Scott Beyer

Scott Beyer owns and manages The Market Urbanism Report. He is a roving cross-country journalist who writes regular columns for Forbes, Governing Magazine and

The FHA (Still) Insures Sprawl Over Density

May 13, 2019

The bureaucracy favors single-family homes over condos, and for no good reason.

San Francisco’s Regulations Are The Cause Of Its Housing Crisis

April 22, 2019

And it’s not just one regulation that made the city expensive. It’s all of them.

America’s 5 Most Geographically Interesting Cities

April 15, 2019

The American West still offers the best mixture of urbanization and stunning geography.

Transit Density Zoning: Is It A Model?

April 8, 2019

California and Oregon both consider state housing bills that will allow dense development near transit. Can this become model housing legislation elsewhere?

How To Define A ‘Successful City’?

March 25, 2019

Many planners have their minds made up on which cities do and don’t work. But multiple factors make the debate complicated.

3 Years Around America: My 30-City Cross-Country Tour

March 18, 2019

I took a 3-year, 30-city cross-country tour to study American cities. Here’s what I learned along the way about our nation’s demography, housing and culture.

Why Cities Should Sell Air Rights

March 11, 2019

Selling air rights above public facilities would create financial windfalls for city governments, and encourage more efficient land use.

New York City’s Car Ownership Decline Must Start From Within

March 4, 2019

New Yorkers’ quality-of-life suffers from the negative impacts of cars. This is partly because residents themselves won’t relinquish car ownership.

California’s Redevelopment Agencies: The Bad Idea That Won’t Die

February 25, 2019

The agencies were sewers of waste and abuse. So why are state lawmakers trying to revive them?

Zoning Is America’s Local Version Of Crony Capitalism

February 11, 2019

Zoning reform is evolving from an economics issue into a social justice issue.

What Is The Best City In Texas?

February 4, 2019

Texas’ “Big 4” have rivalries in food, sports and economic development. But which of them is the best place to live?

America’s Progressive Developers, Memphis Edition: Crosstown Concourse

January 28, 2019

In installment #7 of the America’s Progressive Developers series, a Memphis arts non-profit turns a gargantuan former Sears warehouse into a “vertical urban village.”

Why Is Austin The Most Expensive Big City In Texas?

January 21, 2019

Home prices are growing higher and faster in Austin than other Texas cities. The cause is regulation.

How Would San Francisco Develop Under An Open Market?

January 7, 2019

The Bay Area would likely be denser – and a lot more urbanized.

Globalism, Not Nativism, Made America’s Cities Great

December 21, 2018

As Los Angeles shows, the cities with the most immigrants also perform best economically.

Oklahoma City’s MAPS Is A Public Works Lesson For Other Cities

December 19, 2018

By following good accounting practices, Oklahoma City’s MAPS program built more public infrastructure at a fraction of the cost.

The Scourge Of Local Control

December 16, 2018

Hyper-local government is good in many cases. But not for housing policy.

Federal Transportation Policy Should Be More Localized

December 14, 2018

Federal transportation money gets redistributed to rural areas – amounting to a raw deal for major metros.

Does Portland’s Urban Growth Boundary Worsen Sprawl?

December 12, 2018

Portland’s UGB limits development in the suburbs right around the city. This appears to be causing leapfrog sprawl throughout the larger metro.

Taken To The Woodshed: The Effect Of Trump’s Timber Tariffs

December 10, 2018

Canadian lumber is integral to the U.S. housing market. Will sticking duties on it hurt U.S. homebuyers?

Miami’s Beach Development Continues To Spread North

December 8, 2018

Unlike a lot of U.S. metros, different cities across greater Miami are building densely along the waterfront.

Mexico’s Border Cities Have Brilliant Public Spaces

December 4, 2018

Cities remain interesting when they resist American-style “modernization”.

America’s Progressive Developers, San Antonio Edition: Silver Ventures

December 2, 2018

Installment #4 in the monthly cross-country series America’s Progressive Developers.

Atlanta’s Housing Market: Still Tough For The Working Class

November 29, 2018

Atlanta has largely been an affordable housing success story. But its housing market is still tough for the working class, namely in the central areas.

