the twilight zone

zoning as planing and design

key takeaways:

  • how do you enforce. cost and time. intentional or unintentional and negligent. too late?
  • market needs a helping hand. how? ‘policing power’. mechanism: height, placement, use, density, floor/area ratio,


density – ability of street, to support buildings

height in nyc as multiple of street width. nyc removed height in 1961 for floor area ratio

market needs a helping hand. anti adam smith


  • external dis-economy
  • ignorant, but rational
  • anti social
  • short sighted


  • public good
  • un-happiness with competition on demands
  • alter patterns of consumption
  • ethical society

external dis-economy

your house is burned by a fire in another building. too late. damage has been done. eliminating spread of disease

  • secondary means of egress. 100ft from prime entrance
  • sanitary – window in every room, at leat 30 ft from a wall

ignorant but rational

  • tall bulding on flight path
  • home-icide. designate certain buildings for preservation. historically accurate materials

anti social, but rational

  • double parking of delivery business. vs zone: off street loading and parking

short sight, but rational

  • penn station NYC. company wants to make more money off property. build offices and msg on top. zone: landmarks commission. pan-am building on top of grand central. resell air rights.

public good

  • sunlight on the street, or protect view. result sky exposure plan
  • pedestrian right of way

un-happiness with competition on demands

  • immigrants with stands, push carts on the street, business move away, streets are blocked. result: land-use right

alter patterns of consumption

  • save the creek. common open space, get 15% more housing

ethical society

  • no gambling and sex.


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