When Conservatives Love Central Planning

City Journal is a publication of the conservative Manhattan Institute, so if I didn’t know anything about how American politics actually works I’d be surprised to see that they’ve published a Joel Kotkin article arguing against the recently adopt plan to upzone the Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The way this works is that Hollywood, which is currently a bit run-down but is also adjacent to some more expensive areas and features multiple stations of LA’s growing Metro system, will soon become a place where landowners and developers are allowed to build taller and denser structures. This is not a devious plot to force people to engage in high density urban living. It’s a plot to reduce the extent to which people are currently forced to engage in low density suburban-style living. But it’s one form of deregulation that conservatives all-too-frequently can’t countenance, often for reasons they have trouble explaining.

But at any rate, it’s a great idea. Los Angeles continues to add population at a rate that’s unusual for such a large American city and the geography of the area dictates that some of that growth has to come from more intensive redevelopment of the already developed land.