Close-up of microphone on speaker's dais with blurred crowd sitting in bright high school gym in background.

The Problem With Tone Policing

One common criticism of pro-housing advocacy is that supporters of new housing are (in the words of one commentator) “arrogant.” But there is no reason to believe that this is any less true of their opponents.

October 24, 2023 - Michael Lewyn


Colorado Erases Local Growth Limits

Colorado legislators passed a law earlier this year that preempts local limits on the number of building permits issued every year.

August 8, 2023 - The Denver Post

Screenshot of gameplay window with popup: "Error. Can't build in NIMBYville!"

A NIMBY Simulator Pokes Fun at All-Too-Real Issues

A classic game gets a sardonic update for the modern world.

September 25, 2022 - Bloomberg Culture

A worn down industrial building in Brooklyn.

The Problem With Anti-Commercial NIMBYism

Some people oppose commercial development in working-class neighborhoods, fearing gentrification. But if nothing that makes a place more desirable can be built, jobs will become less accessible to those neighborhoods—an obviously absurd result.

July 7, 2021 - Michael Lewyn

Shaw, D.C.

Is Anti-Growth the Wrong Approach to Fighting Gentrification?

Limiting development has been a powerful tool for anti-gentrification activists, but have these policies had counter-productive effects?

January 10, 2021 - The Atlantic


Growing Anti-Development Sentiment Kills Mixed-Use Proposal in East Bay City

The city of Dublin, located adjacent to the I-580/I-680 intersection in the East Bay Area, pulled the plug on a proposed mixed-use development that would have added apartments, senior houses, restaurants, and a theater to the quickly growing city.

July 22, 2020 - The Mercury News

Boise Idaho

Development Backlash Follows Population and Job Growth in Western States

As housing prices rise all over the country, quickly growing states like Colorado, Idaho, and Utah are transforming in ways some residents didn't anticipate or desire. Such circumstances are a breeding ground for anti-development politics.

December 11, 2019 - Pew Stateline

South Los Angeles Market-Rate Housing Development

Controversial Housing Development Nixed in South L.A.

The local planning commission for South Los Angeles rejected a controversial multi-family housing development proposed for a location adjacent to a future light rail station.

November 24, 2019 - Los Angeles Times


Opponents Winning the Fundraising Battle Ahead of Anti-Development Measure in Colorado

Fundraisers have been busy in an effort to defeat the anti-development measures included in Question 200, which will appear before voters in Lakewood, Colorado in July.

June 18, 2019 - The Denver Post

Suburban Community

Slow-Growth Measure Headed to the Ballot in Colorado's Fifth-Largest City

Voters in Lakewood, Colorado, have a chance to enact anti-development policies that would place new limits on the number of new housing units that could be built in the city, while also placing new controls on the approvals process.

April 9, 2019 - The Denver Post


Lessons for YIMBYs From Boyle Heights

In the wake of a very pro-development March election, Los Angeles seems ready to embrace change. But not everywhere. In low-income Boyle Heights, residents have been more militant than most against encroaching gentrification.

March 11, 2017 - CityLab

Gov. Jerry Brown Restricts Funds for Affordable Housing in New Budget

California's recent rains brought relief to a large part of the water-starved state, but another drought of a political nature hasn't seen relief—the will of coastal municipalities to permit more housing. Brown outlined a way for new funding.

January 15, 2017 - Streetsblog California

Santa Monica Route 66

Santa Monica Voters Soundly Reject Slow Growth Ballot Measure

The so-called LUVE initiative, which would have required a public vote on any development exceeding 32 feet or two stories, was rejected by over 56 percent of voters. Opponents significantly outspent supporters who failed to get council support.

November 20, 2016 - Curbed Los Angeles

Santa Monica Route 66

Another Anti-Development Measure to Face Voters in Southern California

This time, the scene of the anti-development ire is Santa Monica, where local advocates have qualified for the November ballot on initiative requiring a vote for any project building beyond the zoning code.

June 27, 2016 - Santa Monica Next

More Anti-Density Measures Headed to the Ballot in Southern California

Witness the full force of anti-development animus in Southern California, where at least three cities are facing variety of backlash to the status quo of zoning and development processes.

March 15, 2016 - KPCC

Stopping Development—How Far Is Too Far?

Fierce business competitors have to step lightly to avoid liability under American antitrust law and 'commercial interference' torts. A recent report takes a comprehensive look at where the line is when it comes to stopping a development project.

July 12, 2015 - The International In-house Counsel Journal

How Much Does it Cost the Public to Build Housing in Loudoun County, Virginia?

A wealthy county in Virginia has a reputation for prohibiting the construction of new housing. Development interests, however, are fed up with anti-development arguments.

July 10, 2015 - The Washington Post

Seattle Mixed Use Development

Seattle NIMBYs Protest Dense Development, Cite Eastern Bloc

A zoning bill has stirred up the fear that dense development projects will transform Seattle into a "Soviet cityscape." Residents accuse developers of using loopholes to squeeze in pricey, out-of-character townhomes.

June 23, 2015 - The Seattle Times

Seattle City Council

Breaking Down the Seattle City Council's 'War on Density'

Recent legislation considered (with some approved) by the Seattle City Council Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee takes anti-development politics to a new level in a city reacting to years of growth.

June 19, 2015 - Publicola

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Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.