Euclidean Zoning

Aerial view of downtown Seattle, Washington at dusk.

Seattle Downtown Plan Expands Permitted Uses

The Downtown Activation Plan shifts from Euclidean to form-based zoning to encourage more commercial development.

April 21, 2024 - Governing

Minneapolis Stone Arch Bridge

Panel: Minneapolis Zoning Updates Should Reflect Mixed-Use Future

A discussion of post-pandemic changes in work and commuting concluded that the city’s overhaul of its zoning code should be less restrictive with land uses.

March 24, 2023 - MinnPost

Victoria, British Columbia

Opinion: Bring Back the Neighborhood Corner Store

A call for zoning reforms that legalize commercial buildings in residential neighborhoods in Seattle—a building type and land use that has fallen out of favor all over the United States.

July 11, 2021 - The Seattle Times

Jackson Heights, Queens

A Complete Community Is All Mixed Up

A complete community includes an optimal mix of people, activities, and transport modes in each neighborhood. Like a chef, planners need the right ingredients. Here is the recipe.

March 15, 2021 - Todd Litman

Highway 101 California

Zoning Reform Skepticism

Ending single-family zoning, as more cities around the United States have begun to do, is too extreme a response to contemporary planning challenges, according to a recent opinion piece published by the East Bay Times.

March 4, 2021 - East Bay Times


Lawyers Taking the Single-Family Zoning Fight to a Connecticut Town

Open Communities Alliance, along with law students and professors at a fair housing development clinic at Yale Law School, have proposed a development meant to trigger the exclusionary zoning code in the town of Woodbridge, Connecticut.

October 1, 2020 - The Connecticut Mirror

Suburban Homes

An Academic Debate With Very Real Consequences: Land Use Regulations and the Cost of Housing

An article from the journal Urban Studies is inspiring debate and controversy over a year after publication, presenting opposing opinions on fundamental questions about how land use regulation affects the housing market.

September 30, 2020 - James Brasuell

Fast Forward Bus

Senate Report Proposes Land Use and Transportation Reforms to Get Americans Out of Cars

Progress in combating climate change won't be possible unless Americans drive less. And Americans won't be able to drive less without changes to land use patterns in the United States.

September 16, 2020 - Transportation for America

Derelict Commercial Buildings

Opinion: The Zoning Reform Discourse Needs a Dose of Reality

Lately it seems like people are forgetting that zoning is a legal process, requiring the support of elected officials.

August 3, 2020 - Notes from the Underground


What Is Euclidean Zoning?

Euclidean zoning is responsible for the sprawling, suburban character of much of the built environment in the United States.

July 31, 2020 - James Brasuell

Chicago River Industrial Area

Chicago's New Approach to Air Quality Includes Zoning Changes

Improved air quality can help achieve equitable economic growth, according to Chicago's newly announced Air Quality Agenda.

July 31, 2020 - Smart Cities Dive

New York Development

What Are Zoning Codes?

Local governments use zoning codes to define what can and cannot be built. While comprehensive plans and other kinds of plans lay out a vision for the future, zoning codes offer the legal tools to implement that vision.

July 15, 2020 - James Brasuell

Inland Empire

'Good Neighbor Policy' Creates Buffer Between Industrial, Residential Uses

The final version of a "Good Neighbor Policy" adopted by Riverside County in November fell short of the original author's intentions.

December 2, 2019 - Los Angeles Times

New York City Zoning Map

Zoning Codes, Explained

Looking for a way to describe zoning codes, and their role in city planning, to a newcomer to the field? Maybe start here.

August 7, 2019 - CityLab

Amazon Fulfillment Center

How Planners Can Liberate the Next Amazon

The path to business success occasionally passes through the garage—famously demonstrated by industry titans like Amazon or Hewlett Packard. Zoning codes should encourage, not obstruct, these kinds of American success stories.

July 20, 2017 - Olivia Gonzalez

Portland Rowhouses

Looking for Housing Solutions? Look to the Past

The development of Portland during the early decades of the 1900s reveals ideas for how to lessen the pressure on housing prices in the 2010s.

April 20, 2016 - Bike Portland

Coding for Character: Doing Away With the Zoned Out Nature of Cities

What's keeping the historic parts of your city or town from staying up-to-date and well-loved? Usually, the laws.

October 6, 2015 - PlaceShakers

Exurban Development

Book Review: Zoned in the USA

"Zoned in the USA: The Origins and Implications of American Land-Use Regulation," by Sonja Hirt, describes the exceptional characteristics, compared to European land use regulations, that make U.S. zoning laws so conducive to sprawl.

March 4, 2015 - Josh Stephens

Desert Signage

Mapping Where People Don't Live

A map released this week and shared on numerous websites shades the 4,871,270 U.S. Census Blocks with zero population. That includes rugged backcountry and suburban super malls.

April 18, 2014 - mapsbynik

Model of Downtown LA

A Primer on Types of Zoning Codes

Los Angeles' City Planning Department offers a layman's introduction to the many forms of zoning codes, from Euclidean to Performance to Incentive.

January 24, 2014 - Los Angeles Department of City Planning

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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.