Author={Fulton, William},
Title={The ‘Z’ Word},
comment={An analysis of the lack of zoning in Houston. Even without zoning, Houston still has controls on development, like deed restrictions. (Despite that, the crazy examples of porn-next-to-school kind of things still happpen.},
category={Urbanism, zoning, Houston}

title={Upzoning Chicago: Impacts of a zoning reform on property values and housing construction},
author={Freemark, Yonah},
journal={Urban Affairs Review},
publisher={SAGE Publications Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA},
comment={Takes the 2013 and 2015 Chicago rezonings and uses it as an opportunity to look into how rezoning of individual parcels affects values and construction. Finds that the rezoning of a parcel increases the value of the parcel but does NOT increase the likelyhood of construction. In other words, that upzoning does not necessarily lead to more construction, and from there to more afforable housing.},
category={Zoning, CUP, Urbanism, chicago}

Author={Capps, Kriston},
Title={Will the Supreme Court Strike Down Inclusionary Zoning?},
comment={Discusses the potential outcome if the Supreme Court takes up the case of Dartmond Cherk, et al. v. Marin County, California, where a landowner in Marin County is challenging an inclusionary zoning requirement. Beyond that, this article also provides a primer on the legal framework of zoning in general, explaining how the Koontz, Nollan/Dolan, and Penn Central cases established precedents and how their legal tests work and what counts as a taking.},
category={Zoning, law, nollan/dolan, penn central, koontz, supreme court, marin county, california, inclusionary zoning, inclusionary housing}

Author={Margolies, Jane},
Title={The Church With the 6 Billion Portfolio},
journal={The New York Times},
comment={An update on the current status of the Trinity Wall Street real estate empire. Includes a brief reference to how landmarked religious institutions in the East Midtown rezoning can use air rights to transfer development rights in a 78 block area.},
category={Zoning, trinity wall street, CUP}

Author={Bellafante, Ginia},
Title={How Luxury Developers Use the ‘Void’ to Build Sky High},
journal={The New York Times},
comment={Covers how the NYC zoning regulations have no limit on ceiling heights, just on floor area, and developers have been taking advantage of this by including “voids” of more than 100 foot high floors in the middle of buildings to accomodate mechanical rooms. (Mechanical rooms generally need just 15 feet or so.) Also talks about how people in favor of no height limits because of the increased density they bring, rarely complain about buildings that are TALL, but with few apartments because of voids (and so they are tall without increasing density).},
category={Zoning, voids, nyc, cup}

Author={Mervosh, Sarah},
Title={Minneapolis, Tackling Housing Crisis and Inequity, Votes to End Single-Family Zoning},
journal={The New York Times},
comment={Minneapolis eliminated single-family zoning from its zoning code as a way to promote the development of housing and address racial inequality.},
category={Urbanism, Zoning, minneapolis, single family zoning}
% While I love the simplicity of this approach, it’s easy to imagine that in a
% place like NYC there would be a lot of low-income families in certain
% neighborhoods who DO own their own homes, and this would open up those
% neighborhoods for development and gentrification.
% On the other hand, sometimes a simple big move like this, even with some
% negative consequences, can be empowering for people - think of the
% application of rent stabilization in NYC. Since eliminating single-family
% zoning EVERYWHERE is something that is much more easily grasped than careful
% tinkering with the code in certain places, it lends itself to democratic
% approval (or disapproval) and application. It also make a media point - about
% the need to address inequality and lack of housing in a way that tinkering
% never would.
% Also see this analysis of how the change was achieved politically (hint: mostly by electing younger people to city council):
% \url{}

Author={Badger, Emily and Bui, Quoctrung},
Title={Cities Start to Question an American Ideal: A House With a Yard on Every Lot},
journal={The New York Times},
comment={Looks at zoning in cities around the country and finds that many of them have zoning that makes buildings more dense than single family homes illegal through 70 percent of the cities. Includes interesting notes, like the higher denisity lines in Minneapolis that follow old streetcar routes, the attitude in the first part of the 20th Century that higher density ruined the character of a neighborhood with less light and air, the fact that it might be politically much easier to upzone citywide rather than area by area, how zoning impacts segregation, that Portland Oregon appears to be against sprawl AND denisty, that research into whether upzoning decreases value is mixed, and the question of whether the governments job should be to make sure housing accumulates value. Quotes one guy as saying Planners shouldn’t be wealth managers, but that’s what they are doing all over the country. Zoning should instead be used to prevent harm.},
category={Urbanism, Zoning, minneapolis, single family zoning, density}

