Sprawling residential neighborhoods with many single family houses.

Arbitrary Lines: How Zoning Broke the American City and How to Fix it

Nolan Gray presents the complex history of zoning regulation, showing how major legislative decisions led to the country's current state of car reliance, sprawl, and inequity. Now, zoning reform is in the air. But why stop at mere reform?

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Course Info

  • Duration 15 video lessons (67 Mins)
  • Published Published
  • Trending Trending
  • 4.68
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Browse Course Chapters

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    1.
    Introduction
    Chapter Duration 1 min
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    2.
    Where Does Zoning Come From?
    Chapter Duration 4 mins
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    3.
    What Zoning Is
    Chapter Duration 4 mins
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    4.
    What Zoning Isn't
    Chapter Duration 2 mins
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    5.
    Planning an Affordability Crisis
    Chapter Duration 6 mins
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    6.
    The Wealth We Lost
    Chapter Duration 4 mins
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    7.
    Apartheid by Another Name
    Chapter Duration 4 mins
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    8.
    Sprawl by Design
    Chapter Duration 4 mins
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    9.
    Toward a Less Bad Zoning: Local Reform
    Chapter Duration 5 mins
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    10.
    Toward a Less Bad Zoning: Statewide Reform
    Chapter Duration 6 mins
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    11.
    Toward a Less Bad Zoning: Federal and International Possibilities
    Chapter Duration 4 mins
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    12.
    The Case for Abolishing Zoning
    Chapter Duration 5 mins
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    13.
    The Great Unzoned City
    Chapter Duration 5 mins
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    14.
    Planning After Zoning
    Chapter Duration 5 mins
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    15.
    Conclusion
    Chapter Duration 1 min

What You Will Learn

  • Understand what zoning is and where zoning comes from.
  • Understand the relationship between zoning and issues like affordability, opportunity, segregation, and sustainability.
  • Understand the many ways that zoning can be—and is being—liberalized.
  • Understand the case for zoning abolition, and what a post-zoning approach to land use planning might look like.

Course Description

There’s a malaise haunting land use planning—few now question that the system of zoning we inherited has produced cities that are unaffordable, inequitable, segregated, and sprawling. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way: zoning reform is in the air. But why stop at mere reform? As M. Nolan Gray argues in Arbitrary Lines, it’s time for a fundamental rethink of our system of land-use planning. Based on the book, this course explores what zoning is and where it comes from, surveying the costs of our current broken system, and setting out what post-zoning land use planning might look like.

Learn these skills

  • History
  • Housing
  • Land Use
  • Law and Policy
  • Regional Planning
  • Urban Design
  • Zoning Codes

AICP CM

This course is approved for 1 AICP CM credit.

AIA CES

This course is 1 LU.

Meet Your Instructor

Nolan Gray

Nolan Gray

M. Nolan Fray is the Research Director for California YIMBY, an expert in urban land-use regulation, and a widely published offer of works including "Arbitrary Lines: How Zoning Broke the American City and How to Fix it."

Meet Instructor

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Excellent - very thoughtful high-level overview of a complex issue with a long history.
- David B.
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