Drew Carey Is Wrong About Cleveland

Urban planning is architecture's less glamorous sibling: If architecture gets Brad Pitt as a celebrity student, it's only fitting that planning gets TV's Drew Carey.

Carey grew up in Cleveland, a city that desperately needs better public schools and better prospects for the professional people who want to live in its historic neighborhoods--but who can't justify the risk. Starring in a recent video sponsored by a libertarian magazine, Carey helped depict Cleveland's government as a pack of buffoons who have strangled free enterprise. The show implied that if only Cleveland could be more like Houston, which has no zoning law, it would really become a city of attractive neighborhoods.

Trouble is, Carey is more skillful at matching prices on TV than at matching policies to marketplaces. Plenty of cities with rich zoning laws have also created great neighborhoods after periods of decline. It's too easy to blame zoning for a host of depressing problems.

Which is where Bill O'Reilly and John Stossel come into the story.