4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
- Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I liked parts of this book but have some issues with it. I thought it provided a very good description of the benefits of industry clusters and the benefits of density. In the past I have found it difficult to find decent information on the benefits of industry clusters, so I am glad I read this and the book, and primarily on that basis, it was worth my time. Nonetheless, I did have several issues with contents.
I thought the book underappreciated the fact that there are significant negative externalities associated with high density and urban development. The book mentions that congestion is a problem, and a city at some point will become inefficiently large but hardly focuses on this. I think the costs of congestion are of great relevance to the book. It's a major problem with higher density, and of course developers don't account for the externalities (including higher congestion) they are imposing on society by building dense, something the book may do well to appreciate.
The author suggested that if residents wanted to prevent a development, they should be required to buy the land or pay (bribe) the developer to comply (with changes to the development). In my view that's completely impractical and inefficient. Who has the capacity to buy a block of land simply because they don't like the proposed development? What about the transaction and holding costs? Developments have very real externalities. How would you feel if someone wanted to build a pink factory next to you, which runs 24 hours a day, with smoke and noise permeating through your backyard and the Government said to you, if you don't like it just buy the land or bribe the factory owners into building something better. It would also encourage the developers to propose especially offensive developments so they could win bigger bribes from neighbours who want them to change the development. Furthermore, residents won't be willing to buy the land or pay these bribes quite often because of the free rider problem, that is, they will wait for their neighbours to buy the land or pay the bribes, or they won't buy because their neighbours can't chip in and so they perceive themselves to be sharing an unfair, high proportion of the burden associated with changing or preventing the development so it is better for the neighbourhood. Also, what about externalities such as parking demand and congestion, which are too widely imposed on society that a group could never form to pay off a developer not to build. Those sorts of externalities would never be dealt with and a developer could do things like build a massive office building, provide no car parks and monopolise all public parking and if there is still an overflow of parking demand, there would be parking on private lawns and such.
I also do think that NIMBYism can be a major problem, but I don't think the benefits of freer development, nationwide, are quite as high as the author believes. The author thinks that when people settle in Pheonix instead of San Francisco because San Francisco was too expensive (because of development restrictions), it's a sacrifice to productivity. That may be so to an extent but If a random 20% of San Francisco's population was transplanted to Pheonix, and vice versa, the average wage of Pheonix would rise and in San Francisco it would decline after a while. Why? Pheonix isn't inherently unproductive and San Fran isn't inherently productive. Productivity depends largely though not entirely on people, and where productive people move, productivity will follow. New industry clusters can form. If the most productive cities are restricting development then businesses, as well as people, are free to move around.
The benefits of density may be overstated in the book. Yes, denser cities may often be more productive but it is potentially the success of those cities which attracts more people and higher density, rather than purely the other way round.
I also wondered why, if, in San Francisco people were leaving during the tech boom, why were property prices going up? As it says in the book. Wouldn't there be a glut of housing supply on the market as a result of massive, rapid population decline? This isn't so much a criticism of the book, but it's an oddity which warrants discussion. I also don't necessarily think it would have been a good thinng that Government controls were lesser in San Francisco during the tech boom. It was after all a major exercise in resource misallocation.
I am an urban planner and economist.