Miami’s Inequality: Good Or Bad For The City?

November 27, 2018

Miami has inequality. But that is an innate feature of the local demographics – and may even be helping the city.

Baltimore’s Police Seem Everywhere And Nowhere

November 25, 2018

The city could be accused of policing too much and too little.

For Population, L.A. County’s Loss Is The Inland Empire’s Gain

November 23, 2018

Priced out of L.A., the displaced are moving east to Riverside and San Bernardino.

America’s Ugly Strip Malls Were Caused By Government Regulation

November 21, 2018

Why concentrate all the fast food chains?

San Francisco’s Sierra Club Is A Bastion Of Faux Environmentalism

November 17, 2018

Dense development is good for the environment. So why does San Francisco’s Sierra Club discourage it?

Nativism: The Thread Connecting Progressive Nimbys With Donald Trump

November 15, 2018

What’s the difference between building physical walls and regulatory walls?

Richard Florida’s Latest Book Hits, Then Misses, The “New Urban Crisis”

November 13, 2018

If spatial segregation is the cause of urban America’s problems, then zoning deregulation is the solution.

San Francisco: Sleeping In A Closet

November 11, 2018

Because of San Francisco’s housing crisis, people with 6-figure salaries must settle for roommates. Others can’t live there at all.

Philadelphia: Next Stop In America’s Housing Crisis?

November 9, 2018

Philadelphia has avoided the home price inflation of rival East Coast cities. But a mix of walkable neighborhoods and tight zoning could change this.

Nashville And Memphis: An Economic Growth Disparity

November 7, 2018

One metro is among America’s fastest-growing, while the other is effectively stagnant. What are the reasons?

How Micro-Transit Could Improve Mass Transit

November 5, 2018

As transit systems grow antiquated, cities should try nimbler options.

The Ongoing Rise Of YIMBY

November 3, 2018

A fledgling pro-housing movement goes from grassroots advocacy to political operations

America’s Progressive Developers, New Orleans Edition: Sean Cummings & Steve Dumez

November 1, 2018

Installment #3 in the monthly cross-country series profiling America’s Progressive Developers.

Could The Fair Housing Act Help Abolish Restrictive Zoning?

October 30, 2018

Zoning violates federal law by having a “disparate impact” on low-income minorities.

Canada Also Has An Affordable Housing Crisis

October 27, 2018

Regulations in Toronto and Vancouver drive much of the same price inflation as in U.S. cities.

Houston Or Portland: Which City Is Doing Urban Density Better?

October 25, 2018

A look at the pro-market vs. pro-planning urban model.

Houston, Dallas & New York City: America’s Great 3-Way Housing Supply Race

October 23, 2018

The 3 are growing their housing stocks, and seeing their prices stabilize compared to other metros.

Does Demolition Equal Progress In Detroit?

October 19, 2018

Clearing out blight has its benefits, but it can also erase crucial assets.

Should American Cities Attract Companies Or Workers?

October 18, 2018

A look at the chicken-and-egg question, as it pertains to Dallas.

A Market Urbanism Briefer On Transit

October 16, 2018

Many people in the conservative/libertarian vortex dislike mass transit. Then there’s the Market Urbanists.

Downtown Detroit Is Finally A Coherent Neighborhood Again

October 14, 2018

Detroit’s core area has become walkable – and is growing more so – thanks to Dan Gilbert’s real estate ambitions.

The Need For Housing Following Natural Disaster

October 13, 2018

Rapido, a program based in Texas, offers a fast and flexible solution.

Does America’s Housing Crisis Need Supply-Side Or Demand-Side Solutions?

October 11, 2018

The latter strategy will be useless, even counter-productive, if not mixed with the former strategy.

‘Business Lounges’: A Niche Within America’s Co-working Space Industry

October 9, 2018

A Milwaukee co-working space combines work and play.

In Denver, Balancing Growth And Preservation

October 7, 2018

The success of Denver’s LoDo neighborhood – which mixes historic preservation and new development – is paying off for the city.