Author={Dougherty, Conor and Plumer, Brad},
Title={A Bold, Divisive Plan to Wean Californians From Cars},
journal={The New York Times},
comment={There’s a bill in legislation in California that would allow eight-story buildings near major transit stops, even if that violates local zoning laws, or local residents object. It’s an effort to create more dense compact cities. Transportation accounts for one-third of the nation’s carbon-dioxide emissions and recently surpassed power plants as its largest contributor to global warming. Even as stricter federal standards push cars to become more fuel efficient, the gains have been steadily offset as Americans drive more.'' Includes links to studies (plural) showing that people in compact cities have a smaller carbon footprint than those living in spawl or suburban areas. This is partly because they often live in apartments that require less energy to heat and cool than large single-family homes, but also because they commute shorter distances and are more likely to walk or take public transit.’’ But land use and zoning varies in every locality, so it can be very difficult to implement large-scale change. Even though land use impacts everything. And overriding local opinion can contribute to housing cost issues and eliminating local voices.},
category={Zoning, Housing, california, sprawl, carbon footprint, pollution, density, transit, land use}
% See also this oped arguing for increasing density closer to where people work to limit their driving in an effort to mitigate climate impacts:
% \url{}

Author={Sullivan, Joseph F.},
Title={Jersey Asserts Tidal Land Rights After U.S. Ruling},
journal={The New York Times},
comment={Reporting on the Supreme Court reaffirmation of the ruling that all land below the mean high tide mark on beaches is public. And that states have the right to impose access on private landowners to that public land. It’s called the public trust doctrine and it goes back to Roman times. In some cases the rule can apply to land miles from the seashore and make clearing titles of property difficult. Talks about Hawaii’s strange process of bringing in people with lineages going back to Polynesian kings to clear titles.},
category={Zoning, private property, tidal land rights, public trust doctrine, hawaii, new jersey, beach access}
% See also this later opinion piece on the same topic: \url{}

Author={Kahlenberg, Richard D.},
Title={The Walls We Won’t Tear Down},
journal={The New York Times},
comment={Covers the history of zoning and the Fair Housing Act and how they were used as tools to economically segregate people by not allowing cheaper homes (that is: apartments) in single-family neighborhoods. Talks about how segregation by race is now declining but segregation by class is increasing. Thus he calls for a new economic fait housing act that would ban laws against mult-family houses in single-family areas and ban minimum lot sizes.},
category={Zoning, Housing, CUP, segregation, economic fair housing}

title = “Zoning and the Economic Geography of Cities”,
author = “Allison Shertzer and Tate Twinam and Randall P. Walsh”,
institution = “National Bureau of Economic Research”,
type = “Working Paper”,
series = “Working Paper Series”,
number = “22658”,
year = “2016”,
month = “September”,
doi = {10.3386/w22658},
URL = “”,
abstract = {Comprehensive zoning is ubiquitous in U.S. cities, yet we know surprisingly little about its long-run impacts. We provide the first attempt to measure the causal effect of land use regulation over the long term, using as our setting Chicago’s first (1923) comprehensive zoning ordinance. Our results indicate that zoning has had a broader and more significant impact on the spatial distribution of economic activity than was previously believed. In particular, zoning may be more important than either geography or transportation networks – the workhorses of urban economic geography models – in explaining where commercial and industrial activity are located.},
comment = {While economists and others have long thought that market forces are the primary factor in how cities are organized (based on economies of scale, transportation costs, agglomeration economics, etc), there was little research to show this to be true. These guys find that zoning more than than economics, transportation, or geography is the primary organizing factor the long-run spatial organization of cities.},
category = {Zoning, Economics, cities}
% Get pdf here: \url{}
% See article covering this paper here, for plain language explanation: \url{}

