Economic Opportunity

MacDougal Street

Urban Villages for the Proletariat

Compact, walkable urban villages benefit working families and organized labor by creating jobs, improving household affordability, reducing commute duration, improving economic opportunities, and creating cleaner, healthier communities.

February 10, 2022 - Todd Litman

Chicago ADA Access

Better Access to Urban Opportunities

A major new Coalition for Urban Transitions guide offers specific recommendations for COVID-19 recovery, climate emergency response, and poverty reduction through policies that make cities more accessible, sustainable, and inclusive.

December 28, 2021 - Better Access to Urban Opportunities: Accessibility policy for cities in the 2020s

Coronavirus Skies

The California Dream is Becoming Less Achievable

Anti-growth forces have made it close to impossible for many young people and newcomers to gain the upward mobility that has defined the state's success.

August 1, 2021 - The Atlantic

Single Family Residential Construction

The Housing Affordability Recipe

Smart policies can ensure that low- and moderate-income households can find suitable housing in good neighborhoods where transportation costs are low. The research is clear: upzoning works.

May 3, 2021 - Governing

Street Food

The Right to the City: Planners’ Role in Creating Affordable and Inclusive Communities

In a modern, post-industrial society, economic opportunity depends on disadvantaged households’ ability to find suitable housing in an economically successful city. Planners can make that happen.

March 5, 2020 - Todd Litman

Walking the Dog

The Suburbs, Reimagined

Eight experts produce a "manifesto for a new suburbia."

November 14, 2019 - Curbed

California Houses

A Comprehensive Survey of the Scope and Effects of Land Use Policy in California

A survey of land use policies in cities and counties of California is designed to inform a more complete understanding of the housing market, sustainability, and economic mobility in the state.

February 6, 2019 - UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

District By District, Maps Trace Neighborhood Opportunity Across the U.S.

Down to the level of individual census tracts, a team of researchers has developed national maps showing where upward mobility is probable, and where it isn't.

October 10, 2018 - The New York Times

Smart Transport Policies for Global Sustainable Development Goals

Transport policy reforms help achieve many Sustainable Development Goals, including poverty reduction; access to healthcare, education, employment, and clean water; gender equality; better settlements; energy conservation; and emission reductions.

September 8, 2018 - Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport

National Monument

Communities Debate Potential Mine Near Mt. St. Helens

Fishermen, former loggers, and conservationists are just some of the groups with a stake in whether a mining operation takes root in Washington state.

October 12, 2017 - Northwest Public Radio

Chicago Commute

Multimodal Transportation for Economic Freedom, Opportunity, and Security

Motor vehicles are expensive to own and operate. Many lower-income households spend more on transportation than they can afford due to a lack of affordable mobility options. The solution is more multimodal planning.

August 7, 2017 - Todd Litman


Gentrification, for Better and Worse

Gentrification—more wealthy people moving into lower-income communities—often faces opposition, sometimes for the wrong reasons. It is important to consider all benefits and costs when formulating urban development policies.

May 18, 2017 - Todd Litman

Suburban Neighborhood

Unaffordability is a Problem but Sprawl is a Terrible Solution

Many households spend more than they can afford on housing and transportation, but the latest International Housing Affordability Survey is wrong to recommend sprawl as the best solution. Real solutions must reduce both housing and transport costs.

February 21, 2017 - Todd Litman

University of Chicago

Chicago Universities Commit to Bolstering Growth

Eight Chicago universities have agreed to engage with the city and local communities as they invest in their neighborhoods. The hope is to increase opportunities for employment and economic growth.

January 2, 2016 - Urban Institute


Does Wendell Cox Realize He Just Supported Smart Growth?

Smart Growth critic Wendell Cox recently endorsed White House Economic Advisor Jason Furman's criticisms of zoning codes that limit infill development, essentially endorsing Smart Growth policy reforms.

December 8, 2015 - Todd Litman

Freeway Construction

Smart Planning for Economic Opportunity

The Center for Opportunity Urbanism has a wonderful goal—to improve economic opportunities for working class households—but uses terrible research to reach confusing recommendations about which policies are best. Please do better!

August 20, 2015 - Todd Litman

Homeless sleeping

Report: Which American Cities Are the Most Unequal

According to Brookings, this research is intended to inform local debates over the minimum wage. Drawing on Census data, the report finds that astronomical income gains are still concentrated among the biggest cities.

March 28, 2015 - Brookings Institution

Grocery Store Walk

The Neighborhood Effect: How Place Impacts Upward Mobility

A new blog post from Jonathan Rothwell discusses the impact of neighborhoods on upward mobility.

November 18, 2014 - Brookings Institution

Cars Still Essential for Economic Opportunity

Recent data shows that workers need cars to access jobs and economic opportunity. What can planners do to expand access to jobs via other alternative modes of transportation?

October 27, 2014 - Brookings: The Avenue

United States map

Mapping the Skill Sets Unique to Cities

The skills and location data of over 175 million LinkedIn members were mined to produce a map displaying the industries most common in major cities throughout the United States and Europe.

October 24, 2014 - LinkedIn Blog

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

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.