U.S. Cities Should Loosen Their Jaywalking Laws

October 5, 2018

Current laws against crossing the street are so rigid as to defy common sense.

America’s Progressive Developers, Charlottesville Edition: Oliver Kuttner

October 2, 2018

An architectural primer on how to “break up” large buildings so that they look smaller.

America’s Progressive Developers, DC Edition: JBG Smith

September 29, 2018

In installment #7 of the America’s Progressive Developers series, an REIT with a philanthropic aim uses social impact investing to build and preserve affordable housing in DC’s gentrifying areas.

Why Are Salt Lake City’s Blocks So Long?

September 27, 2018

The Mormon Church designed the city in a way that makes its streets a liability – and an opportunity.

Chicago’s Public Housing Policy: Demolish Now, Rebuild Later

September 25, 2018

Chicago’s public housing story has been one of demolition and displacement. Still today, much of the controlled land lies fallow.

How American Culture Is Fueling The Housing Crisis

September 22, 2018

While regulations are one big reason for the housing affordability problem, there are larger economic and societal factors, too.

Miami And San Francisco: Two Different Latino Gentrification Narratives

September 20, 2018

Miami’s construction of a vertical luxury neighborhood has kept wealthy professionals out of surrounding low-income areas.

The Myth Of The ‘Land-Constrained’ City

September 18, 2018

The idea that cities can’t grow because of geographical constraints has become another canard in the housing debate.

Seattle’s Micro-Unit Trend Is A Reenactment Of Past Housing

September 13, 2018

Small housing has always been crucial for providing shelter to the workforce. Why would Seattle regulate it away?

Portland: The City Where Retail and Residences Actually Mix Well

September 11, 2018

Unlike most U.S. cities, Portland has various historic retail hubs that sit right in the middle of single-family residential areas.

‘Urban Campus’ Housing: The Dorms Of The 21st Century?

September 8, 2018

The housing style weaves urban life into the college campus experience.

Is Urban Inequality A Bad Thing?

September 6, 2018

Cities that mix rich and poor provide a better quality of life for everyone than cities that are merely poor.

Texas’ Toll Roads: A Big Step Towards Open Markets For Transportation

September 4, 2018

Texas’ major cities have been leaders in the growth of private toll roads.

America’s Progressive Developers, Miami Edition: Carlos Fausto Miranda And Andrew Frey

September 2, 2018

Two young developers have fought the regulations holding back a great American neighborhood.

Havana, Cuba – Stagnation Doesn’t ‘Preserve’ Cities, Wealth Doesn’t ‘Destroy’ Them

August 31, 2018

Installment #2 in the “World City Profiles” series, which explores urbanization at the international level.

Havana, Cuba – The City Of Scarcity

August 30, 2018

Installment #1 in the “World City Profiles” series, which explores urbanization at the international level.

What Is A Healthy Neighborhood?

August 28, 2018

A Boston non-profit has found a metrics-based system to determine the health outcomes of different urban development styles.

Downtown Denver: The Right Way To Do A Historic Neighborhood

August 26, 2018

As LoDo demonstrates, building new structures can help, rather than hurt, historic preservation areas.

The Great Urban Myth: ‘Cities Can’t Build Their Way To Affordable Housing’

August 23, 2018

The notion that cities can’t grow affordable with more construction has become a toxic bit of misinformation.

How Tinder Is Changing The Urban Bar Scene

August 21, 2018

Disruptive technology, rather than just killing industries, can bolster existing city business ecosystems.

Downtown Los Angeles Is America’s Most Colorful Neighborhood

August 19, 2018

…and arguably its best.

Is Induced Demand A Phony Theory?

August 18, 2018

Does increasing the supply of something create demand for it? This is the premise of the “induced demand” theory.

Skateboarding: Another Urban Transportation Form?

August 16, 2018

The Arizona State University campus has achieved a critical mass of skateboarding that would be useful for bigger cities.

Seattle Is Becoming America’s 7th ‘Legacy City’

August 14, 2018

The Emerald City’s dense housing and transit network is starting to reflect New York, Boston, Philadelphia, DC, Chicago and San Francisco.

