Radicalizing the Kids Against Euclidean Zoning

This blog’s work is done:

The study should give group members a good idea of how much start-up money they need and where they should locate the store. They’re looking at neighborhoods Marsh called “food deserts” – where there are no large grocery stores with fresh produce.

That includes areas in downtowns on both sides of the river, [Colleen ]Marsh said. She said the co-op wants people living downtown to have access to healthy food and fresh produce.

“In our area, the non-mixed used zoning has led to more of these food deserts,” she said. “For residents who live right downtown there are no fully functioning grocery stores.”

I kid of course, but I like to think I’ve done my small part to help people understand the political trade-offs of zoning more clearly. This tends to be an issue that is invisible to people besides older homeowners, which is a travesty because land use rules are the tool young people have to shape cities to meet their wants and needs. Want better quality apartments and more affordable modern housing? Want more food trucks, and neighborhood restaurants and retail? Want higher quality public transit? Want better nightlife options? It’s all about local government land use and zoning rules. Don’t cede this stuff to the old folks!


  1. Hillary J Shaw says:

    More on food deserts at http://www.fooddeserts.org

  2. Was Euclid for parking lots or against fresh vegetables?

    • Jon Geeting says:

      The Euclid decision is the basis for land use policy that separates uses. In Bethlehem, this approach had yielded far too little mixed-use development, and the absence of certain kinds of businesses (like grocery stores) from the downtown neighborhoods. Mandatory minimum parking requirements are one Euclidean zoning tool designed to push potentially parking-intensive uses to the periphery of a city. This is a problem for ideas like the Bethlehem Food Co-op whose first and foremost concern is not moving vehicles in and out ad quickly as possible. They are focused on selling food to people who live within walking distance of downtown, not people driving in from outside.

  3. I thought it was a policy of the Father of Geometry. But its just a town in Ohio.

  4. I have always like that Euclidean zoning (read primary tool of modernist city planning) is linguistically associated with a geometer and a father of the cult of hyper-rationality.

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