Author={Kostyukov, Dmitry},
Title={On Italy’s Coast, a Forsaken Village Is a Tale of a Paradise Lost},
journal={The New York Times},
comment={The Parco Saraceno neighborhood of Villaggio Coppola, Italy was built as a seaside utopia back in the 1960s. But 12,000 apartments were built in violation of zoning laws, and so people were forced to leave. Now it is ruins.},
category={Zoning, Urbanism, development, utopias, ruins porn}
% Other than being in Italy, warm, and sunny, it looks a lot like Pyramiden, Svalbard

title={Game of zones: neighborhood rezonings and uneven urban growth in Bloomberg’s New York City},
author={Goldberg, Leo Leo Michael},
school={Massachusetts Institute of Technology},
comment={A terrific recap of the history of zoning in NYC. Looks at the impacts of upzonings vs downzonings on the city during the Bloomberg era.},
category={Zoning, CUP, Housing, upzonings, downzonings, bloomberg},

% See pdf here: \url{}
% Includes this quote: “Pastor Preston Harrington, a jovial community leader, closed the meeting with a prayer. ‘God, where you have joined us together,’ he said, ‘let no man—no city planner—put us asunder.’”

Author={Rosenberg, Eli},
Title={A ‘Members Only’ Public Space in Manhattan? Join the Club},
journal={The New York Times},
comment={Comptroller Scott Stringer did an audit of privately owned public spaces (POPS) in Manhattan and found that more than half of all locations with pops in New York were in violation of city rules. This included Trump Tower which had removed benches it was required to have. Stringer’s report criticizes the Buildings Department for not enforcing the rules.},
category={Urbanism, Zoning, pops, trump tower}

Author={Hertz, Daniel},
Title={How do we know zoning really constrains development?},
journal={City Observatory},
comment={Looks at research by Jonathan Levine for his book Zoned Out that shows that zoning that prevents dense walkable neighborhoods (in some places) keeps people from being able to live in thei neighborhood of their preference - if their preference is for dense walkable neighborhoods. His research shows that while most people in Boston who want to live in a dense walkable neighborhood do, in Atlanta most with that preference don’t. Suggesting that there is a shortage of cities'' in Atlanta. This also means that in Atlanta those few dense walkable neighborhoods have high housing costs, while the rest of the city does not (since people who prefer drivable suburban neighborhoods have lots of options.) In Boston, however, housing prices are high EVERYWHERE, suggesting that housing is just more expensive for everyone, and Boston could build neighborhoods of any kind to address the problem, while Atlanta desperately needs more city’’ oriented neighborhoods.},
category={Zoning, Urbanism, atlanta, boston, development constraints}

Author={Savitch-Lew, Abigail},
Title={Bushwick Tries to Call the Shots in its Rezoning},
journal={City Limits},
comment={An update on the Bushwick rezoning. Makes the point that nobody knows if it is better to upzone, downzone, or have a hydbrid. And maybe it doesn’t even matter, maybe zoning doesn’t have the power to control displacement and gentrification. ``As City Limits reported on Tuesday, the relationship between rezonings and displacement is poorly understood. Contextual zonings may preserve neighborhood form, but they don’t necessarily stop displacement; some say they worsen it by limiting the citywide allowing housing supply, creating more competition for existing units. But upzonings also bears risks: Encouraging investment in the neighborhood could drive up prices in housing units nearby. And one study showed that after “hybrid” rezonings—a combination of a contextual rezoning on side streets and an upzoning on commercial corridors—rents also skyrocketed, and demographic change was even starker. In other words, when it comes to using zoning to curb displacement, it seems you’re damned if you boost density, damned if you reduce density, and damned if you do nothing at all—and, perhaps, damned if you even try to talk about it.’’},
category={Zoning, bushwick, rezoning, gentrification, displacement, CUP}

Author={Savitch-Lew, Abigail},
Title={Will Rezoning Cause or Resist Displacement? Data Paints an Incomplete Picture},
journal={City Limits},
comment={A nice even-handed and comprehensive overview of Bloomberg and DeBlasio rezonings, and whether they cause displacement, are just related to displacement, or are just happening in the same places as displacement.},
category={Zoning, CUP}

Author={Signore, John Del},
Title={6 1/2 Avenue Is 100 Percent Complete!},
comment={Description of the multi-block pedestrian cooridor/plaza labeled 6 1/2 Ave by the city.},
category={Zoning, nyc, 6 1/2 ave, pedestrian plazas}

