Reforming Zoning to Redefine Our Neighborhoods

Lunchtime Forum


Palo Alto single-family homes

Single-use zoning is the most widespread form of zoning found across the United States. While it might prevent a tannery from opening next door to your home, the odds are good that it also prevents a duplex from doing the same thing. The simple fact is that zoning, at least in its most recognizable form, is an antiquated tool that does more harm than good. Poorly-designed zoning and other land use regulations increases home prices, reduces housing availability, promotes segregation, lengthens commutes and restricts transportation choices. With the movement to eliminate single-family-exclusive zoning gaining steam around the country — here in California, two bills that permit multiple homes on single-family-zoned lots were recently ratified into law — the opportunity is ripe to reimagine zoning entirely. Come participate in a conversation about the need for widespread zoning reform, what could replace zoning as we know it and how it could advance real change in our neighborhoods.

Co-presented by APA Northern California and SV@Home

+ Sarah Karlinsky / SPUR
+ Jenny Schuetz / Brookings Institution

1 AICP CM available for APA member attendees.

1 Learning Unit available for AIA member attendees.

AIA Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the economic, social and design limitations of single-family-exclusive zoning.
  2. Learn about the obstacles that exist to widespread zoning reform in America today.
  3. Determine the advantages and drawbacks of alternative types of land use regulation used in municipalities around the world.
  4. Understand the opportunities that exist for designers in more flexibly zoned neighborhoods.


SPUR Digital Discourse
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Free for SPUR and APA members
$10 for non-members

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Sponsorship payments: Will not be refunded, as sponsorship benefits take effect immediately and are on-going through the date of the event.

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