The Ultimate Boomtown: Government And Growth In Washington, DC

August 11, 2018

The growth of lobbying, legalism and government has brought money into Washington – and increased the home prices.

Mormon Real Estate, Inc.

August 9, 2018

As one of America’s largest developers, the church is a key player in the urbanist conversation.

Tokyo’s Affordable Housing Strategy: Build, Build, Build

August 7, 2018

To accomodate more people, the city builds more housing.

Why Has Detroit Continued To Decline?

August 3, 2018

Post-war deindustrialization is one thing. But why has Detroit continued to decline for the last 4 decades?

A Brief Introduction To Mormon Urbanism

August 2, 2018

The LDS church’s historical approach to cities shows a mix of urbanism and anti-urbanism.

The Right Kind of Transit for “In-Between” Cities

July 31, 2018

Seattle offers a case study on whether cities can gain population without gaining traffic.

Skyscraper Paradise: Miami’s Brickell Should Be Urban America’s Future

July 28, 2018

Brickell embodies a market-oriented model that has long been proposed for cities by fiscal conservatives yet seldom tried.

Density Is Not The ‘Cause’ Of Unaffordability

July 26, 2018

Debunking the truism about density and affordability.

Tax Increment Financing Is The New Urban Renewal

July 24, 2018

Post-World War II federal urban renewal is today widely viewed as a failure. Yet cities are repeating the mistake with tax increment financing.

Who Are America’s Progressive Developers?

July 21, 2018

Introducing a cross-country series that profiles the forward-thinking developers shaping America’s cities.

Thought Experiment: A “Section 8-style” Transit Plan

July 19, 2018

A voucher plan would produce a buffet of options for transit riders.

Phoenix & Canada: An Underrated North American Business Partnership

July 17, 2018

Canadian transplants have been a huge economic boost in the Valley of the Sun.

Seattle’s Pike Place Market Should Be Closed To Cars

July 15, 2018

The case for “pedestrianizing” well-trafficked urban spaces.

How Housing Works On An Indian Reservation

July 10, 2018

Indian tribes are a unique American culture, both connected to, and sovereign from, the United States

Charlottesville: Grow It or Preserve it?

July 7, 2018

Charlottesville is nice because of how it’s been preserved. But this comes at a cost.

What Is The Market Demand For Micro Housing In San Francisco?

July 5, 2018

According to one developer, it’s over 100,000.

Do Cities Need Flashing Police Cameras?

July 1, 2018

Flashing police cameras may improve public safety, but they can make neighborhoods feel ominous.

America’s Progressive Developers: Detroit Blight Busters

June 11, 2018

In the latest installment of America’s Progressive Developers, a non-profit known for demolition in Detroit also helps build it back.

Los Angeles’ Pension Problem Is Robbing The City

April 25, 2018

Money that goes to non-services can’t be used on services.

America’s Progressive Developers, San Francisco Edition: Patrick Kennedy

April 5, 2018

In installment #6 of MUR’s series on “America’s Progressive Developers,” a builder offers prefab modular micro-housing as a solution to San Francisco’s homeless problem.

Trulia’s ‘Heat Map’ Is A Fascinating Look Into Urban America’s Real Estate Market

April 4, 2018

Housing markets in major metros are spiky, disperse…and unbiased towards cities or suburbs.

How Does Austin Still Not Have Private Bikeshare?

March 29, 2018

Some U.S. cities simply allowed private bikeshare, and now have full-fledged systems. Then there’s Austin.

Dallas Could Be Pioneer In Growing – And Regulating – Bikeshare Industry

March 1, 2018

Thanks to a less-regulated approach, Dallas has, out of nowhere, become the North American bikeshare capital.

How Will Trump’s Tax Plan Influence Home Prices?

February 25, 2018

Experts are divided on whether the bill will increase or decrease prices. But they expect the latter for hot coastal markets.

The Quirks Of New Orleans Culture: Everything Else

February 13, 2018

The last in a 4-part series on what makes New Orleans different.

