A Better Way to Zone: Ten Principles to Create More Livable Cities

Front Cover
Island Press, Sep 26, 2012 - Architecture - 256 pages
0 Reviews
Nearly all large American cities rely on zoning to regulate land use. According to Donald L. Elliott, however, zoning often discourages the very development that bigger cities need and want. In fact, Elliott thinks that zoning has become so complex that it is often dysfunctional and in desperate need of an overhaul. A Better Way to Zone explains precisely what has gone wrong and how it can be fixed.
 
A Better Way to Zone explores the constitutional and legal framework of zoning, its evolution over the course of the twentieth century, the reasons behind major reform efforts of the past, and the adverse impacts of most current city zoning systems. To unravel what has gone wrong, Elliott identifies several assumptions behind early zoning that no longer hold true, four new land use drivers that have emerged since zoning began, and basic elements of good urban governance that are violated by prevailing forms of zoning. With insight and clarity, Elliott then identifies ten sound principles for change that would avoid these mistakes, produce more livable cities, and make zoning simpler to understand and use. He also proposes five practical steps to get started on the road to zoning reform.
 
While recent discussion of zoning has focused on how cities should look, A Better Way to Zone does not follow that trend. Although New Urbanist tools, form-based zoning, and the SmartCode are making headlines both within and outside the planning profession, Elliott believes that each has limitations as a general approach to big city zoning. While all three trends include innovations that the profession badly needs, they are sometimes misapplied to situations where they do not work well. In contrast, A Better Way to Zone provides a vision of the future of zoning that is not tied to a particular picture of how cities should look, but is instead based on how cities should operate.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
1
A Brief History of Zoning
9
Failed Assumptions
39
Evolving Land Use Drivers
61
Governing Well
87
The Legal Framework for Change
105
What Have We Learned?
129
A Better Way to Zone
137
The Way Forward
211
Suggested Reading List
223
Notes
225
Bibliography
231
Index
233
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 2 - We had the Standard Zoning Enabling Act and the Standard City Planning Enabling Act...

About the author (2012)

Donald L. Elliott is an attorney and city planner with extensive experience in real estate and land use planning. He is a senior consultant in the Denver, Colorado, office of Clarion Associates, a national land-use and real estate consulting firm. Elliott is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a former project director for downtown and Gateway zoning for the City and County of Denver.

Bibliographic information