disadvantages on companies that remained in cities. In a 2010 Cato Journal article, Stephen J. K. Walters explained that unions sparked their transformation “from engines of prosperity into areas afflicted by economic stagnation, chronic poverty, and all the social …

Blog

Anaheim’s freedom experiment still offers lessons to cities

It’s a distant and largely forgotten memory, but in the mid-2000s the city of Anaheim pursued a novel idea for bigger cities. Instead of pursuing development policies based on the usual array of central planning tools, the city decided to “pursue a market-oriented, freedom-friendly agenda that would create an atmosphere …

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