The Quirks Of New Orleans Culture: Mardi Gras Balls

February 12, 2018

Part three in a 4-part series on what makes New Orleans different.

The Quirks Of New Orleans Culture: King Cake

February 11, 2018

Part two in a 4-part series on what makes New Orleans different.

The Quirks Of New Orleans Culture: Second Lines

February 10, 2018

Part one in a 4-part series on what makes New Orleans different.

Urban Renewal And The Detroit Riots: A Connection?

January 30, 2018

The area where the 1967 Detroit riots occurred was filled with people who had been relocated from the urban renewal on Hastings Street.

How To Reform Detroit

January 26, 2018

Improving the Detroit Charter is essential to the Motor City’s comeback.

America’s Changing Suburban Food Landscape

January 23, 2018

The rise of fast casual and the outward movement of immigrants has completely changed the game.

Airports Need To Expand

January 2, 2018

But burdensome federal regulations are getting in the way.

New York City, Mayor De Blasio Continue Crackdown On Ebikes

December 25, 2017

Despite his Vision Zero initiative to end traffic deaths and encourage alternative uses, the mayor is ticketing an innovative transport solution.

The Motor City’s Regulators Are Putting The Brakes On Regrowth

December 17, 2017

Nascent small businesses sprout up in Detroit only to find that the struggling city’s rules trump all.

Country Credits

December 13, 2017

New Markets Tax Credits, a federal program better known for restoring cities, is actually subsidizing rural America.

Urban America Just Got A Trove Of New Real Estate Data

December 2, 2017

The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy has published an interactive map that shows the ins and out of American land use.

Can Private Bikeshare Serve South Side Chicago?

November 29, 2017

Ofo already wants to expand its services there. But the company first needs permission from the city.

‘Friendsgivings’ Are A Growing Urban American Tradition

November 24, 2017

In global U.S. cities with lots of transplants, Thanksgiving is often spent with friends rather than family.

An Interview With Toby Sun, Co-Founder Of LimeBike

November 18, 2017

The bikeshare startup is seeing rapid growth in various types of U.S. cities.

The Hospital As Homebuilder

November 16, 2017

Medical institutions are supporting urban development as a way to improve health outcomes.

America’s Progressive Developers, San Diego Edition: The Hillcrest Gateway Council

November 9, 2017

This is installment #5 in the monthly cross-country Market Urbanism Report series profiling America’s Progressive Developers.

Will Private Bike Share Become A College Campus Fixture?

November 3, 2017

On Monday, The Daily Emerald, a University of Oregon student newspaper, reported that…

Limebike Eyes Expansion In NYC, Washington

October 3, 2017

In the last decade, New York City and Washington, DC, have been America’s two de facto bikeshare leaders. Now it appears that various private companies might swoop in and corner their market, leading to services that are far cheaper and more convenient.

The Market Urbanism Book List

September 27, 2017

A list of classics, old and new, that call for a more liberalized approach to cities.

Don’t Blame Houston’s Lack Of Zoning For Harvey Flooding

September 4, 2017

But a lack of zoning laws could prevent flooding in the future.

Did Houston Flood Because Of A Lack Of Zoning?

August 30, 2017

Mother nature seems indifferent to the zoning codes in various cities.

Trump’s ‘Upstate New York’ Comments Should Start Dialogue On Job Relocation

August 7, 2017

Telling people they should move may not seem nice, but perhaps it’s practical.

The Market Urbanism Report Privacy Policy

July 27, 2017

The Market Urbanism Report respects your privacy, and will not…

Interstates Aren’t ‘Free’ So Let’s Lift the Ban on Tolling Them

July 26, 2017

Doing this would be a more transparent alternative to raising the gas tax.

Welcome To The Market Urbanism Report

July 26, 2017

For about a decade, there’s been a growing bipartisan consensus that America’s cities need liberalization. This consensus formed because of the problems our cities now face thanks to government control. Urban housing supply has been artificially limited by regulations, causing price inflation; publicly-run transportation systems create gridlock and delay; and other services are riddled with patronage.

Some of the strongest calls for reform have come from a small group of so-called “Market Urbanists.”