Cities Turn to Density for Tackling Housing Inequality

May 21, 2019
Photo by Ryan Searle on Unsplash

Density has long been a dirty word in zoning politics and owners of single-family homes, usually white, are more likely to participate in zoning and planning meetings to lead the charge against affordable housing development. 

A CityLab report notes that as housing affordability and inequality become national political issues, the people who have long dominated those meetings are starting to see their anti-development agenda upended. Cities are gaining political traction for policies that once seemed out of the question. The newest tool that cities are deploying in the ongoing fight against segregation and housing inequality is to let their streets get denser, in what is known as upzoning. Still, making zoning more progressive faces awfully long odds, which makes this strategy a question of policy and politics.

The story looks at the density push in Minneapolis, Seattle, and the challenges facing reviving SB 50, a proposed statewide residential rezoning measure in California

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