Author={Bui, Quoctrung and White, Jeremy},
Title={Mapping the Shadows of New York City: Every Building, Every Block},
journal={The New York Times},
comment={An interactive map of shadows cast by every building in NYC. Also includes some of the history of zoning and shadows: back during the first zoning code, public health officials thought sunlight was an important tool for fighting diseases (but in fact it is only useful for decontaminatig water). England has a law of Ancient Lights which guarantees a homeowner the right to light if they had access to it for 20 years. NYC had a similar law until 1838 - but capitalism won out. Also talks about how the Central Park supertalls create long, but very short-lasting shadows.},
category={Zoning, shadow, sunlight, supertalls, ancient lights, nyc, maps}

Author={Melgarejo, Joshel},
Title={Race, Displacement, and City Planning in NYC: A Q&A with the Editor of ‘Zoned Out!’},
comment={Interview with Tom Angotti around his new book Zoned Out! Angotti points out that zoning is a weak tool for housing development, but the city basically offers zoning as the only tool for affordable housing production. He calls for comprehensive community planning and direct public investment in housing.},
category={Zoning, CUP, tom angotti, public housing, affordable housing, comprehensive planning}
% How many books about zoning have the title “Zoned Out”?

Author={Savitch-Lew, Abigail},
Title={Fate of Industry Looms Large in Potential Gowanus Rezoning},
journal={City Limits},
comment={Facing loss of industry in Gowanus rezoning (references a Pratt Center report that in previous MX zones across the city, 41% of industrial sites were lost) some people are calling for a ``mandatory mixed-use’’ zoning requiring some industrial space for every sqare foot of residential. Currently, the city has no tool like that. And while it would work for some artisinal manufacturing, it obviously would not support more noxious uses. References a new policy in San Francisco where the owner could build a bigger building if 1/3 of the building were kep manufacturing. They were also required to sell part of the manufacturing space to a nonprofit at cost, and then the nonprofit can rent that space out to a manufacturing use. The business plan has to be laid out by the owner.},
category={Zoning, gowanus, CUP, industry}

title={Engines of Opportunity},
author={COUNCIL, CITY},
comment={Looks at how the current zoning law is failing to promote the development of industrial jobs in NYC, and what steps could be taken in zoning to promote the creation of industrial jobs. Includes an interesting look at the history of zoning and industrial jobs.}
category={Zoning, CUP, jobs, employment, industry, industrial jobs, manufacturing}
% Interesting suggestions on how to tackle the promotion of industrial jobs, but doesn’t really address the issues of WHAT makes an industrial job, and whether those jobs are really good for people.
% It DOES give some job statistics without including construction jobs (the issue raised in that report from the IBO) but doesn’t break out jobs based on unions or not.
% It still seems very likely that the increased salary average of industrial jobs might be entirely because of the remaining union jobs. If the retail jobs were unionized, it’s possible THAT would be the sector that pays the best.
% And this report promotes the notion that industrial jobs are GOOD jobs, when in fact they can be awful.
% See: casselman2016unions

Author={Goodman, J. David},
Title={Developer Ordered to Stop Work on Upper East Side Luxury Apartment Tower},
journal={The New York Times},
comment = {The New York City Buildings Department order construction stopped on an Upper East Side luxury tower after they figured out that a 4-foot wide lot had been illegally created in order to increase the size of the building.},
category = {Zoning, dob, upper east side, ues, street wall}
% See Kallos and Brewer’s letter for more details on how the law was actually broken: \url{}

Title={40 Percent of the Buildings in Manhattan Could Not Be Built Today},
journal={The New York Times},
comment = {For the 100th anniversary of zoning, a review of how many buildings could not be built today under the current zoning code, with specific comparative examples.},
category = {Zoning}

Author={Joseph, George},
Title={Developers Are “Very, Very Excited To Pioneer” New Neighborhoods Under De Blasio’s Affordable Housing Plan},
comment = {In the wake of MIH being passed, this article goes into detail about how de Blasio is backed by real estate developers thought NYSAFAH and other groups.},
category = {real estate, Zoning, mandatory inclusionary housing, CUP}

