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Prospects for Zoning Reform

Catch up on the contemporary policy debates about zoning reform in the United States by learning from one of the nation’s leading voices on the subject, Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Jenny Schuetz.

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Course Info

  • Duration 9 video lessons (96 Mins)
  • Published Published
  • Trending Trending
  • 4.55
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Browse Course Chapters

  • Chapter Locked
    Chapter Duration 2 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Housing Affordability Has Become More Politically Salient
    Chapter Duration 7 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Rationale For Reform: Economic and Social Equity
    Chapter Duration 15 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Rationale for Reform: Climate Impacts
    Chapter Duration 13 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Status Quo Defenders
    Chapter Duration 10 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    State Government Roles in Housing Policy
    Chapter Duration 19 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Federal Government Policy Levers
    Chapter Duration 14 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Political Prospects for Reform
    Chapter Duration 10 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Chapter Duration 2 mins

What You Will Learn

  • Understand the political context that has raised the salience of zoning in local, state, and national policy debates
  • Develop a framework for understanding the roles state and federal governments currently play in regulating land use and housing production
  • Explore the housing policy toolkit available to state governments
  • Become familiar with recent state and local zoning reforms
  • Learn about the nascent pro-housing movement 
  • Discuss prospects for broader national housing policy changes

Course Description

State and local jurisdictions around the country are pursuing various forms of zoning reform—from reducing parking requirements to allowing accessory dwelling units and legalizing Missing Middle Housing. 

The “Prospects for Zoning Reform” course begins with a discussion of the political context motivating current debates about zoning reforms, especially the growing awareness about the consequences of the planning and zoning status quo for matters of racial equity, climate change, economic growth, and more.

The course will then examine several different approaches to reform, including an increased role for state and federal governments in regulating land use and setting policy direction for improved outcomes in the housing market. The course will also consider the sometimes challenging political prospects for zoning reform, by citing examples from recent legislative successes at both the state and local levels, the growth of the pro-housing (YIMBY) movement, and increasing media attention to the details of planning and zoning.

Learn these skills

  • Economic Development
  • Economics
  • Equity
  • Housing
  • Land Use
  • Law and Policy
  • Real Estate
  • Regulations
  • Sustainability
  • Urbanism
  • Zoning Codes


This course is approved for 1.5 AICP CM credits.


This course is 1.5 LU.

Meet Your Instructor

Jenny Schuetz

Jenny Schuetz

Jenny is a Senior Fellow at Brookings Metro and an expert in housing policy.

Meet Instructor

Join thousands of urban planners on Planetizen Courses

Fantastic course if you're interested in zoning reform. Very informative!
- Alexander M.
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