Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Teeter Talk: Matt Lassiter

24. August 2006 • Bruce Fields
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Matt Lassiter

Homeless Dave has posted an interview with University of Michigan professor Matt Lassiter:

So you’re against sprawl, right? And you can think of that in terms of being a good environmentalist, and you’re against big developers coming in and messing up your neighborhood, and you’re against pollution and all that. But then you can also be against sprawl and it’s about protecting your property values and about freezing things like they are, which has an element of class exclusion.

Same thing about historical districts. It’s a great idea in a lot of ways, but as a public policy it’s really very flexible. Not just in Ann Arbor but around the country, historical districts have often been used as a way to protect property values, as a way to prevent multi-family housing or more density, which is about keeping people out of your neighborhood, not just keeping it the way it is. And it’s not that either one is all bad. NIMBY-ism has become a bad word. There’s progressive and reactionary elements to what we call NIMBY-ism, I think. And probably the same thing about historical districts and zoning itself. Zoning can be a really progressive policy tool, and it often has been in this country one that has preserved racial segregation and class segregation.

Read the whole interview.



  1. broken link!


       —Michael McC.    Aug. 25 '06 - 01:00PM    #
  2. “broken link!”

    I’m assuming somebody else fixed it…. (Holler if not.)


       —Bruce Fields    Aug. 25 '06 - 02:19PM    #
  3. Dave had Todd Leopold on the totter last week, with another great conversation. Teeter Talk is one of the most interesting Ann Arbor info sources around recently.


       —Dale    Sep. 11 '06 - 09:30AM    #
  4. I even mentioned our friend and nemesis, Dave Cahill, during the totter.

    What’s not to like?

    You’re welcome, Dave.


       —todd    Sep. 12 '06 - 01:22AM    #
  5. It’s good to see that I’ve deeply imbedded myself in todd’s psyche. Does he dream about me?

    Plus – it’s always good to get the name out. 8-)


       —David Cahill    Sep. 12 '06 - 10:35PM    #
  6. Nope. No dreaming. As the proverb goes, you can’t have a tug of war without someone pulling on the other end of the rope.

    It’s good to tip one’s hat at the guy at the other end of the rope every now and again….


       —todd    Sep. 13 '06 - 02:32AM    #