Author={Chapelliquen, Armando},
Title={Enhanced Business Areas & 25 Kent},
comment = {At 25 Kent the city is trying out a new zoning bonus in the ZR that the intend to start mapping other places in the city. A developer can apply for a special permit that allows them to build 2.0 more FAR if they build 0.8 for industrial/manufacturing uses in industrial-zoned areas. As ANHD points out this does nothing to limit hotels, big box stores, and even luxury residential which are likely to compete in those industrial areas even without the FAR bonus. ANHD urges the city to make this a trial, to see if the results they want actually occur before it is mapped to other places in the city.},
category = {Zoning, industrial, manufacturing, far bonus}
% As usual, the city’s only tool these days is to bribe developers to build stuff. The whole concept is uneffective.

Author={Geiger, Daniel},
Title={The little loophole helping developers build their supertall towers even higher},
journal={Crain’s New York Business},
comment = {Developers are adding floors with high ceilings in the lower levels of skyscrapers in order to boost the overall height for the high-value upper apartments without violating FAR restrictions.},
category = {zoning, far, mechanicals, skyscrapers, CUP}

Author={Laskow, Sarah},
Title={Do Taller Buildings Have to Mean Darker Streets?},
journal={Next City},
comment = {NYC’s planning department and architects claim that the difference between the big buildings on 4th avenue, (which are miserable) and the big buildings on Prospect Park West (which are lovely) is in the zoning. This article tried (unsuccessfully) to break down the difference. But is it in active ground floors? (not something you see on Prospect Park West). Or lower parking requirements? Or some subtle change to the facade requirements?},
category = {zoning, bulk, zoning for quality and affordability, CUP}
% I think this article was written ahead of the ZQA proposal, but ZQA doesn’t seem to really address the issues raised here.

Author={Zimmer, Amy},
Title={Loft Tenants Get Another Shot at Legalizing Their Homes},
comment = {Covers the extension of the ``loft law’’ to 2016, gives a good basic overview of the law and how it works.},
category = {loft law, zoning}

author = {Michael C. Lens and Paavo Monkkonen},
title = {Do Strict Land Use Regulations Make Metropolitan Areas More Segregated by Income?},
journal = {Journal of the American Planning Association},
volume = {82},
number = {1},
pages = {6-21},
year = {2016},
doi = {10.1080/01944363.2015.1111163},
URL = {},
eprint = {},
abstract = { Problem, research strategy, and findings: Income segregation has risen in each of the last four decades in U.S. metropolitan areas, which can have lifelong impacts on the health, economic productivity, and behaviors of residents. Although it is widely assumed that local land use regulations—such as minimum lot sizes and growth controls—exclude low-income households from wealthier neighborhoods, the empirical research is surprisingly limited. We examine the relationship between land use regulation and segregation by income using new measures for the 95 biggest cities in the United States. We find that density restrictions are associated with the segregation of the wealthy and middle income, but not the poor. We also find that more local pressure to regulate land use is linked to higher rates of income segregation, but that more state control is connected to lower-income segregation.Takeaway for practice: Density restrictions do drive urban income segregation of the rich, not the poor, but should be addressed because rich enclaves create significant metropolitan problems. Planners at the local level need assistance from regional and state efforts to ameliorate income segregation. Inclusionary housing requirements have a greater potential to reduce income segregation than bringing higher-income households into lower-income parts of the city. Finally, comprehensive and consistent data on the impacts of local land use regulations should be collected to inform future research and planning practice. },
comment = {Covered by Richard Florida in this article: \url{}. Florida sums up: the authors find that the main effect of density restrictions is to enable the wealthy to wall themselves off from other groups.'' Density restrictions in the city not only lead to higher housing prices (think San Francisco), but to greater economic segregation across a metro as a whole.’’ segregation varies by both the nature and extent of government involvement, as well as the type of land use restriction. Notably, the authors discover that segregation is not associated with a broad measure of land use restriction overall, but is instead the result of more specific types of regulation and restrictiveness.'' Places that require multiple levels of approval to get housing built are more segregated, largely because such regulations hinder new housing development.’’ Segregation is lower in cities and metros where state governments are more involved in land use regulation, residential development, and growth management.'' the authors point out that “efforts to force wealthier parts of [the] city to build housing for low-income households, or inclusionary housing, are more effective at reducing segregation than bringing higher-income households into lower-income parts of the city.”’’},
category = {housing, segregation, zoning}
% I don’t have access to this article, and therefore have not read it.

