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Zoning for 21st-Century Planning

Tue, Mar 31    5pm

GSAPP has suspended its Spring 2020 public programming and events. Detailed guidance on the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) for the Columbia University community is available here.

Zoning for 21st-Century Planning

A book launch for Zoning for 21st-Century Planning, reception at 5:00 pm in the Café followed by discussion at 6:30pm. Co- Editors Elliott Sclar, Valerie Stahl, and Bernadette Baird-Zars in conversation with contributor Rachel Meltzer, Chair of Public and Urban Policy at the Milano School of Policy, Management and Environment at the New School.

Whether incentivizing affordability through inclusionary zoning or attempting to mitigate climate change through tweaks to the code, in 2020, zoning arguably is planning. Across cities and regions, land regulations are increasingly a central tool for planners to affect change. Yet while zoning visibly shifts cities’ built form and social topographies, planners and urban scholars often simplify its status as either a regulatory burden dampening urban affordability or as a singular cure-all to the myriad problems facing our cities.

In a roundtable session, authors of the new edited volume, Zoning: A Guide for 21st-Century Planning, will consider the potential –and limits– of zoning as a tool for positive social change. Why has the practice of zoning evolved as it has? How do social and economic institutions shape zoning in contemporary practice? How does zoning relate to the other key issues of planning, such as housing, climate change, and transport? Where and why has zoning, an act of physical land use regulation, replaced social planning?

These questions, grounded in examples and cases, underscore the power and pitfalls of zoning and related tools, such as transferable development rights. Highlighting the best of recent scholarship on zoning, the authors will lay out their proposal for a new framework linking the institutions of zoning and planning to facilitate progressive practice.

Zoning: A guide for 21st Century Planning features contributions from over 30 leading scholars of zoning. Over half of all authors are GSAPP affiliates, many are emerging academics and practitioners, and nearly three-quarters of contributors are women.

Free and open to the public.
Organized by Columbia GSAPP Urban Planning.

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