While visiting Europe, I missed most of the local debate on potential changes to DC’s federally imposed height limit (see – and contrast – the final recommendations from the NCPC and DC Office of Planning, as well as background materials and visual modelling, here). But I sure didn’t actually miss any tall buildings; I saw
Continue reading Tall buildings in European cities
London Skyline. CC image from Elliot Brown.
One dynamic that comes up in DC’s height limit debates is the tension between gains and losses, impacts on the city and benefits to it. New development can clearly add value, but the question is if that value is a mere ‘give-away to developers’ or if citizens (the
Continue reading More on height limit trade-offs – listening skeptically, reaching resolution
DC skyline. CC image from James Calder
Continuing on the discussion of DC’s height limit (and potential changes to it), I wanted to take note of a few more articles on the subject. George Mason law professor David Schleicher (he of land-use law and procedure fame) asks height limit proponents six basic questions, all of which
Continue reading DC height limit trade-offs, part 2
The Cairo. CC image from NCinDC.
Following up on some of the trade-offs mentioned at the end of the previous post on DC’s height act.
In the discussion of Kaid Benfield’s piece supporting DC’s height limit, several comments are worth highlighting. First, Payton Chung notes the need to discuss more than just supply, but to also
Continue reading Height limit trade-offs
DC Skyline. CC image from Ed Uthman.
DC’s lack of tall buildings is certainly one of it’s defining characteristics. Given our human tendencies to be loss averse, to embrace the status quo, it shouldn’t be a surprise that changing such a characteristic can be shocking to some.
I’ve written on the height limit before, as have
Continue reading Bad reasons to support DC’s Height Act
CC image from Seth Waite
One more round on density – this time focusing on affordability via the tangentially related prospect of innovative and creative economies.
Richard Florida chimed in at The Atlantic Cities, asking this:
Stop and think for a moment: What kind of environments spur new innovation, start-ups and high-tech industries? Can you name one
Continue reading Urban density and innovation
Ryan Avent, writing at Architect Magazine, takes a look at the recently floated idea of putting a Redskins practice facility at Reservation 13 in DC. One of the reasons for the backlash against the idea was the opportunity cost of a metro-adjacent, develop-able site (a scarce enough commodity in DC) lying fallow for the purposes
Continue reading Density helps provide public benefits
DC Zoning Map – CC image from Payton Chung
Every so often (just as we’re seeing right now), someone will suggest changing DC’s height limit and a flurry of articles/blog posts/tweets/etc will go up, arguing for or against. This past week has been no exception.
Zoning and process: At the Atlantic, Josh Barro argues that the height
Continue reading Height and zoning links
With both city leaders and members of Congress discussing alterations to DC’s height limit, I think there are a few things worth highlighting. These are just some thoughts on what I think are the core issues here, and how DC might proceed.
Why do this? The compelling reason must be economic, and the reasoning behind this
Continue reading Thoughts on changing DC’s height limit
dc cranescape – CC image from yawper
A common theme is emerging among those thinking and writing about cities, from Ryan Avent to Ed Glaeser to Paul Krugman – our land use controls have stunted growth in our developed and productive areas – our cities. So, a simple fix would be to just allow more
Continue reading Institutional hurdles to dense infill development