Author={Williams, Barika X.},
month = {07},
year = {2015},
comment = {A look at the history of Inclusionary Zoning including stats about its effectiveness. Plus estimates of what DeBlasio’s Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning might yield.},
category = {Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning, CUP}
% So while over 40 percent of the City’s land lots were rezoned during the Bloomberg administration, only 28 percent of the City’s residential units have been rezoned. (See Figure 2). This is because a significant numbers of the rezoned land lots were in lower - density neighborhoods and therefore account for a disproportionately low share of the City’s residential units.

title={PlaNYC is not a ‘Plan’and it is not for ‘NYC’},
author={Marcuse, Peter},
url = {},
institution={Sustainability Watch Working Papers, Gotham Gazette},
comment = {A short paper in which Marcuse critiques PlaNYC. Promotes the ``hard-fought for’’ ULURP process and the potential for 197-a plans.},
category = {planning, CUP}

Author={Madar, Josiah and Willis, Mark},
Title={Creating Affordable Housing Out of Thin Air: The Economics of Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning in New York City},
journal={NYU Furman Center},
comment = {Covers the drawbacks and benefits of mandatory inclusionary zoning. Includes brief but good description of 421a. Given the wide range of market rents in New York City neighborhoods, this means additional zoning density will be extremely valuable to developers in some areas, but may have little or no value in others.'' Large sections of New York City do not have sufficient market strength for high-density mixed-income development to be viable without other forms of subsidy, even if already eligible for the generous 421-a property tax exemption.’’ In much of the city, upzonings may make sense for long-term planning purposes and to accommodate larger subsidized buildings, but they do not appear to hold much potential for cross-subsidizing affordable units because even fully market-rate buildings are not currently being built in these areas.'' One lesson our analysis highlights is that requiring a unit to be affordable at any level far below market has a much larger effect on a project’s financial return than the exact level of affordability it must provide.’’},
category = {zoning, housing, CUP, 421a}

Author={Madar, Josiah},
Title={Inclusionary Housing Policy in New York City: Assessing New Opportunities, Constraints, and Trade-offs},
journal={NYU Furman Center},
comment = {Full report from which the ``Thin Air’’ paper is drawn.},
category = {zoning, housing, CUP}

Author={Foderaro, Lisa W.},
Title={Williamsburg Warehouse Fire Revives Talk of a Promised Park},
journal={The New York Times},
comment = {Does getting the City to keep its zoning promises require a major disaster?},
category = {zoning, fire, CUP, bushwick inlet park}

Author={Rustow, Stephen},
Title={The Tragic Poetry of Building Codes},
journal={Urban Omnibus},
comment = {Archi-abstract UO article about how zoning, building, and ``finance’’ code interact to shape buildings. Readable, and makes the point about building being shaped by other forces than architects, but not as good as the title suggests.},
category = {zoning, architecture}

Author={Berman, Andrew},
Title={Citywide Rezoning Plan Would Benefit Developers, Hurt Neighborhoods },
journal={Gotham Gazette},
comment = {Berman argues that De Blasio’s Zoning for Quality and Affordability plan will get rid of height limits in contextual districts which will benefit developers and actually cause decreased affordability. He says the plan claims that loosening restrictions on height limits will promote development and better architecture, and points out that is unlikely. },
category = {zoning, CUP}

Author={Babin, Janet},
Title={There Are Still Places in New York Where You Can’t Build Highrises},
comment = {The article quotes Gib Veconi from CB8 who was talking about the rezoning in the ANHD workshop in 2015. They had originally gone to the Bloomberg administration asking them to rezone this area from M1-1 to an MX like all the other MXs. But DCP said they were too busy to look at it because it was in the waning days of the administration. Gib said that actually turned out to be a blessing because they now think a regular MX rezoning would have just resulted in residential development. Their new proposal is for MX with required manufacturing on the first two floors, and 3 residential above. Gib also pointed out that CB8 went to DCP \emph{requesting} this MX rezoning as a way to promote economic development in the area.},
category = {zoning, CUP}