GOV_scott-beyer-2

Scott Beyer

Columnist

Scott Beyer is a journalist who focuses on American urban issues. He owns a media company called Market Urbanism Report, which advocates for free-market urban policy. In addition to his work for Governing, Beyer writes regular columns for Forbes, the Independent Institute and Tax Credit Advisor.


Beyer recently completed a three-year cross-country tour to study U.S. urban issues and is working on a book about his findings. He is based in New York City, and his work can be found collectively at MarketUrbanismReport.com.

He can be reached at scott@marketurbanismreport.com.

Municipal utility districts seem to work in the Lone Star State. They have increased the housing supply, using lighter regulations, resulting in downward pressure on costs. Now, they may be catching on elsewhere.
High-rise buildings made out of timber have long been judged flimsy and fire-prone. That isn’t true anymore. But their construction depends on how amenable government regulators are to wooden towers.
Ten years from now, we could be zipping through town by air like the Jetsons. But there are many complications to be worked out first.
Miami may allow Bitcoin payments for some of its operations. Other cities are thinking about it. There are advantages to doing this — and also significant risks.
When a development causes a problem, we should be dealing with the problem where it exists – not cordoning off whole areas of the city. Let’s scrap the old Euclidean codes and update with market urbanism zoning.
America uses tons of rock salt to de-ice roads, but the chemical is harmful to the environment and concrete. Emerging methods could reduce the need for machines, salt, and high snowplow budgets.
Retrofitting ordinary curb space from free parking into “complete streets” will be a good move financially and aesthetically for all sorts of stakeholders. Incremental, bottoms-up approaches work the best.
The pavement along the edge of the street is an asset with untapped value for better managing transportation needs. This prime urban land shouldn't just be for free car storage.
It can maintain distinctive urban character, but excessive mandates also can impede the dynamic evolution that cities need. There are market-driven policy reforms to reduce its negative impacts.
They can't completely replace in-person meetings, but conducting more public business online reduces costs, gives more people a voice and cuts down on disruption. It also can lead to better policy.