Weekend Reading: MarketUrbanism.com

After several weeks, I’ve finally slogged through the archives of Market Urbanism. This is a blog that makes a fascinating connection between libertarian, pro-market philosophies, and the rise of vibrant cities. With the slogan “Urbanism for Capitalists/Capitalism for Urbanists”, it argues that if only governments fully allowed growth, cities would become denser and more dynamic, making them more economically and environmentally sustainable, more affordable, and more interesting to boot. What now prevents this, according to the blog, are entrenched forces that for decades have dictated urban policy, from NIMBYism, to restrictive zoning, height limitations, minimum parking requirements, public sector monopolies, and the unwillingness to adequately charge drivers for using roads, which encourages sprawl and congestion. The blog was started in 2008 by a real estate developer named Adam, but its main contributors are Emily Washington, a policy analyst for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and Stephen Smith, a freelance writer for Forbes and The Atlantic Cities. The blog also provides many outside links, and is a great site for anyone who desires the return of economic sanity in our cities.

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